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Watch toddlers around certain houseplants

When visiting friends or family who have both houseplants and young children, I’ve been compared to “Aunt Bonnie” from the Geico commercial “Aunt Infestation.” In it, a young couple who just moved into a new home complains of having pests — not ants but overbearing “aunts.” ...

Bars, hotels want you to take those little keepsakes

Chances are if you’ve been to a great restaurant, bar or hotel, you’ve snagged a coaster, matchbook, napkin or card key. Mementoes like these are talismans that help us remember what a fun experience we had. You may hesitate before you pocket the swag, wondering if doing so is OK. Worry ...

Mini but merry: Holiday villages a flexible tradition at Christmas

Whether in cardboard, wood or porcelain, little villages — with houses, shops, miniature figures and snowy fir trees — have long been part of many families’ holiday decorating tradition. They’re also popular now as part of an ongoing love of the cozy and the ...

Conifers produce pine cones we love

In much of the country, much of the landscape goes barren from fall through spring. Evergreens are typically the workhorse plants that carry us through. But not all evergreens are created equal. A subset called conifers provide not only year-round greenery but ornamental cones that command ...