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Monday, March 2, 2020

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How to of the Day

How to Make Bamboo Straws

Posted: 02 Mar 2020 04:00 PM PST

Plastic straws take a long time to break down naturally, so replacing them with eco-friendly, reusable alternatives can help keep dangerous pollutants out of the environment. While you can always buy bamboo straws online or from home good stores, you can also try making your own from any healthy bamboo shoots. Bamboo straws still break down over time, but as long as you take care of them properly, you can use them for up to a year before putting them in a recycling or compost bin.


[Edit]Cutting the Bamboo

  1. Choose healthy bamboo stalks that are as thin as a pencil. Look for shoots that are as thin or thinner than a pencil so you can comfortably drink through them. Opt for bamboo stalks that have at least between nodes, which are the horizontal bands on the stalks.[1]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 1.jpg
    • Avoid using stalks that are thicker than since you may have difficulty using the straw.
    • Look out for spotted or rotted bamboo since it could weaken your straw or have harmful bacteria.
    • It's okay if the bamboo stalks have slight bends or angles as long as they're mostly straight.
  2. Clip the bamboo stalks with pruners at a 45-degree angle. Position your cut just above one of the bamboo nodes so it's able to regrow easily after you cut it. Position the pruners so the blades make a 45-degree angle on the stalk and squeeze the handles tightly together. Leave at least 1–2 nodes on the bamboo so they can continue growing.[2]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 2.jpg
    • Avoid making straight cuts since it can trap water and make the bamboo develop rot.
    • You can also saw the bamboo stalks at a 45-degree angle with a hacksaw if you don't have pruners available.
  3. Leave the bamboo vertically in a dry area until it turns tan. Set the bottom end on a cinder block or brick so it's off the ground to avoid water damage. Lean the bamboo vertically against a wall or rack to help guide any liquid inside down and out of the stalk. Let the bamboo completely dry out until it has a tan color, which usually takes around 2–3 weeks.[3]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 3.jpg
    • Avoid laying the bamboo horizontally since it may not drain properly and could develop rot.
    • If you plan on drying the bamboo outside, try to use a south-facing wall to ensure it receives sunlight throughout the entire day.
  4. Saw the bamboo into segments between the nodes. Set the bamboo stalk on your work surface so it overhangs the edge by about . Hold the stalk firmly against your work surface with your nondominant hand and make a straight cut over from the node using a hacksaw. Then remove the node on the other side of the straw, leaving a gap. Continue cutting straws from the entire length of the stalk.[4]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 4.jpg
    • Usually, a section of bamboo will make between 4–16 straws depending on their lengths.
    • Avoid making straws shorter than since they may not be tall enough for most cups.
    • Don't use pruners to cut dry bamboo since you could cause the stalks to crack or splinter easier.

[Edit]Sanding and Cleaning the Straws

  1. Sand the ends of the straw with sandpaper to remove sharp edges. Place a piece of fine-grit sandpaper, such as 180- or 220-grit, over one of the straw's cut ends. Apply firm pressure and spin the sandpaper around the straw to taper the end. If you still have trouble smoothing the edge, hold the sandpaper face-up against your work surface and rub the end of the straw against it until it feels smooth. Repeat the process on the other end of the straw.[5]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 5.jpg
    • Avoid using the straw without sanding it first since you could easily cut your mouth or get splinters.
    • Blow the sawdust off of the straw occasionally so you can see what you're working on.
  2. Smooth the outside of the straw with sandpaper or a belt sander. Wrap a piece of 180-grit sandpaper around the outside of the straw and rub it up and down the bamboo's length. Rotate the straw as you work to smooth it out evenly. If you're using a belt sander, wear safety glasses to protect yourself from kickback. Hold the ends of the straw and lightly press the side of the straw against the moving belt on the sander. Move the straw back and forth so you sand the exterior evenly, rotating the straw as you work your way around the bamboo.[6]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 6.jpg
    • It's okay to leave bumps or angled sections on the length of the straw if you want.
    • Don't apply too much pressure while sanding, or else you could crack the bamboo.
  3. Run sandpaper through the middle of the straw. Cut a strip of 180- or 220-grit sandpaper that's about wide and long. Roll the piece of sandpaper lengthwise to form it into a long coil. Feed the end of the coil into the middle of the straw and push it through the length of the straw. Pull the sandpaper out from the other side. Repeat the process 3–4 times to smooth the inside edges.[7]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 7.jpg
    • Push the sandpaper with a thin stick or wire if you have trouble pulling it through the bamboo.
  4. Clean out the inside of the straw with a pipe-cleaning brush. Push the thin end of the pipe-cleaning brush into the middle of the straw. Rotate the brush clockwise 1–2 rotations before pulling the brush out. Continue dusting out the straw from both side s5–6 times, or until you don't see visible dust when you remove the brush.[8]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 8.jpg
    • Pipe-cleaning brushes usually have stiff bristles in a cylindrical or conical shape to help clean the sides of pipes, and you can buy them from your local hardware store.
    • You may also try aiming compressed air inside the straw and blowing the dust out in 1- to 2-second bursts into each side until you don't see any more come out.

[Edit]Treating and Using the Straw

  1. Boil the straw in salt water for 10 minutes before using it. Bring of water mixed with 2 teaspoons (12 g) of table salt to a boil on your stove before putting the straws inside. Put the lid on the pot and allow the straws to boil for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria. Remove the straws from the water with a pair of tongs and set them on a towel in a well-ventilated area to cool down and dry, which will take about 30 minutes.[9]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 9.jpg
    • Make sure you use a pot that's large enough to fully submerge the straws, or else they won't be disinfected properly.
    • You can use the straw as soon as it cools down.
  2. Wash and dry the straw by hand right after you're finished using it. Use the straw as you normally would with any type of drink. When you finish the drink, give the straw a quick rinse with clean water. When you have time for a more thorough clean, rinse the straw with soapy water. Set the straw in a well-ventilated area so it can dry.[10]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 10.jpg
    • Avoid leaving any sticky or sugary drinks dry inside of the straw since they could weaken the wood or cause buildup inside.
    • If you have buildup inside the straw, try to scrape it out with a pipe-cleaning brush.
    • Keep the straws in a dry place that's room temperature, such as a cabinet drawer.
  3. Recycle or compost the straw if the ends begin splintering. Check the ends of the straw whenever you're about to use it to make sure the ends aren't cracking. If you notice the straw breaking, put it in your recycling or compost bin instead of your regular trash. Usually, your bamboo straw will last about 1 year as long as you take good care of it.[11]
    Make Bamboo Straws Step 11.jpg
    • Make multiple straws at a time so you have a replacement ready when you're finished using another one.


  • Make multiple straws at a time so you can bring one with you when you travel and leave one at home. That way, you always have an easy replacement as well.


  • Always check the ends of the straw before using them to avoid injuring yourself since they could split or splinter.
  • Wear safety glasses when using a belt sander in case the bamboo breaks while you're working.
  • Never touch a moving belt sander since you could seriously hurt yourself.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Hacksaw
  • Safety glasses
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Belt sander
  • Pipe cleaning brush
  • Pot
  • Stove
  • Table salt
  • Dish soap


How to Use a Green Screen

Posted: 02 Mar 2020 08:00 AM PST

This wikiHow teaches you how to use a green screen to edit a custom background into a video. After filming with a green screen, you can use either Shotcut or LightWorks—both of which are free and available on Windows and Mac computers—to replace the green screen with your preferred background image or video.


[Edit]Creating a Green Screen Video

  1. Set up your green screen. You can buy an industry standard green screen online, or you can use a lime-green sheet or poster paper in a pinch.[1]
    Use a Green Screen Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Your green screen should have as few wrinkles as possible, and should be one uniform color throughout.
  2. Stand at least three feet in front of the green screen. This will ensure that you don't have to worry about a shadow on the green screen, which will help when phasing out the green screen later.
    Use a Green Screen Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Position your camera. You'll want your camera far enough away to capture all of your body (if applicable) in the frame, without being so far away that the green screen isn't centered in the frame.[2]
    Use a Green Screen Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Shoot your video. Record yourself or your subject in front of the green screen. Make sure that any movements or objects in the frame stay in front of the green screen, as anything shot outside of the green screen frame will end up being cut from the final video.
    Use a Green Screen Step 4 Version 2.jpg
  5. Move the video onto your computer. Once you've finished recording the video, you'll need to put it on your computer so that you can edit it.
    Use a Green Screen Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If the video is on a phone, consider uploading it to a cloud service like Google Drive and then downloading it onto your computer from there.
    • If the video is on an SD card, you can usually insert it directly into your computer (or a USB/SD card adapter that's plugged into your computer) to move the video.

[Edit]Editing with Shotcut

  1. Check your computer's bit number. In order to download Shotcut, you need to know whether your computer uses a 32-bit system or a 64-bit system.
    Use a Green Screen Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Skip this step if you're on a Mac.
  2. Download Shotcut. Go to in your browser, then click your operating system's download link to begin the download:
    Use a Green Screen Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Windows - Click either 64-bit Windows installer or 32-bit Windows installer depending on your computer's bit number.
    • Mac - Click macOS below the "macOS" heading.
  3. Install Shotcut. Once the setup file finishes downloading, do the following:
    Use a Green Screen Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Windows - Double-click the Shotcut setup file, click Yes if prompted, click I agree, click Next, click Install, and click Close when the installation finishes.
    • Mac - Double-click the Shotcut DMG file, click and drag the Shotcut icon onto the Applications folder shortcut, and verify the software if prompted. Follow any other on-screen instructions as they appear.
  4. Open Shotcut. Open Start (Windows) or Spotlight (Mac), then type in and click or double-click Shotcut in the search results.
    Use a Green Screen Step 9 Version 2.jpg
  5. Enable the "Playlist" and "Timeline" sections. Click the Playlist tab at the top of the window, then click the Timeline tab at the top of the window. You'll see a "Playlist" section appear on the left side of the Shotcut window, while the "Timeline" section will appear at the bottom of the window.[3]
    Use a Green Screen Step 10 Version 2.jpg
  6. Import your green screen video and background. Click Open File in the upper-left side of the Shotcut window, select the green screen video and its background by clicking one file and then holding down (or on a Mac) while clicking the second file, and click Open in the bottom-right corner of the window. The file names will appear in the Playlist section.
    Use a Green Screen Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • You can use a video or an image as your green screen video's background.
  7. Create two video channels. Click in the upper-left side of the Timeline section, click Add Video Track in the pop-up menu, and then repeat this process once more to add a second video channel.
    Use a Green Screen Step 12 Version 2.jpg
  8. Insert your video in the first channel. Click and drag your green screen video from the Playlist window onto the top channel in the Timeline section, then drop it.
    Use a Green Screen Step 13 Version 2.jpg
  9. Add your background to the second channel. Click and drag the background photo or video onto the second channel at the bottom of the Timeline section, then drop it.
    Use a Green Screen Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • If you're using a background video, the video should be the same length as your green screen video.
    • If you're using a background image, you'll need to click and drag the image's left or right edge to extend it to be the length of the video.
  10. Select the green screen video channel. It should be at the top of the Timeline section.
    Use a Green Screen Step 15 Version 2.jpg
  11. Click the tab. This option is at the top of the window. A "Filters" menu will appear in the Playlist section.
    Use a Green Screen Step 16 Version 2.jpg
  12. Click . You'll find this below the "Filters" menu. Doing so will open a list of available filters in the Playlist section.
    Use a Green Screen Step 17 Version 2.jpg
  13. Click the "Video" icon. It's a computer monitor-shaped icon below the Playlist section. This will show all available video filters.
    Use a Green Screen Step 18 Version 2.jpg
  14. Click . You'll find this in the middle of the Playlist window. Doing so opens the green screen settings.
    Use a Green Screen Step 19.jpg
  15. Adjust the green screen distance. Click and drag the "Distance" slider to the right until your green screen replacement image or video appears in place of the green screen on the right side of the window.
    Use a Green Screen Step 20.jpg
    • As a general rule, you want to avoid moving this slider over to the "100%" mark.
  16. Preview your movie. Click the "Play" triangle below the movie window on the right side of the window, then adjust your green screen as needed. If you can see a large amount of the green screen, drag the "Distance" slider to the right; if you can't see enough of the background, drag the slider left.
    Use a Green Screen Step 21.jpg
  17. Export your movie. Click File, click Export Video..., click Export File at the bottom of the menu, and type into the "File name" (or "Name" on Mac) text field, replacing "name" with whatever you want to name your file. Click Save when you're done to begin exporting the file.
    Use a Green Screen Step 22.jpg
    • Exporting may take several minutes to several hours based on the video's size and resolution.

