Author: Jonathan van Halem

Photo: DG FotoStock (Shutterstock)Let me start off by saying sponges are generally bad. Sometimes they smell. Sometimes they’re not up for the task. But love them or hate them, they’re a necessary part of keeping a clean kitchen. If you feel like you’ve been spending more money on sponges recently, you’re not alone. According to the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of household cleaning supplies have gone up an average of 10.1% over the past year. With that in mind, here are three tips on how to get the most mileage out of your…

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Photo: ChameleonsEye (Shutterstock)Not everyone loves the sun. Not everyone loves the sand. Not everyone loves to swim. There are no shortage of ways for a person to fashion themselves as “not a beach person.” But maybe they’re just not doing it right. When properly prepared, the beach is a wonderful way to relax on a summer day and spend some time in nature—even if you don’t think it’s for you.Bring the right kind of bagOne day last summer I brought my backpack with me to the beach. It will forever be known to me as the last time my backpack…

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Photo: Horizonman (Shutterstock)If you were to ask any random person on the street how many hours of sleep a person is supposed to get each night, their answer will most likely be eight hours. But where did this gold standard come from? And is it even true? Is more or less than that bad for you? Here’s what we know.How much sleep the CDC recommendsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that once you’re beyond your teenage years, you actually need “7 or more” hours of sleep per evening, with the exact amount varying from person to person. Once…

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Photo: Yellowj (Shutterstock)You may know how to hula hoop like a pro, but did you know that you can put those skills to work as part of the latest social media fitness craze? This week, pop-sensation Lizzo went viral on Tik Tok for duet-reacting to a video of one of her fans dancing to her single “About Damn Time” while using with a hula hoop. It was is but one example of a larger trend on the social media platform, highlighting a resurgence of the 1950s toy—which is increasingly being used for fitness.A subreddit for hula hooping boasts 16,000 members,…

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Photo: Bignai (Shutterstock)For decades, conventional wisdom has advised you to arrive at the airport three hours before an international flight. But does this piece of travel advice come from? And does it still hold water? Let’s find out.What does the TSA recommend?The Transportation Security Administration actually doesn’t offer an official recommendation for when to show up at the airport before an international flight. According to their guidance,”you are encouraged to contact your airline as times may vary depending on the airport and date of travel. In general, please allow time for parking/shuttle transportation, airline check-in, obtaining a boarding pass and…

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Photo: Olesya Kuznetsova (Shutterstock)If you’ve looked recently at flights for a summer vacation, you may agree with my sentiment that 2022 is going to be the year of the road trip. Turns out a high cost of fuel, a labor shortage, and rising inflation isn’t a great recipe for affordable air travel. When done right, road trips can be a great opportunity to see large swaths of the country in one fell swoop. When done poorly, though, road trips can be a terrible slog. These tips will set you up for success on your next auto-bound excursion.Rent a van instead…

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Photo: Constantin Stanciu (Shutterstock)Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch wasn’t looking hard enough. With inflation continuing to run at a four-decade high, many Americans are doing what they can to trim their budgets, and one of the best ways to save money is to not spend money at all.I don’t want to spend money, you say, but it’s not like companies are just giving away free stuff! Oh, but that’s where you are wrong. There are definitely places giving out free stuff. Some of it, you might even want! Here are 10 websites you can peruse…

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Photo: ImYanis (Shutterstock)The amount of Americans flying has finally returned back to its pre-pandemic numbers, which means that on any given day, there are nearly two million people in the sky mindlessly scrolling through whatever apps still work on airplane mode. A handful of airlines are doing their part to create a better flying experience, though, by offering coveted free messaging or in-flight wifi. While these services aren’t an industry standard—yet—here’s a breakdown on what options the most popular airlines in the United States offer, and for what price (or if at all).Airlines that offer free wife and free messagingJetBlue:…

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Photo: Mariia Boiko (Shutterstock)Mother’s Day is upon us, and Father’s Day is not far behind, which has many adult children everywhere scrambling to figure out what to get the man or woman who already has everything. At this point in their lives, our parents often want nothing and need nothing—because when they do want or need something, they simply go buy it. But we’ve got three gift ideas for your parents that won’t cost a fortune and will be more meaningful to them than any tangible present could ever be.EventsReally, your parents just want to spend time with you. It…

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Photo: Domareva.Tanya (Shutterstock)Odds are, over the past two years, you’ve woken up at least one morning with a scratchy throat and clogged sinuses, and your first thought was: Is it allergies? Or is it COVID? The frustration of this ambiguity lies in the completely disproportionate amount of stakes in each scenario. A positive COVID-19 test will torpedo your week (or more) and potentially affect anyone you’ve spent time with in person; a case of allergies likely just means some discomfort.Either scenario seems equally possible, too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 60 million Americans…

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