[Edit]Editing with LightWorks

  1. Open the LightWorks download page. Go to in your browser, then click the blue Download Now button in the upper-right side of the page.
    Use a Green Screen Step 23.jpg
  2. Select your operating system. Click the Windows tab or the Mac tab depending on which type of computer you use.
    Use a Green Screen Step 24.jpg
  3. Download LightWorks. For a Windows computer, click Download 32-bit for a 32-bit operating system, or click Download 64-bit for a 64-bit operating system.
    Use a Green Screen Step 25.jpg
  4. Install LightWorks. Once the LightWorks setup file finishes downloading, do the following:
    Use a Green Screen Step 26.jpg
    • Windows - Double-click the setup file, click Yes when prompted, select a language and click OK, click Next, check "I accept" and click Next, click Next three more times, enter a random number, and click Install. Click Next and then Finish when the installation completes.
    • Mac - Open the LightWorks DMG file, click and drag the Shotcut icon onto the Applications folder shortcut, and verify the software if prompted. Follow any other on-screen instructions as they appear.
  5. Open LightWorks. To do so:
    Use a Green Screen Step 27.jpg
    • Windows - Double-click the red LightWorks icon on your desktop.
    • Mac - Click the LightWorks app icon in your Mac's Dock, or click Spotlight , type in , and double-click the lightworks result.
  6. Click . It's a link in the upper-left corner of the window.
    Use a Green Screen Step 28.jpg
  7. Set up your project. In the pop-up window that appears, do the following:[4]
    Use a Green Screen Step 29.jpg
    • Enter a name in the "Name" text field.
    • Click the "Frame rate" drop-down box.
    • Click Mixed rates
    • Click Create
  8. Click the tab. It's near the upper-left side of the window.
    Use a Green Screen Step 30.jpg
  9. Select files. Click the green screen video that you want to use, then hold down (Windows) or (Mac) while clicking the image or video that you want to use as the background.
    Use a Green Screen Step 31.jpg
    • If you don't see the files that you want to use, click the Places button and then select the folder in which your files are stored in the drop-down menu.
  10. Click . It's in the lower-left corner of the window. This will import your files into LightWorks.
    Use a Green Screen Step 32.jpg
  11. Click the tab. This option is at the top of the LightWorks window, just right of the LOG tab.
    Use a Green Screen Step 33.jpg
  12. Create a second video track. Right-click the horizontal track section at the bottom of the window, click Tracks in the drop-down menu, and click Add video in the pop-out menu. You should see a "V2" track category appear on the left side of the window.
    Use a Green Screen Step 34.jpg
  13. Add your files to the track area. Click and drag your green screen video into the "V1" section of the track area and drop it there, then drag the image or video that you want to use as a background into the "V2" section.
    Use a Green Screen Step 35.jpg
    • If you're using a background video, the video should be the same length as your green screen video.
    • If you're using a background image, you'll need to click and drag the image's left or right edge to extend it to be the length of the video.
  14. Click the tab. It's at the top of the LightWorks window.
    Use a Green Screen Step 36.jpg
  15. Add the green screen Chroma key effect. Right-click the "V1" track at the bottom of the window, click Add, click the Key category, and click Chromakey in the menu.
    Use a Green Screen Step 37.jpg
  16. Select your green screen. Click the eyedropper icon to the left of the "Saturation" section, then click the green part of the green screen. This will select any matching color as the item to replace with your background image or video.
    Use a Green Screen Step 38.jpg
  17. Adjust the green screen. Click and drag the "Remove spill" slider that's on the left side of the page to the right. Doing so minimizes the amount of green that you'll see due to inconsistent color in your green screen.
    Use a Green Screen Step 39.jpg
  18. Preview the video. Click the triangle-shaped "Play" button below the video on the right side of the window to see how your video turned out.
    Use a Green Screen Step 40.jpg
    • If you need to adjust the green screen some more, do so on the left side of the window.
  19. Export your video. To do this, click the EDIT tab again, right-click the track section, click Export, click YouTube, uncheck the "Upload to" box if it's checked, and click Start in the bottom-left corner of the drop-down menu. This will convert the project into a playable video file.
    Use a Green Screen Step 41.jpg
    • Exporting may take several minutes to several hours based on the video's size and resolution.


  • Never wear any shade of green in front of a green screen, as doing so will cause your clothing to blend into the background.[5]


  • LightWorks is free to use, but several features (such as the ability to export to a file type like MP4) are locked if you don't own the paid Pro version.


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Season Cast Iron in the Oven

Posted: 02 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PST

Cast iron pans, skillets, and Dutch ovens are some of the best tools you can have in your kitchen. Their versatility and ability to heat evenly make them popular for stovetop and oven cooking. However, they also have to be cleaned and seasoned in a specific way to guard against rust. Before using cast iron for the first time, wash it thoroughly in soap and water. You can then give it a thin coating of a heat-resistant fat like vegetable oil to bake into its surface. Seasoning cast iron means covering it with a layer of blackened oil, and that seasoning can make a pot or pan last for decades.


[Edit]Cleaning Cast Iron

  1. Preheat the oven to . Let your oven warm up while you're busy preparing the pan. You can use it to finish drying the cast iron in addition to seasoning it. However, make sure it doesn't get too hot, or else it could overheat the cast iron and even burn the oil used for seasoning later.[1]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Any temperature from is fine, so you won't have a problem even if your oven isn't precise.
  2. Use a sponge to thoroughly scrub the cast iron with soapy water. Pour about of your regular dish detergent onto the cast iron. Run hot water in your sink, then scrub the cast iron all over with a sponge. Eliminate any noticeable debris on the surface so it doesn't get in the way of the oil coating used for seasoning.[2]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Focus on the inner part of the item, but don't neglect the outer part. It too needs to be seasoned.
    • To remove stubborn debris, scrub the cast iron with a nylon kitchen brush or a nonabrasive scrub pad. Avoid anything that could potentially leave scratches in the metal.
  3. Rinse the cast iron with clean water. Wash off all of the soap and any debris. Once it is clean, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Remove as much of the moisture as you can. Any water left on cast iron long-term can cause it to rust.[3]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Normally, using lots of water is bad for cast iron. Since you're going to dry and season your right away, washing it clean is safe.
  4. Put the cast iron in the oven for 5-10 minutes to remove all moisture. Place the cast iron on the middle rack in your oven. If it doesn't have a middle rack, you can use a higher one instead. Set a timer and come back afterward to take the item out of the oven.[4]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Preheating the cast iron removes any remaining moisture on it and helps the oil coating spread more evenly. You can effectively season cast iron without doing this, but it's a short step that improves the final result.
  5. Set the cast iron on a heat-safe surface after taking it out of the oven. Since it wasn't in the oven for long, the cast iron won't be extremely hot. However, it can still cause damage, so be careful when handling it. Pull it out with an oven mitt, then set it somewhere safe, such as your stovetop.[5]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • In most cases, you won't have to wait for the cast iron to cool before seasoning it. Place your hand near it to detect any heat coming off of it. If it feels too hot to handle, give it 2 to 3 minutes to cool.
    • Keep in mind that the heat of the cast iron will vary depending on how hot your oven gets and what temperature you set it to earlier. Every oven is a little different.

[Edit]Oiling the Cast Iron

  1. Pour about of vegetable oil onto the cast iron. Add the oil, then tip the cast iron from side to side to spread it around. Make sure the entire surface is well-coated with the oil. Depending on the size of the piece you're seasoning, you may need to add a little extra oil to finish coating it.[6]

    • If you don't have vegetable oil, canola oil, lard, shortening, flax oil, and even bacon grease are also safe to use. As long as you use something oily that resists moderate heat, you can season cast iron with it.
  2. Spread the oil around the inside of the cast iron with a clean cloth. Rub the oil all over the inside of your item, including around the sides and rim. Make sure the oil forms a thin, consistent layer over the entire interior portion of the item. When you're done spreading it around, wipe the cast iron down with a clean part of the rag to remove any excess oil still in it.[7]

    • Even if the cast iron looks dry, wipe it down. There is always a little extra oil left on the surface, and it will drip off into your oven if it isn't removed now.
  3. Flip the cast iron and spread of oil around its exterior. The exterior portion also benefits from seasoning. Pour the oil over the item, then use a cloth to rub it in. Keep applying more oil as needed to cover the entire exterior in a thin but consistent coating. Wipe off the excess when you're done.[8]

    • Remember to get the handle in addition to the sides and bottom portion of your item. These spots will rust too if they aren't well-maintained.

[Edit]Heating Cast Iron in an Oven

  1. Place the cast iron upside down on your oven's middle rack. Be careful, since your oven will still be hot from earlier. Wear an oven mitt when sliding the cast iron into the middle part of your oven. If you don't have a middle rack, you can put the cast iron on a higher rack.[9]

    • Leave plenty of space near the bottom of the oven for another pan or at least a rack with aluminum foil over it.
  2. Fit a piece of aluminum foil underneath the cast iron on the bottom rack. The sheet of foil is there to catch any oil dripping off the pot. If it falls onto the heating element, it could begin to smoke or burn. You could also use another pan, such as a baking tray, to catch the oil.[10]

    • If you spread the oil in a thin enough layer, little to no oil will fall from it. Still, place something underneath the cast iron for safety.
  3. Bake the cast iron in the oven for 1 hour. Set a timer and wait as the cast iron heats up. It will get very hot during this time, but not hot enough for the oil to burn. Instead, the oil will bake into the cast iron to form a protective non-stick surface.[11]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Watch for any signs of smoking, sizzling oil. If you notice any issues, turn off the oven and let it cool down. Soak up any spilled oil with a paper towel.
  4. Turn off the oven and let the cast iron cool for 2 to 3 hours. It will be very hot, so don't rush to take it out. After several hours have passed, open the oven door and put your hand close to the cast iron. If you feel a lot of heat coming off of it, leave it to cool for a little longer. Otherwise, you can begin using it right away.[12]
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • If the cast iron is still a little warm, be sure to put it on a heat-safe surface, such as your stovetop.
    • You can season cast iron multiple times by applying more oil. Once is enough for most pieces of cast iron, but seasoning repeatedly leads to a stronger, thicker non-stick coating.
  5. Clean and store cast iron in a dry spot after using it. Once cast iron is well-seasoned, you can use it to cook almost anything, from meats to desserts. If you aren't using it immediately, put the cast iron safe in a moisture-free spot with good air circulation. It can be left out on your countertop, stovetop, or placed in the oven, for instance. If it has a lid, place a paper towel underneath the lid so air can get it.
    Season Cast Iron in the Oven Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • After cooking with your cast iron, wait for it to cool down. While it's slightly warm, clear off any debris with a little bit of soap, warm water, and a sponge or soft-bristled brush. Apply the fresh layer of oil with a cloth or paper towel, then wipe off the excess. You could also heat the cast iron at about for 15 to 20 minutes to further bake in the oil.[13]
    • After drying it, cover it with another coating of oil to keep it well-seasoned.


  • Cast iron can also be seasoned by oiling and heating it on a stovetop, unless you have a glass one. Glass stovetops are prone to scratches and often fail to heat cast iron pans evenly unless they have flat bottoms.[14]
  • To clean cast iron after cooking, wipe it with paper towels while it is still warm. You can wash it in a little warm water, but dry it right after and scrub in another coating of cooking oil to prevent rust.[15]
  • After seasoning cast iron, wash it with a mild soap as needed to remove tough debris. Avoid strong degreasing cleaners that can wear our your cookware and remove its oil coating.[16]
  • Rusty cast iron is fixable with fine steel wool, hot water, and dish soap. Scrub it clean before reseasoning it.[17]


  • Cast iron gets very hot during the seasoning process, so be careful to avoid handling it without an oven mitt. Give it plenty of time to cool down afterward.
  • The oil used in the seasoning process could smoke or even catch fire if you're not careful. Use something with a high smoke point, like vegetable oil, and line a lower rack with foil to catch drips.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Clean cloths or paper towels
  • Vegetable oil
  • Warm water
  • Aluminum foil or oven-safe pan
  • Oven


How to Show Affection Using Different Love Languages

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 04:00 PM PST

The concept of "love languages" was created by relationship counselor Gary Chapman in his 1992 book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Since then, love languages have been used by many to help learn how they best express and receive love, which leads to better communication and relationships with loved ones. The five love languages are Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Knowing your love language is an important part of being in any type of relationship, but it doesn't stop there! To best use this information, you'll also need to know your loved one's love language so that you can express your affection and appreciation in a way that they'll understand.


[Edit]Giving Gifts to Your Loved Ones

  1. Give a gift that shows you've thought about why your loved one would like it. For people whose primary love language is Receiving Gifts, it's just as much about the meaning of the gift as whatever you're actually giving to them. In order to give them the best gift you can, really think about their interests, hobbies, what they have, and what they need.[1]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 1.jpg
    • For example, if your partner loves to cook and has been mentioning lately that they need a certain appliance or tool, that could be the perfect thing to give. It will show them that you appreciate their interests and listen to their needs.
  2. Make something that has special importance for you and the other person. Gift-giving doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money on an expensive item. Creating something for your loved one can be just as (if not more!) meaningful as purchasing them something. Think of something special that you and your partner share, like a hobby, an interest, or a memory, and then come up with a way to turn that into a handmade gift that you can present to your partner.[2]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 2.jpg
    • Some examples of things you can make include a scrapbook or photo album of pictures of you two together, a piece of jewelry, or an original drawing or painting of them.
  3. Stick to classics that are sure to bring joy if you're unsure of what to get. Some people truly are just hard to shop for! If you really can't think of anything to get this special person in your life, choose from a few classics and then make it individual for them. Buy them their favorite flowers and a bottle of their favorite wine, a book that you think they'll enjoy, some foods that they love (you can almost never go wrong with chocolate!), a piece of clothing that they'd look good in, or jewelry.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 3.jpg
    • When in doubt, choose something practical that you know they'll be able to use for a long time to come. For example, a nice coffee mug might not seem like the most exciting or unique gift, but your significant other is bound to get plenty of use out of it, which will bring them more happiness in the long term.[3]
  4. Choose experiential gifts so you can enjoy them together. Researchers have found that people get the most joy out of gifts they can experience rather than material objects. Even better, an experiential gift is something the two of you can do together, which is a great opportunity for bonding as a couple.[4] Try signing your love up for a class, buying them tickets to a show, or getting them a membership at a local club, museum, or gym.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 4.jpg
    • Look for things that you can do together that reflect your shared interests. For example, if you both like to travel, you might buy tickets for a weekend getaway for two!
  5. Spend time wrapping or preparing whatever it is that you are giving. The way a gift is presented says a lot. You don't want to get them something and then just hand it over in a plastic bag. Find some nice wrapping paper or a pretty gift box or bag, and add a personal note from you to them.[5]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 5.jpg
    • Studies show that people respond more positively to gifts that are nicely wrapped. Plus, taking the time to make the gift look good shows that you care enough to put in some effort!
  6. Present the gift to the person at the perfect time or in a unique way. Now that you've got the perfect gift and wrapped it nicely, you also have to take a moment to think about the best way and time to give it. The moment and method each should be special. Think, for example, of the classic engagement-ring-in-a-glass-of-champagne proposal.[6]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 6.jpg
    • You could hide a gift somewhere and have your loved one do a scavenger hunt to find it, with clues along the way or at important places in your relationship.
    • Pick a time when you're both relaxed and happy and won't be interrupted. That way, you can both savor the moment and get more joy from the acts of giving and receiving.
  7. Keep track of special occasions so you can give timely gifts. People who value receiving gifts tend to feel hurt when their loved ones overlook special moments, like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.[7] Stay on top of meaningful dates and start looking for gifts in advance so you don't leave your partner hanging when the big day comes around.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 7.jpg
    • If you have a hard time remembering special dates, use a planner or set reminders on your phone. Schedule alerts a few days in advance so you have time to start looking!
  8. Surprise them with "just because" gifts. If your loved one's love language is Receiving Gifts, surprising them with a special present out of nowhere is a great way to show that you care. When you're out and about, keep an eye out for little things that remind you of them, whether it's a shirt with their favorite quote on it or a snack they love. Next time you see them, hand them the item and say, "Hey, I saw this today and it made me think of you!"[8]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 8.jpg
    • You can also leave little gifts somewhere for them to find, even if it's just a love note tucked under their pillow or a special treat packed with their lunch.

[Edit]Spending Quality Time Together

  1. Do an activity that they enjoy with them. One of the best ways to show a loved one that you care for them is by participating in something that they love so you can share an experience with them. If they love to cook, shop for ingredients, make a meal, and then eat together; if they are a nature-lover, you might want to go for a hike or to a botanical garden for an afternoon; or if they love a band or singer, get tickets for you both to go to a concert.[9]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 9.jpg
    • If you're not sure what your partner wants to do, ask them! Surprising them with an outing or activity can be great, but it's also important to show that you value their input when planning time together.
  2. Plan a special event for just the two of you. While it's great to spend time with friends, family, and kids (if you have them), it's crucial for any couple to have one-on-one time together. Set aside time with your significant other where it's just the two of you, and look for ways to make it special.[10] Plan an evening at the theater, have drinks at your favorite pub, or go out on a cozy lunch date.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 10.jpg
    • If you have kids, hire a babysitter or ask a friend or relative to watch them for a few hours.
  3. Take a day off and do absolutely nothing together. Sometimes the best time spent with another person is when you don't have anything to do at all. Choose a day you both can be free, cancel all your other plans, and do nothing. You could go to a park and eat lunch, get a coffee and talk for a few hours, or just sit at home and watch TV on the couch all afternoon.[11]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 11.jpg
    • If you're watching something together, make time to discuss what you're watching with your partner. That way, they'll feel like you're spending time with them, and not just with the TV!
  4. Try something new with your loved one. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new is a great way to bond with your SO and bring new life to your relationship.[12] Visit a new restaurant together, go on road trip to some place you've never visited, or take on a new sport or hobby together, like rock climbing or painting.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 12.jpg
    • Trying something new is often exciting and fun, and when you share that excitement with a partner, you'll both come to associate those good feelings with the relationship and each other!
  5. Schedule at least 20 minutes of one-on-one time together every day. When you're busy with things like work, school, and family, it can be hard to find any time to spend with your partner, let alone going on dates or having adventures. Even when you're at your busiest, try to set aside at least 20 minutes each day just to really focus on each other.[13]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 13.jpg
    • For example, you might agree to have a 20-minute conversation every night before you both go to bed.
    • Avoid talking about stressful or routine things, like bills, chores, and work deadlines. Instead, focus on having a fun and relaxing conversation. For instance, you might talk about a movie you saw together, a book that one of you is reading, or a memory you both treasure.
  6. Give them your full attention when you're together. Feeling "alone together" can be really hard on people who value quality time. When you're spending time one-on-one with your partner, make eye contact, engage with them, and listen actively to what they have to say.[14]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 14.jpg
    • Don't keep checking your phone or staring at the TV while you're together. Put your phone away, turn the TV off (unless you're watching something together), and avoid interrupting them while they're talking to you.

[Edit]Affirming Your Love with Words

  1. Tell them you love them. One of the best ways to let someone know you love them is to just say it! If their love language is Words of Affirmation, they'll appreciate it even more if you also explain why you love them.[15] Whenever you find yourself thinking something nice about your loved one, say it out loud!
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 15.jpg
    • For example, you might say something like, "I love you so much. You're so smart and funny and kind!"
  2. Write a letter to your loved one and tell them what you appreciate about them. Gratitude is one of the key ingredients to a healthy relationship.[16] People whose love language is Words of Affirmation will especially love hearing how much you appreciate them! Make a list of things about your partner that you're grateful for and work it into a letter. Leave it someplace for them to find or give it to them during a special moment when you're together.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 16.jpg
    • Express your gratitude not only for the things they do, but also for who they are as a person. For example, you might say, "I'm so thankful for all the help and encouragement you've given me over the past few years in grad school. I love your kindness and wisdom."
    • If you feel moved to share your gratitude with the world, post a picture of you and the other person on social media and write a heartfelt caption.
  3. Leave them surprise love notes. Hide sticky notes with kind words written on them in places where the other person will find them. You could also tuck a little love letter into their lunch bag or leave a note on their pillow so they find it when they go to bed. For someone who values words of affirmation, finding a sweet surprise like this will make their day!
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 17.jpg
    • For example, you could leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that says, "You're gorgeous!" Or, if they're about to take a tough exam, stick a note in their textbook saying, "You've got this, I believe in you!"
  4. Write compliments down on slips of paper and put them in a compliment jar. Cut a few pieces of paper into lots of little strips. You should aim for at least 50. On each one, write a little note about something you like about the other person, such as "You always brighten my day," or "I appreciate how kind you are." Fill the jar, wrap it, and give it to the person, then tell them to pull out one of the slips of paper and read it whenever they feel down or want to feel loved.[17]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 18.jpg
    • If you're feeling crafty, you can decorate the jar to turn it into a beautiful art project that your loved one will appreciate even more!
  5. Offer words of encouragement in good and bad times. It's important to let your loved one know that you're there for them when things are bad. It's equally important to be their cheerleader when things are going well for them. Let them know that you support them no matter what.[18]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 19.jpg
    • For example, if they're going through a tough time, say things like, "I know you're struggling right now, but I want you to know I believe in you. I'm always here if you need me."
    • If they have a triumph, say something like, "I'm so proud of you, babe! You're amazing!"
  6. Avoid using insults or hurtful criticisms. For people whose love language is Words of Affirmation, harsh words can be especially hurtful. Always be mindful of how you're speaking to your loved one. If you have a disagreement, try phrase any critiques in a constructive, non-judgmental way.[19]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 20.jpg
    • Avoid character attacks and generalizations like "You always . . ." or "You never . . ."
    • Practice using I-language to express yourself so that you take ownership of your own feelings without placing the blame on your partner. For example, try saying, "I feel frustrated when I come home every day and the dishes are in the sink. It would really help me if you could load the dishwasher more often."

[Edit]Doing Acts of Service

  1. Ask your loved one if they need help with anything. For many people, asking for help can be difficult, so just asking someone if there's anything you can do to make their life just a little easier is a great way to show that you care.[20] Set an intention to ask if there's anything you can do for them at least once a day.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 21.jpg
    • Say something like, "Hey, I know you're really swamped with work right now. Is there anything I can do to help out?"
    • Whatever they ask, be prepared to do it, whether it's taking out the trash, helping them run errands, or giving them a hand with the dishes!
  2. Create a "coupon book". These coupons are typically good for different tasks that they might not want to do every now and then—taking out the trash, doing a load of laundry, cleaning dishes. If you want, you can change it up a bit to make the coupons personalized for whomever you're gifting it to. Let them cash in their coupon any time they're in need of a little extra help!
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 22.jpg
    • For example, you could create coupons that say things like "Good for 1 load of laundry." You can draw your own by hand, or search for a printable template online.
  3. Perform small tasks and little favors that they ask you to do. Your acts of service don't have to be one huge gesture of love like building a house or fixing a car. Instead, you can do the little things that they need done: turning off the lights in a room, cleaning off the table after a meal, carrying a bag of groceries. It may seem insignificant to you, but a person whose love language is Acts of Service will appreciate these tasks as being very meaningful.[21]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 23.jpg
    • Doing lots of little favors in a day or over a period of time can add up to say something big, which is that you appreciate the other person and want to do things to make their life easier and better.
  4. Pay attention to their needs. While it may not seem like much, one of the biggest ways to be of service to someone is just to pay attention. Listen when they talk and take mental notes of what's going on in their life. This will help you figure out how best to help them in the future. Being attentive to your loved one and being mindful of their needs is part of the foundation of any healthy relationship.[22]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 24.jpg
    • For example, if you notice that your friend is complaining about not having enough time to get all of their errands done in a day, you could offer to go do one of their errands for them.

[Edit]Showing Love Through Touch

  1. Look for opportunities to touch your partner during regular interactions. When you're with your loved one, find excuses to touch them as you're going about your daily routine. For instance, you might reach out to brush some hair out of their face, put your hand on their arm to emphasize a point while you're chatting, or give their shoulder a squeeze while you're pouring them a drink. It may not seem like much, but these little touches are a great way to show your love in ordinary moments.[23]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 25.jpg
    • Holding hands while you're walking or sitting together is a simple, classic gesture of affection.
    • When you're sitting side-by-side, lean in so that your shoulders touch, or briefly rest your head on their shoulder.
  2. Give them a nice, long hug at least once a day. Taking time for a hug every day can deepen your relationship with your partner or loved one, especially if their love language is Physical Touch. Greet them with a big hug when you first get up in the morning or when they come home at the end of the day.[24]
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 26.jpg
    • Another great way to deepen your physical bond with your partner is to give them a lingering kiss—try to make it last at least 6 seconds.
  3. Offer them backrubs when they feel tense. Backrubs and other forms of massage are an awesome way to show affection while also helping to relieve your loved one's physical and emotional stress.[25] If they seem stressed or their muscles are aching, come up and offer to help work out their neck and shoulders, or ask if they want to lie down for a more intense back massage.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 27.jpg
    • Occasionally, you can even make an event of it. Break out the scented candles and massage oils and treat them to a romantic and intimate massage.
  4. Ask them how they like to be touched. Even if your sweetheart's love language is Physical Touch, not everyone enjoys being touched in the same way.[26] Communicate with them to figure out what kinds of touches they like or dislike. This will make your intimate contact more enjoyable for them and also show them that you care about their needs and preferences.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 28.jpg
    • For example, say something like, "Do you like it when I caress you like this?" or "Is this okay?"
  5. Make time to get intimate in the bedroom if you're both comfortable with it. The love language of Physical Touch isn't all about sex, but sex is a key part of many relationships.[27] If sex is important to you and your sweetheart, then set aside time for that kind of intimacy—even if you're both busy.
    Show Affection Using Different Love Languages Step 29.jpg
    • While scheduling sex doesn't seem like the most romantic thing in the world, making time for intimacy can be very healthy for your relationship.[28] It helps create a sense of importance and priority around those special moments with your partner.
    • Set aside a time that works well for both of you, when you won't be pressured or interrupted. For example, you might plan to get intimate every Friday evening after work.



How to Become Flexible

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 08:00 AM PST

What most people call "flexibility" includes the range of motion in your joints as well as the length of the ligaments and tendons that surround those joints. If you have the goal to become flexible, simply stretching may not be enough. Try yoga or pilates to improve your flexibility and pay attention to your overall health. Staying nourished and well hydrated will help you become flexible.[1]


[Edit]Starting a Stretching Regimen

  1. Warm up before starting any stretches. If you attempt to do stretching when your muscles are cold, you risk muscle strain or more significant injuries. Ideally, add your stretching regimen to the end of your regular exercise routine.[2]
    Become Flexible Step 8 Version 10.jpg
  2. Stretch your arms and shoulders. Start your stretching regimen either standing or sitting on the edge of a sturdy chair. If you're going to stretch your arms and shoulders while sitting, make sure you're sitting with good posture.
    Keep your back straight and neutral with your shoulder blades tucked down in line with your spine.
    Become Flexible Step 9 Version 11.jpg
    • Reach one arm straight across your chest, pressing gently with your other hand just above your elbow until you feel a stretch. Don't push your arm to force it further than it naturally goes. Hold the stretch for about 5 seconds, breathing deeply. Then release and do the other arm.
    • Lift one arm overhead and bend your elbow, dropping your hand behind your head. Grasp your fingers from below with the other hand if you can. If you can't, place your other hand below your elbow and push back gently until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold the stretch for about 5 seconds, then switch and do the other arm.
  3. Try a bridge to stretch your back. The bridge is a good whole body stretch that targets your back as well as stretching your chest, legs, and core. Begin this stretch by lying on the floor on your back with your knees bent at 90-degree angles and your feet flat on the floor.[4]
    Become Flexible Step 10 Version 12.jpg
    • Press your arms and palms into the mat on either side of you and lift your hips until your body forms a bridge with your thighs roughly parallel to the floor. Hold the bridge for 5 to 10 seconds, breathing deeply, then release to the ground. You can repeat this 3 to 5 times.
    • If you're looking for something more challenging, get into the bridge and then raise one leg towards the ceiling. Release your leg, then repeat with the other leg.
  4. Do a butterfly stretch. The butterfly stretch provides a good stretch for your glutes and thighs, as well as helping loosen your neck and back. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended.[5]
    Become Flexible Step 11 Version 12.jpg
    • Bend your knees to bring your feet together in front of you so that the soles of your feet are touching. Grasp your feet with your hands and lower your body toward your feet on an exhale. Make sure you
      engage your core and keep your back neutral,
      shoulders rolled back and not hunched.
    • Fold forward as far as you comfortably can. Hold the fold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, breathing deeply.
  5. Add seated trunk twists. Return to a seated position with your legs extended straight in front of you, feet and legs pressed together. Engage your core and sit tall with your shoulders rolled back so that your shoulder blades fall in line along your spine.[6]
    Become Flexible Step 12 Version 12.jpg
    • On an exhale, twist from the waist, bringing your hands to rest on the floor on the other side of your body. Keep your back neutral and make sure you're twisting from the waist, not angling your hips.
    • Hold the twist for 15 to 30 seconds, then return to center and repeat with the other side. You can do 2 to 4 repetitions of this exercise on either side.
  6. Lift into a swan stretch. The swan stretch is an adaptation of a yoga and pilates exercise that really opens up your chest as well as stretching your back and core. Start this stretch by lying on the floor on your stomach with your legs extended behind you.[7]
    Become Flexible Step 13 Version 12.jpg
    • Bend your elbows and press your palms into the floor on either side of your shoulders. On an exhale press up to extend your arms straight. Keep your shoulders back and down so they are rolling away from your ears.
    • Try to draw your shoulder blades together, grounding your hips into the floor.
      Feel the stretch in your chest.
      Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds, then release back down to the ground. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
  7. Kneel to stretch hip flexors and quads. This kneeling exercise is similar to lunges, but extending your back leg helps stretch your hip flexors as well as your hamstrings and quads. Start by kneeling on the floor.[8]
    Become Flexible Step 14 Version 12.jpg
    • Step one foot forward so that your knee is at a right angle. Step forward as far as you comfortably can – you'll feel a stretch in the opposite hip. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor, your knee directly over your ankle.
    • Grasp your front knee with your hands and press your hips forward, breathing deeply. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, then return to a kneeling position and repeat on the other side.

[Edit]Using Yoga or Pilates

  1. Loosen up your spine with the cat and cow pose. The cat and cow pose is a good yoga pose for beginners that can help increase flexibility in your back and core, as well as relaxing your mind and body. Start by coming to all fours on the ground.[9]
    Become Flexible Step 3 Version 11.jpg
    • Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Flatten out your back so that it resembles the flat top of a table and roll your shoulders down and back away from your ears. Breathe deeply.
    • On an inhale, arch your back deeply and lift your head up, opening your chest. Pause.
    • On an exhale, curve your back upward toward the ceiling, tucking your chin down into your chest and curving your shoulders slightly in.
    • Repeat the movement for 5 to 10 breath cycles, maintaining the coordination between breath and movement.
  2. Choose poses that can be easily modified. When you start yoga or pilates practice, you may not be able to achieve the full extent of the pose. Yoga blocks and rolled or folded towels can ensure you maintain the correct posture and don't force yourself to go too far.[10]
    Become Flexible Step 2 Version 11.jpg
    • For example, the forward fold will increase flexibility in your legs and back. You may not be able to place your palms flat on the floor beside your feet. However, you may be able to place your hands on a yoga block on the floor in front of you.
    • Your body will be different from one day to the next. Have patience and try not to get frustrated if you find you aren't able to go as far into a pose one day as you've been able to in the past.
  3. Hold poses for several breaths. One of the keys to using yoga or pilates for flexibility is to maintain the pose and breathe deeply into the stretch. This relaxes your body and will enable you to go further into the stretch.[11]
    Become Flexible Step 4 Version 11.jpg
    • As you inhale, think about solidifying your strength. On each exhale, release any tension and try to sink deeper into the stretch.
  4. Engage in continuous movement. Many yoga poses and pilates postures can be strung together with a movement for each breath. The continuous movement will help improve your flexibility as well as increasing blood flow to your joints.[12]
    Become Flexible Step 5 Version 11.jpg
    • Remember to maintain focus on your breath. If you become out of breath, or feel yourself holding your breath rather than coordinating your breath with your movement, slow down.
  5. Work up to sun salutations. A sun salutation is a vinyasa, a series of yoga poses done continuously with a breath for each movement. There are 12 poses in total in the sun salutation.[13]
    Become Flexible Step 6 Version 11.jpg
    • You'll start in a standing position, in what is known as the mountain pose in yoga. You'll move through the poses fluidly, coordinating your movement with your breath, then end once again in mountain pose.
    • Sun salutations also provide a good cardiovascular workout, and can serve as a warm up for other, more intense stretching or flexibility work.
  6. Focus on your breath. The breath is a central part of both yoga and pilates. Take a few minutes before you begin your yoga practice to meditate on your breath.
    Inhale slowly through your nose, pause, then exhale slowly through your mouth.[14]
    Become Flexible Step 1 Version 12.jpg
  7. Practice regularly and consistently. You won't notice any significant improvement in your flexibility unless your practice is consistent. You don't necessarily have to practice every day, but you should be able to
    set aside some time 3 or 4 days a week.[15]
    Become Flexible Step 7 Version 11.jpg
    • Start by practicing for 10 to 15 minutes 3 or 4 days a week. If you enjoy your practice, you may want to add more days, but make sure you can do this consistently.

[Edit]Maintaining Overall Health

  1. Eat nutritious whole foods. While there aren't any specific foods that have been proven to increase your flexibility, a good diet is essential for healthy and strong muscles and bones. Track your eating in a food diary for a couple of weeks so you can see what you're really putting into your body.[16]
    Become Flexible Step 15 Version 12.jpg
    • Eat foods that are as fresh as possible, rather than prepared meals, frozen dinners, and junk food.
    • Create meal plans to ensure that your meals are balanced, and practice portion control.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Flexibility requires healthy muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You can't expect optimal performance from muscles that are dehydrated. Dehydrated muscles also are tight and stiff. If you try to stretch stiff, dehydrated muscles, you could end up with a serious injury.[17]
    Become Flexible Step 16 Version 12.jpg
  3. Get a massage. Especially if you work out intensely or regularly engage in physical labor, a massage will help work out kinks and knots that develop in overworked muscles. Over time, these kinks and knots can significantly decrease your mobility.[18]
    Become Flexible Step 17 Version 12.jpg
    • You can use foam rollers to massage yourself, especially after workouts.
    • Find a massage therapist and try to make an appointment for a massage once every few months. It's not only relaxing but also can help with your goal to become more flexible.
  4. Take time to relax. When you're stressed out, you can carry a lot of tension in your muscles. This will cause you to be significantly less flexible. If you don't take time to relax and unwind, you will quickly undo any progress you've made towards becoming more flexible.[19]
    Become Flexible Step 18 Version 12.jpg

[Edit]Sample Stretches, Yoga, and Pilates Moves

[Edit]Expert Q&A

  • How do you improve your flexibility?

The best way to improve your flexibility is to stretch continually and consistently. Stretch throughout the day every day, and try to surpass whatever limits you had the day before. Let's say you're doing a hamstring stretch and you can get 75% of the way down. You would see that benchmark, then try to do that exact same stretch and get to 80% of the way down.

  • How do you become flexible in one day?

You can stretch, but you won't improve your range much in 24 hours. Instead, try applying heat, then cold to your muscles, and keep switching back and forth. For instance, if you want to improve the flexibility in your whole body, you might take a hot shower, then a cold bath. If it's more of a localized area, you might use a heating pad followed by an ice pack. You should also sleep to rest your muscles.

  • What are the benefits of being flexible?

The biggest benefit is that it improves your activities of daily living. When you pick up a box or a laundry basket, or you go to grab the newspaper, or you're chasing your kids around, it's going to be easier if you're more flexible. It also helps improve your circulatory system, so your heart can pump blood throughout your body more easily, and with that comes a better delivery of the proteins and nutrients that are necessary for your cells to function.


  • Talk to your doctor before you begin any new fitness program, particularly if you're recovering from a recent injury or have a chronic medical condition.

[Edit]Related wikiHows


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Play Badminton

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PST

Who wouldn't want to play the world's fastest racket game? Badminton can be played with two or four players. The object of the game is to score points by successfully hitting the shuttlecock over the net. Though the game has some similarities to tennis, the rules of badminton are distinct and important to know before you take a swing at your first game. If you want to be a badminton master or just impress that cute girl at the park, then let's get started.


[Edit]Learning the Rules

  1. Understand the object of the game. Badminton, like tennis, is a racket sport that is played by either two players or two teams of two players each. The object is for you or your team to get to 21 points first. You score a point whenever you successfully serve the shuttlecock and your opposing team commits a fault, which means that the team fails to appropriately return the shuttlecock.
    Play Badminton Step 1.jpg
    • To win each game, you must earn 21 points first, and win by two in the process. So, if both teams have a score of 20, one team must win by 22-20, and so on.
    • If you and your opponent cannot win by 2 and keep going until the score is 29-all, then the first team to score 30 points wins.
    • The first team to win two games wins the match. If the score is 1-1 in games, you must play a third deciding game.
  2. Get familiar with the badminton court. The badminton court is long by wide. If you're playing singles, you play on the part that is long but only wide. The net should be positioned halfway across the court, made of three-quarter inch mesh at the mark ( for singles), above the ground. When you're playing doubles, the extra 1 on the left and right side of the court (the doubles sidelines) are considered fair game for serving and returning. Here's what else you need to know:[1]
    Play Badminton Step 2.jpg
    • Each side of the court has a right and left service court. The server of one team must serve from one service court to the service court diagonal from it. Players must change courts after each point has been scored.
    • When serving in singles, you can serve to the opponent's diagonal service box and the back singles line on that side of the course, but not to the wider doubles sideline.
    • When serving in doubles, the player can serve to the opposing team's diagonal service box, including the doubles sideline, but not the singles long service line.
    • So, for singles service, the receiving court is longer and narrow, and in doubles service, the court is wide and short.
    • After the shuttlecock is successfully served, each team's entire court becomes fair game. The shuttlecock just has to stay within the bounds of the doubles or singles court.
    • Players can score points once a player commits a fault. If a server forces the opponent to take a fault, a point will be given to the server. If the recipient forces a fault to the server (so the server can't play it), the recipient will receive the point as well as the recipient becoming the new server for the next play.
  3. Understand the basics of play. Here's what you need to know before you start your badminton game, beyond the court information and the scoring rules:
    Play Badminton Step 3.jpg
    • Toss a coin or have another contest to decide which team will be serving first and which side they will play on.
    • The first serve of a badminton game comes from the right half of the court to the court that is diagonally opposite that court. For the rest of the game, if you have an even number of points serve from the right, if you have an odd number of points, serve from the left.
    • If the serving side commits a fault, then the receiving side gets a point and the serve shifts to that side. If the serving team serves and the receiving side commits a fault, then the serving team moves from one service court to the other and continues to serve. There is a point scored after every serve (unlike in volleyball, for example).
    • In doubles, each team only has one "service." So, if one player on one team serves and faults, then the shuttle goes to a player on the other team, and so on.
    • When a receiving team wins a point and gets the serve, the team does not switch sides but serves from where they are standing. If they win the first service point, then the players switch positions from right to left.
    • After each game, opponents change ends of the court, and the side that won the previous game gets to serve at the start of the next game.
  4. Understand how a player can get a fault. There are several reasons that a team or player can earn a fault. Here they are:
    Play Badminton Step 4.jpg
    • When the shuttlecock is served, the shuttlecock must be hit to a point higher or at the server's waist - otherwise it's a fault. If any part of the racket at the point of striking wasn't higher than any part of the serving player's hand, a fault can be given.
    • If the serving team fails to serve the shuttlecock over the net. The shuttlecock must be hit only once by the same player is to be considered fair in badminton. In badminton, you only get one try on each serve. The only exception is if your team gets a let, which is when the shuttlecock hits the net and falls over into the opponent's court. In that case, you get another try.
    • If you hit the shuttlecock into or under the net at any point in the game.
    • If the shuttlecock hits you.
    • If you hit the shuttlecock out of bounds or passes around or under the net to the player on the other side. Shuttlecocks falling on the line can be deemed as fair-play.
    • If you hit the shuttlecock on the ground on your side of the court or had extended beyond the longest service line, these contribute to a fault.
    • If the server fails to serve the shuttlecock into the correct opposing court.
    • If any player attempts to (successful or unsuccessful) obstruct their opponent in any way, these contribute to a fault on that player.
    • The feet of any player must be completely within the service court at the time of play - otherwise a fault will be called.
    • If the player is able to touch the badminton net with any piece of equipment including their clothes or any body part, this contributes to faults.
    • Balks contribute to a badminton fault too.
  5. Learn the basic ways to strike the shuttlecock. The standard badminton racket is long and weights anywhere from 4.5-5.5 ounces. Most of them are made with metal and nylon, and you'll need to generate enough energy to effectively strike the shuttlecock with this light racket. The main strokes are the forehand and the backhand (as in tennis) and you'll need a light, quick wrist to effectively strike the shuttle. Here's what you need to know about striking the shuttlecock:
    Play Badminton Step 5.jpg
    • It's all about the footwork. See the shuttle and use several small steps to position yourself so that you can easily strike it instead of having to stretch too much.
    • You'll need to practice the backswing, the forward swing and hit, and the follow through in order to hit the shuttle effectively. You should hit the shuttle's round center, not the feathers of the shuttle.
    • Perfect your clear shot. This is the most common shot and the goal is to strike the shuttle in a way that moves your opponent away from the net, which gives you time to set up your next shot.
    • Practice your drop shot. To hit this shot effectively, you'll have to hit a slow, gentle shot that makes the shuttle fall just over the net, making it hard to reach for your opponent, no matter how fast he runs.
    • Smash the shuttle. This is a powerful shot that you use to hit a shuttle that is above the height of the net. You'll need to raise you're racket behind your back, as if you were going to scratch it, anticipate the shuttle coming your way, and then hit it hard, diagonally down, as if you were smashing it over a fence.
    • Drive the shuttle. This can be a forehand or a backhand shot that makes the shuttle move parallel to the ground, just barely passing over the net, making it hard for your opponent to anticipate or return your shot.
    • Recognize that servers must be able to understand when his opponents looks ready to receive the stroke. The server must not serve when the opponent doesn't seem ready to receive.
      • Both players must be standing within the confines of the court with both feet stationary in contact with the ground until the server delivers the ball to their opponent. However, players must not stand on either of any of the lines painted on the ground - for these are considered to be outside of the service court's area.

[Edit]Mastering the Strokes

  1. Master the grip. The grip is how you hold your racket and it will affect every stroke that you hit. You have two basic grips in the game, one for the forehand and one for the backhand. Here's what you need to know:[2]
    Play Badminton Step 6.jpg
    • The forehand grip: Hold the racket with your non-playing hand, pointing the handle toward you with your racket face perpendicular to the floor. Put your hand on the handle as if you are shaking hands with it. Look for a V shape between your thumb and index finger. Rest the handle loosely in your fingers for more flexibility. Shorten the grip and place it closer to the shaft for more control of the racket when you're hitting the shuttle from forecourt and midcourt.
    • The backhand grip: Hold the racket as if you were holding a forehand grip. Then, turn it clockwise, so that the V shape you've formed moves to the right. Put your thumb against the back bevel of the handle for more leverage and power, resting the racket loosely in your fingers. Again, use a longer grip for clears and a shorter grip for net play. Relax your thumb and use more power from your arm instead for clears because the extension of your thumb is extremely limited in the short-court backhand grip, and you have more time to prepare for a backhand clear than for a mid court block or net kill, meaning that the leverage of the thumb isn't as important.
  2. Master the high and low serve. There are many ways to hit a badminton serve, from the high serve to the backhand serve. Here are a few serves you will need to know:[3]
    Play Badminton Step 7.jpg
    • The high serve. This is a great serve for moving your opponent back during singles play; it's a little trickier for doubles. You have to use an underhanded forehand for this serve. Relax, bend your knees, standing behind the short service line. Lead with your non-racket leg, placing your racket leg behind it. Move your racket back almost to your shoulder, then swing it forward. Hold the shuttle by the feathers and drop it slightly in front of you. Hit the shuttle with the flat face of your racket and follow through until your racket reaches all the way to the non-racket side of your head.
    • The low serve. This serve is more commonly used during doubles. You can use the forehand or the backhand for this motion.
      • For the forehand serve, stand behind the service line, bring your racket back to your waist level and start swinging forward. Hold the shuttle by the feathers and bring it close to meet the racket instead of dropping it. Hit the shuttle at a higher point, but still below your waist, and push it with the racket face, trying to make it just skim the tape of the net.
      • For the backhand serve, just lead with your racket leg and your non-racket leg behind, with your feet pointing toward your opponent. Use a short backswing and then bring the racket forward, holding the shuttle at the tip of the feathers in front of waist level. Then, push the shuttle with the racket face and try to make it skim the tape of the net. Shorten your grip for more control.
  3. Master the flick and drive serve. Here's what you need to know:[4]
    Play Badminton Step 8.jpg
    • The flick serve. Use this for a quick serve but do so sparingly. Use a forehand or a backhand, acting like you're going to push the shuttle in a typical low serve, but instead, use your wrist to quickly flick the shuttle over.
    • The drive serve. This is an attacking serve perfect for singles or doubles. This will make the shuttle travel at a flatter angle and at a faster pace. Use an underarm forehand, standing a bit further from the service line, leading with your non-racket leg, placing your racket a bit below waist level, bringing it back and parallel to your waist. Swing the racket forward and follow through as you drop the shuttle slightly sideways to your body, hitting it and letting it pass the net at a flatter angle.
  4. Master the forehand. Once you see that the shuttle is coming low and in front of you, you'll need to hit that forehand to beat your opponent. Here's what you have to do:
    Play Badminton Step 9.jpg
    • Drop the racket head down and behind you. Make sure that the racket extends out behind you.
    • Keep your knees bent and ready to move.
    • Move forward with your racket foot.
    • Keep your arm nearly straight as you swing the racket, snapping your wrist at the last possible second before you hit the shuttle.
    • Have an open racket face and swing the racket upward to generate momentum. Follow through until your racket hits near your opposing shoulder.
  5. Master the backhand. To hit a backhand, you have to wait for the shuttle to approach your backhand side. Here's what you do:
    Play Badminton Step 10.jpg
    • Move on your left foot and step your right foot around in front of your body (if you are right-handed and your backhand is on your left side, that is), making sure that your right shoulder faces the net.
    • Bend your right elbow and draw your right hand across your body to get ready to swing the racket, moving your weight to your back left foot, keeping your right foot loose and limber.
    • Shift your weight to your forward foot, straightening your elbow as you swing the racket forward until the racket face connects with the shuttle, following through to move the racket forward past your right shoulder.
  6. Learn to slice your shots. The slice can help slow down the shuttle or change its direction. This is a more advanced skill that will make it hard for your opponent to know where you're going or to be able to return the shuttle. Here's what you can do:[5]
    Play Badminton Step 11.jpg
    • Slice your net shots. Start the forward motion as usual and then move the racket inward as you slice it perpendicular to the center of the birdie, thus slicing the shuttle and making it spin cross court instead of moving forward, as your opponent would expect it to do.
      • If service of the shuttlecock from the server's racket causes the bird to touch the net and then go over, play must stop and the play is done over. However, if the shuttlecock happens to touch the net then go over further into the play, the stroke is good and the bird can remain playable.
    • Slice your drop shots. Just slice the racket, moving it perpendicular to the center of the shuttle when it's in the air. This will slow down the shuttle, making it quickly fall on the opponent's side near the net.
  7. Learn to hit an overhead shot. Also known as a smash shot, this shot allows you to use your power and to hit the shuttle at the top of its arc. To do this, aim your free hand up near the shuttle, and then swing the racket over your head with your racket hand, smashing the center of the birdie before it falls, directing it down in your opponent's court.
    Play Badminton Step 12.jpg
    • Aiming is important here -- try to aim the shuttle in a place that will be hard for your opponent to reach.
  8. Recognize some of the obvious errors made during serving that can (and can't) be considered a fault.
    • Servers must be able to get the bird over in their hit. If the bird get's attempted to be hit but is missed, a fault can't be charged. (Things do happen to the best of all people.)
    • If the bird is held on the racket during the execution of the stroke or if the bird get's hit twice, this is a fault.

[Edit]Mastering the Strategy

  1. Make sure to always return to "the stance of readiness" after each shot. After you return their shot, return to the middle of the court, so if they hit it to your left or right, you have more time to react and run to their shot, and return it back. Stay on your toes, and slightly move left and right ,so your energy and momentum is still active and you can be ready to run for the next move.
    Play Badminton Step 13.jpg
    • This stance means that your feet should be even with your shoulders and parallel and your toes should be pointed toward the net.
    • Keep your knees bent slightly and your racket in your hand with your arm across the front of your body.
    • Don't stand as if you were just normally standing up, or your body will be far too stiff to move well.
  2. Get ready to move anywhere any time. Be prepared to run up to the net, run cross court, back up all the way to the back service line, or to reach the shuttle from any position. The element of surprise is important here, too, so watch out for your opponent's tricks.
    Play Badminton Step 14.jpg
  3. Go for the overhead as often as you can. The overhead smash is the most powerful shot in the game because it allows you to hit the shuttle as hard and fast as you can, making it as difficult as possible for your opponent to return your shot. Look for opportunities to hit this shot when the shuttle is being returned high in the air.
    Play Badminton Step 15.jpg
  4. Keep your opponents running around. Don't hit the shuttle right back to your opponent every time, or you'll just be making it easier for him or her to hit the shuttle right back. Your goal should be to move your opponent or opponents up and down the court or back and forth across the court so they get winded and tired and don't have the opportunity to properly return the shuttle.
    Play Badminton Step 16.jpg
  5. Have a method to your madness. Don't just aim to hit the shuttle back and hope that your opponent messes up; have an idea of where you're going to hit it, how you're going to hit it, and why you're going to hit it a certain way. If you just blindly swing at the shuttle, you won't get very far.
    Play Badminton Step 17.jpg
  6. Exploit your opponent's weaknesses. If you want to win, then you have to make your opponent play your game and make him as uncomfortable as possible. If your opponent has a weak backhand (as most beginners tend to have), hit the shuttle repeatedly toward his backhand. If he's slow on his feet, move him around. If he loves to play near the net, hit your shots long and hard. If your opponent loves the smash shot, don't hit the shuttle in the air. Be attuned to your opponent's strengths and weaknesses so you can win as easily as possible.
    Play Badminton Step 19.jpg
    • It's important to observe your opponent closely. Whether you're starting a game or just rallying for fun, be on the lookout for your opponent's strengths and weaknesses as early as possible.
  7. Mix it up. Though always aiming for the overhead is nice, or hitting mostly forehands cross-court because that's your best shot is a good idea, if you do the same thing every time, your opponents will begin to catch on pretty fast. It's important to keep the element of surprise going, so your opponents are likely to be caught off guard and won't quite ever know what to expect when they play against you.
    Play Badminton Step 18.jpg
    • This includes where you serve, which shots you prefer, and where you tend to hit the shuttle.


  • Follow the rules and enjoy badminton.
  • Keep focused when playing.
  • Jump if needed!
  • Learn how to do different strokes to get better at playing badminton.
  • Be prepared.
  • Don't let your guard down, even if you think there's no way they could return your shot, there always a chance they could turn it around.
  • If you can get your opponent to be running around enough and not be able to focus on the distance of their hits you may be able to run up and tap it onto the ground on their side. Not actually hitting it but just stopping it from coming onto your side if it would hit the ground on your side right by the net. This is maybe rare but a checkmate.
  • Always stay in the middle of the court
  • Get a decent quality badminton racket, it will help a lot.


  • If you are using a shuttlecock that has real feathers, be aware at the feathers might break.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Badminton rackets for each person
  • A shuttlecock
  • A court
  • A badminton net


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Be Organized at Home

Posted: 29 Feb 2020 04:00 PM PST

If you live a busy life, it's easy to come home one day and find that you've let your home become totally disorganized. However, there's no reason to fret! Even if you don't know where to start, you can definitely turn the place around and be more organized at home. The best way to do this is to take it 1 room at a time, removing the clutter that has built up, and reorganizing things to make your home tidier and your life easier.


[Edit]Decluttering Your Home

  1. Get rid of anything in your home that you haven't used in 6 months. Generally speaking, if you haven't used something in 6 months, you're almost definitely never going to use it. Go through all the drawers, cabinets, and closets in your home and toss out anything that you can't remember using in the past 6 months.[1]
    Be Organized at Home Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • There are obviously some exceptions to this rule. If you have a costume in your closet that you only use at Halloween or decorations you only break out during the holidays, the 6-month rule doesn't apply to these items.
    • Mementos and items with strong sentimental value, like things that your children made for you, also don't fall under this rule. However, if the item only has a weak sentimental value, consider tossing it.
  2. Throw away expired food or any kitchen items you don't use. If there are items you'd like to keep but which you don't use that often, move them somewhere where they're not adding to a cluttered kitchen, such as on the top shelf of your pantry. Any items that you own but have never used and just can't see yourself using, donate them or throw them away.[2]
    Be Organized at Home Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • This sounds harsh, but this is the best way to keep your kitchen organized and free of clutter.
    • If there are food items that are about to expire, make a plan to use or eat them that day or the next day. If you don't think you'll eat them before they expire, throw them away.
  3. Toss out any clothes that don't fit you anymore. If you're looking to make your home more organized, there's no reason to keep clothes that you can't physically wear anymore. Root through all the clothes in your closet and dresser drawers and donate the ones that don't fit you to charity.[3]
    Be Organized at Home Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • If there are clothes you come across that still fit you but that you haven't worn in a long time, toss them out as well, unless you strongly feel that you'll wear them again.
    • If you have younger siblings that wear the same kinds of clothes as you, consider giving them your old clothes as hand-me-downs.
  4. Minimize the number of items you keep on the bathroom counter. Keeping as much open space on your counter as possible will not only make it look tidier, but will also make cleaning and reorganizing the counter in the future much easier. Remove any items that you don't use on a daily basis and push the remaining items to the back ⅓ of the counter space.[4]
    Be Organized at Home Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Those items that you take off of the counter can either be stored under the sink or on the backs of the cabinet doors, or simply thrown away if they're things that you know you won't use.
    • Use small, rectangular trays to hold any items that you leave out on the counter and to keep them in an orderly arrangement.
  5. Consider holding a garage sale and selling the things you don't need. This is the best way to turn the clutter in your home into a little bit of pocket cash for yourself. If you come across a lot of items that you don't use very often and can reasonably live without, sell them to both declutter your home and make money.[5]
    Be Organized at Home Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • This method is best if you declutter your home in the spring or summer; it'll be a lot harder to get people to come to your garage sale if you hold it during the cold weather months.

[Edit]Getting Your Stuff Organized

  1. Use hooks and organizers to hang items on walls and doors. Place over-the-door organizers over the backs of your bathroom door and cabinet doors or install command hooks on your doors and walls. Then, hang items from these surfaces to clear up space in your drawers and cabinets while also utilizing this vertical storage space.[6]
    Be Organized at Home Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Command hooks work great for storing cloth items like hand towels and washcloths, as well as utensils and accessories that feature hanging loops, such as oven mitts and spatulas.
    • In the bathroom, store items that you only use once or twice a day on the insides of cabinet doors, such as toothpaste. This way, the rest of your bathroom looks neat and clean for most of the day!
    • You can also technically use over-the-door organizers on the back of your bathroom door, although the door may be too tall for this method of organization to be terribly useful.
  2. Place items you use most often in easy-to-reach places. For example, store items you use every day in the kitchen, like your silverware and coffee mugs, in the most accessible areas of the room to emphasize ease-of-use in your kitchen organization. Do the same thing with key items in your bathroom, such as hand soap and towels.[7]
    Be Organized at Home Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • It will also make your rooms more organized to store similar items together. For instance, place all of your bowls and plates in one cabinet and all of your cups and glasses in another.
  3. Put cabinet items in easily stacked, see-through containers. These containers will allow you to use your cabinet space in the most efficient way possible, as well as make finding cabinet items much easier. For best results, opt for square or rectangle containers over circular ones.[8]
    Be Organized at Home Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • If you use these containers in the kitchen, make sure the containers are dishwasher safe so you can clean them before and after you store food items in them.
    • If the area under your bathroom sink has a lot of empty space, use see-through modular drawers that stack on each other to store bathroom items and add labels to the front of each to describe what they hold.
  4. Store things under your bed using thin storage containers. There's tons of tiny storage space under your bed that is hard to take advantage of without storage bins. Store bed linens and non-essential in these containers, or other items that you only use every once in a while, such as seasonal decor.[9]
    Be Organized at Home Step 9.jpg
    • Long, thin storage containers are the best to use under the bed, since they will stretch all the way to the back of the bed while still being long enough to be easily reached.
    • If you don't have thin containers, you can also use cubbies, baskets, or bags, or make your own containers out of repurposed dresser drawers.
  5. Use drawer organizers to bring order to messy kitchen drawers. These wooden or plastic drawer inserts are pretty cheap and are very useful for organizing your drawers. Use one organizer for silverware, another for larger utensils, and another for your "junk" drawer.[10]
    Be Organized at Home Step 10.jpg
    • If you have any items that are too big to fit in these drawer organizers, such as very long spatulas, store them separately in their own drawer or in a jar on the countertop.
    • If any of these items have hanging loops, see if you can hang them on command hooks on the walls or cabinet doors.
  6. Have furniture in the living room that maximizes storage space. For example, put tall shelves with large sections in the living room (or bedroom) so you can place a variety of large and small items on them. You can also opt for a 2-tiered coffee table instead of a traditional table to double its storage space.[11]
    Be Organized at Home Step 11.jpg
    • For added convenience, keep a collapsible stool behind the shelf or somewhere nearby so you can reach the items on the top shelf.
    • You can also go with a coffee table with drawers if you want the things you store in it to not be visible all the time.
    • If you don't plan to keep anything on top of your coffee table, or don't plan to use the stuff you store in it all that often, considering going with a lift-top coffee table.

[Edit]Keeping Your Home Clean and Tidy

  1. Take steps every day to keep the rooms in your home organized. A big part of organizing your home is keeping it from becoming disorganized in the first place. Make keeping your home organized part of your daily routine in order to maintain a "cleaning flow" and be more organized every day.[12]
    Be Organized at Home Step 12.jpg
    • For example, make your bed every morning or clean your kitchen counters at the end of each night.
  2. Deep clean your home once a week to maintain it. This deep cleaning can involve more involved cleaning tasks like cleaning your bathtub and shower, reorganizing and cleaning your refrigerator, or vacuuming all the floors in your home. Doing this deep cleaning each week will make keeping your home clean and organized much easier in the long run.[13]
    Be Organized at Home Step 13.jpg
    • For best results, try setting aside a particular day each weekend to devote to cleaning and organizing your home. That way, keeping your home organized will just be part of your ordinary weekly schedule.
  3. Avoid leaving clothes or other items on the floor. When you step into the shower or you're just coming home from work, it's all too tempting to just leave your clothes, shoes, or other accessories on the floor. However, this will only lead your home to become disorganized again. Instead, always be sure to put away clothes or accessories as soon as you take them off to keep your home clean.[14]
    Be Organized at Home Step 14.jpg
    • If you find you're always leaving your dirty clothes on the floor when you take a shower, it might be an issue with the way your bathroom is arranged. Make sure you have a hamper for your dirty clothes and put it in a convenient location in your bathroom.
  4. Keep items stored in your drawers neatly organized. If you store any clothes in dresser drawers, keep these clothes neatly folded instead of haphazardly tossed in the drawer. For smaller clothing items like socks, belts, or lingerie, use drawer dividers to keep these items in order.[15]
    Be Organized at Home Step 15.jpg
    • Although it may seem counterintuitive, keep shirts and pants in your drawers organized horizontally instead of vertically to make them easier to sort through.


[Edit]Related wikiHows


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Make Meat Pies

Posted: 29 Feb 2020 08:00 AM PST

Meat pies are tasty snack for all the carnivores and a great appetizer for parties and potlucks. Make a whole pie for the entire family or make individual pies, just for one! These meat pies are easy and fun to make, and create a great activity for the whole family. Using hearty ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, peas, and savory ground/minced beef to make amazing meat pies that your family and friends will love. Using a few everyday ingredients, you can create delicious meat pies for your next gathering or potluck event.



  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening or butter
  • 4 tbsp. cold water


  • 1 cup chopped potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tbs. margarine or butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or sage, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped carrots and peas
  • 2 cups ground beef


[Edit]Making the Dough

  1. Make the pie crust. Mix flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 tsp salt together in a large mixing bowl.
    Make Meat Pies Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Cut the butter or shortening into the flour. There are many different methods of cutting the butter into the flour, but all are equally effective with the right amount of elbow grease. Keep the butter at a cool temperature and begin by cutting large chunks. Keep cutting your chunks down until the butter is mixed in thoroughly. Aim to get small and uniform pea-sized chunks.
    Make Meat Pies Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Use a food processor. The easiest way to cut the butter is to use a food processor, pulsing the flour mixture for a minute or two, until the butter is chopped up to the appropriate size.
    • Use a pastry cutter for butter or shortening. A pastry cutter is a great way of chopping up the butter in a good uniform mixture, quickly and without much effort. Roll the pastry cutter through the flour mixture, clearing out the butter from behind the tines after you make each pass around the bowl, if necessary. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
    • Use a fork or two knives. If you don't have a pastry cutter or a food processor, don't worry. You can cut up the butter with the flat side of a table fork, or use two knives to slice the butter in opposite directions, or even just use the end of a metal spatula.
    • Just use your fingers with shortening. Shortening won't be greatly affected by the heat from your hands or from the room temperature, making it easy to crumble using your fingers.
  3. Mix cold water into the flour mixture. Pouring cold water one tablespoon at a time into your flour will help you integrate the water gently, allowing the dough to form loosely. The mixture should just barely come together and form a loose ball, and shouldn't be damp or wet looking.
    Make Meat Pies Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Be very gentle. The key to a flaky crust is to make sure you don't overwork the dough. If you overwork the dough, the crust will become tough and difficult to handle.
    • Your mixture will form soft lumps. These lumps should be moist enough that they will hold together if you gently press them between your fingers.
  4. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Very gently, pull the flour into a ball and then split the ball into two equal portions. The recipe should make two portions, one will be the bottom of your pie, and the other will be the top cover.
    Make Meat Pies Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • It's usually a good idea to chill the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready to roll it out and bake with it. If you've already got the oven pre-heated and you're anxious to get started, putting it in the freezer can be a good way to get the temperature down quickly.
    • If you want to save the dough for a longer period of time, freeze it in a self-sealing freezer bag. When you're ready to use it, let it defrost in the fridge overnight and roll it out normally.
  5. Roll the crust. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands and roll from the center to the edges with a rolling pin dusted with flour. Aim to form a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
    Make Meat Pies Step 5 Version 3.jpg

[Edit]Making the Filling

  1. Cook your meat. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 cups ground beef and 1/2 cup chopped onions. Season with thyme, cloves, chopped garlic (if desired) and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring to crumble the meat and mix in the spices, until the meat is evenly browned.[1]
    Make Meat Pies Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • If you'd like a more flavourful pie, you can also use a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg as seasoning.
  2. Discard the grease or fat. Once your meat is cooked through, use a wooden spoon or spatula to push your meat to one side of the pan and tilt the pan away, letting the grease pool on the other side. Spoon it grease out, or carefully tilt your pan over a grease safe container to dispose of it. Place your cooled grease into a sealed non-recyclable container and discard it into your regular trash can.[2]
    Make Meat Pies Step 7.jpg
    • Do not dump grease into the kitchen sink or toilet bowl or even use hot water to wash it down the drain. This allows grease to get into the sewage system or harden in your pipes.
    • Be careful whenever handling hot grease.
  3. Add the vegetables and beef broth. Chop 1 potato into small pieces and add it to the skillet with 1 1/4 cup beef broth to start. Pour in 1 1/2 cup carrots and peas. The beef broth will keep your filling moist once the grease has been drained out.
    Make Meat Pies Step 8.jpg
    • You can peel your potato if desired.
    • If you want something different, try using a sweet potato instead.
    • You can also add more or less beef broth as needed, but don't let your filling get too soupy.
  4. Thicken your pie filling (optional). You may need to thicken your filling if it gets too runny. This can be done in a number of ways. Here are some things to consider:[3]
    Make Meat Pies Step 9.jpg
    • Mix two tsp. of flour with 1/4 cup cold water or 1 tbsp. cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water before stirring it into your mixture
    • Thicken with flour. For each cup of filling, use about 2 tbsp. of flour. Add the flour in increments of 1 tbsp. Add the flour slowly and stir in each addition. This will help prevent lumps from forming in your filling. Cook and stir for 1 additional minute until your sauce is thickened and bubbly.
    • Thicken with cornstarch. For each cup of sauce, use 1 tbsp. of cornstarch. Add the cornstarch in increments of 1 tbsp. and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add 2 minutes to your cooking time for cornstarch.

[Edit]Making a Whole Meat Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Make Meat Pies Step 10.jpg
  2. Assemble a whole pie. Roll your pie crust around the rolling pin. Start from one edge and carefully wrap your crust around the pin. Transfer your crust to your pie dish by carefully unrolling it from your pin and laying it down into the dish.
    Make Meat Pies Step 11.jpg
    • Avoid stretching the pastry.
  3. Trim the crust. Trim to about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate and fold the extra pastry under to create a thicker crust on the rim.
    Make Meat Pies Step 12.jpg
  4. Fill your pie. To assemble your pie, slowly pour the filling into the pastry-lined pie dish. Level it off and don't overfill your dish.
    Make Meat Pies Step 13.jpg
  5. Cover your pie. Roll out an additional circle of dough or pastry and carefully place it over your pie. Pinch the edges of the bottom layer and top layer of dough together and create the knuckle-like pie edge ridges. Trim off any excess using a sharp knife.
    Make Meat Pies Step 14.jpg
  6. Make a few slits in the top. Use a sharp knife to cut some vents into the top crust to allow the steam to escape when cooking.
    Make Meat Pies Step 15.jpg
    • Brush the top of your crust with egg or melted butter. This will help keep the crust moist and prevent cracking.
  7. Bake your whole pie. Place your pie onto an oven rack in the center of your oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden brown.[4]
    Make Meat Pies Step 16.jpg
    • When your pie comes out of the oven, it will be hot! Make sure to let it cool on the countertop before serving.

[Edit]Making Individual Meat Pies

  1. Cut your dough. Roll out your dough and cut it into 6 even pieces, about 5 ounces each.[5] Roll the pieces into 6 individual balls
    Make Meat Pies Step 17.jpg
    • Dust your workstation with flour to prevent dough from sticking.
  2. Roll out your dough. Roll your pieces into about 8-inch flat circles. If your dough is very warm, it may be difficult to handle, cool it in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes if necessary.
    Make Meat Pies Step 18.jpg
  3. Fill your individual pies. Evenly divide your filling into about 3/4 cup per individual pie and scoop it onto half of each dough circle. Carefully fold the dough over to cover the filling and use your fingers or a fork to press the edges together.
    Make Meat Pies Step 19.jpg
  4. Slice slits into the tops of each pocket. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits into the top of your pies. This allows steam to escape when baking and helps to prevent the pie from cracking or bursting in the oven.
    Make Meat Pies Step 20.jpg
    • Brush the top of your pockets with egg or melted butter to keep the top moist.
  5. Bake your pies. Bake your pies on a lightly oiled or non-stick baking sheet in the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown and flakey.
    Make Meat Pies Step 21.jpg
    • Enjoy with a side of ketchup.

[Edit]Trying Creative Variations

  1. Try different types of meat. Use ground pork, chicken, turkey, or any meat you prefer. You can also mix meats for a more creative pie. Try cooking bacon and mixing it into your ground meat. Buy your favorite Italian sausage and cut it out of the casting to mix into your pie filling. You can try lamb, veal, or even tuna flakes.
    Make Meat Pies Step 22.jpg
    • Make sure your meat is fully cooked before adding it to your filling.
  2. Make mincemeat sweet pie. If you are looking for a sweet and savory pie, try adding some additional ingredients to your filling recipe. Add:[6]
    Make Meat Pies Step 23.jpg
    • 8 ounces of raisins.
    • 4 ounces of dried figs (chopped).
    • 2 ounces dried cherries (chopped)
    • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped.
    • 1 lemon zested and juiced.
    • 1 orange zested and juiced.
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground clove
    • 6 ounces dark brown sugar
  3. Make a spicy meat pie. Bring some heat to your meat pie with the addition of a few ingredients and seasonings. Try mincing 1 jalapeƱo  chili and 2 garlic cloves for your filling. Add 4 tsp of curry powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper. Use these seasonings when cooking your ground beef to create a delicious spicy meat pie.
    Make Meat Pies Step 24.jpg
  4. Get creative. Use your favorite ingredients and flavors to influence your own version of a meat pie. For a Mexican influenced meat pie, add refried beans and cheddar cheese to your filling. If you are looking for a vegetarian meat pie, substitute 1/2 cup (90 g) brown lentils for ground meat. You can also try adding artichoke hearts. Get as creative as you'd like!
    Make Meat Pies Step 25.jpg
  5. Finished.
    Make Meat Pies Final.jpg



  • You can bake your pastries and then freeze them if you desire. To reheat, just place a pastry on a baking sheet and cook in an oven at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until warmed all the way through.
  • If you have leftover dough, roll out into a thin square, spread butter on it, sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar over the butter, roll it into a log, and slice into mini rounds. When you reduce the heat while baking the pie, slip the little cinnamon treats in, and bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  • If you don't want to make your own pie crust, you can always use a pre-made crust from your grocery store to speed up the preparation time.
  • Roll dough out on parchment paper first, its easier to transfer in your pie tin.
  • You can place your pie dish on a cooling rack after baking to help it cool more quickly.


  • Always use oven mitts when handling baking sheets or pie dishes directly from the oven.
  • If your oven doesn't bake very evenly, rotate the pie halfway through the cooking time

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Large cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Fork
  • Knife
  • Pie dish
  • Baking sheet
  • Large skillet

[Edit]Related wikiHows


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Calculate Leap Years

Posted: 29 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

Leap years are a way to ensure that our calendar is on track. There are roughly 365.24 days in a year, which means that we need to add 1 extra day once every 4 years, and a year with 1 extra day is known as a leap year. We need to do this to ensure that we don't fall several hours behind each year. Calculating leap years is easy, but there are a few special rules to keep in mind as you do your calculations. If you prefer to look at a calendar instead of doing the math, then this is also an option.


[Edit]Using Division

  1. Identify the year you want to check. Calculating leap years requires having a year that you want to check. Use a past year, the current year, or a future year as your starting point.[1]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you could start by checking 1997 or 2012 if you want to look at a past year, or go with 2019 to check the current year, or select 2025 or 2028 to check a future year.
  2. See if the number is evenly divisible by 4. Dividing the year by 4 will result in a whole number with no remainder if the number is evenly divisible. The number must be evenly divisible by 4! Otherwise, it is not a leap year.[2]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, dividing 1997 by 4 gives you 499.25, which is not a whole number because it ends with a decimal. Therefore, it is not a leap year.
    • When you divide 2012 by 4, you get 503, which is a whole number. This means that 2012 is likely a leap year.
  3. Confirm the number isn't evenly divisible by 100. If a year is evenly divisible by 4, but it is not evenly divisible 100, then it is a leap year. If a year is divisible by both 4 and 100, then it might not be a leap year, and you will have to perform 1 more calculation to check.[3]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, 2012 is evenly divisible by 4, but not 100 since it results in a decimal answer (20.12). This means that 2012 is definitely a leap year.
    • 2000 is divisible by 4 and it is also evenly divisible by 100 since it leaves a result of 20. That means that 2000 might not be a leap year and you will have to divide it 1 more time.
  4. Check if the number is evenly divisible by 400 to confirm a leap year. If a year is divisible by 100, but not 400, then it is not a leap year. If a year is divisible by both 100 and 400, then it is a leap year.[4]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, 1900 is evenly divisible by 100, but not 400 since it gives you a result of 4.75. This means that 1900 is not a leap year.
    • On the other hand, 2000 is evenly divisible by 100 and 400, since it gives you a result of 5. That means that the year 2000 is a leap year.

[Edit]Checking a Calendar

  1. Locate the year you want to know about in a calendar.[5] Start by identifying the year that you want to check and then get out a physical calendar or open an online calendar to check that year. If you are using an online calendar, then you should be able to look back or ahead by at least a few years.[6]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you want to see if 2016 was a leap year, go back to that year's calendar.
    • If you want to check if 2021 is a leap year, go to that year online.
  2. Turn to February and see if there is a 29th day. Leap years always result in 1 extra day that is placed at the end of February, since this is the shortest month in the year. Turn to that month in the calendar and check to see if there is a February 29th listed. If there is, then it is a leap year.[7]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 6.jpg
    • If February only goes through the 28th, then it is not a leap year.
  3. Expect another leap year in 4 years. Each year lasts about 365 days and slightly under 6 hours. That extra 6 hours adds up to an extra day over the course of 4 years, which is why leap years occur almost every 4 years. Count ahead 4 years from the last leap year to estimate when the next leap year will be.[8]
    Calculate Leap Years Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, since 2016 was a leap year, you could count ahead 4 years to 2020 as a way to predict the next leap year.


[Edit]Quick Summary

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