Beauty Is in Bloom at These Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is home to some of the most treasured museums in the world. These two garden-based collections are certainly the greenest, and many D.C.-based plant lovers may even say they're the most beautiful.

United States National Arboretum
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the United States National Arboretum is a calming retreat from the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital. Walk through numerous elaborate gardens, admiring the countless species of trees and plants. The arboretum is not only home to plants, but also houses several pieces of fine art, including "Split Ritual," a beloved American sculpture by Beverly Pepper. This historic site is also home to the National Capitol Columns, which were once an original piece of the Capitol Building's architecture.

United States Botanic Garden
Enjoy a tranquil walk at the United States Botanic Garden, which occupies the grounds of the United States Capitol. Here, you'll be reminded of the large role that plants play in our every day lives. The garden is open 365 days a year, and it frequently provides interactive classes that are both fun and educational. Stroll through the peaceful gardens on your own, or take advantage of one of the many tours this living museum has to offer.

Let’s Get Out of Town: The Cheapest Labor Day Travel Deals

Get away this Labor Day!

Here is a list of the top 10 cheapest Labor Day Travel Destinations:

1.) Orlando, Fla./Disney World
2.) Telluride, Colorado
3.) Palm Springs, California
4.) San Juan, Puerto Rico
5.) Sonoma, California
6.) Nassau Bahamas
7.) Cape Cod, Massachusetts
8.) Skaneateles, N.Y.
9.) Hilton Head Island, S.C.
10.) New York City

Easy Ways to Improve Your Typing Speed and Accuracy

Computer literacy is one of the most important skills that employers look for in a potential employee, and many jobs even ask how many words you can type per minute. These helpful tips will show you how to improve your typing speed and accuracy in just a few simple steps.

  1. Memorize the keyboard. People who are very fast typers are able type quickly because they don’t have to look at which keys they’re pressing. Study the keyboard to memorize its arrangement, and then practice typing while looking at the screen instead of your hands.
  2. Practice good posture. In order to type at your fastest rate, you need to sit up straight and place your hands in a comfortable position. Keep your arms at your sides and your wrists extended out straight and away from your body. Don’t rest your wrists on the keyboard; rather, keep them slightly elevated with just your fingers touching the keys.
  3. Time yourself. Practice by typing a long passage from a book or magazine over and over again. Time yourself during each attempt, and keep track of when your time improves. Many people also count the words that they can type per minute in order to gauge how their typing is improving.

5 Shortcuts to Increase Your Typing Speed [TypingTest.com]
5 Ways to Boost Typing Speed and Accuracy [Lifehack]
How to Improve Your Typing Speed and Accuracy [eHow]

Three Delicious Ways to Enjoy Fresh Corn on the Cob

Though corn on the cob is a summertime favorite that you enjoy every year, there are always ways to spice up this warm weather side dish. From sweet to smoky, corn can be cooked with a wide variety of different flavors. Check out these three delicious ways to prepare fresh corn on the cob, and then try one out for dinner tonight!

Roasted Corn with Oregano Butter [Martha Stewart]
It takes only a few simple ingredients to create this delightfully roasted side dish. Create the oregano butter using plain butter and fresh herbs and spices, and then spread the butter on the corn before you grill it to perfection.

Grilled Corn with Mango-Habanero Butter [Delish]
Anyone with a sweet tooth will love this sweet and spicy recipe for good old-fashioned corn on the cob. The mango-habanero butter is what gives it its unique flavor, combining the juicy taste of fresh mango with hot peppers, flavorful cilantro, and smooth, sweet honey.

Fire Roasted Grilled Corn [McCormick]
Imitate the grilled flavor of the corn served at your favorite Mexican restaurant with this recipe for Fire Roasted Grilled Corn. Grilling instead of boiling gives the corn a tender, blackened taste that simply can’t be imitated.

Two of Washington, D.C.’s Must-See Museums

Our nation's capital is home to some the most visited museums and attractions in the world. Take advantage of D.C.'s diverse cultural scene with a visit to these fascinating museums, which are two of the city's very best.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Marvel at more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Some of the must-see attractions include the Hope Diamond, an incredibly old, mummified cat, and the Neanderthal exhibit. Take a journey through the past at this fine American institution and see with your own eyes why it's the most visited natural history museum in the world.

International Spy Museum
Since 2002, the International Spy Museum has engaged the public with the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever to be on display. Attempt to stay as stealthy as a spy when you participate in the exhibits and learn the important role of espionage throughout history.

Public Domain/Public Domain

Chicken Stock, Decoded: 4 Easy Recipes for Chicken Stock

Used in the base for sauces, soups, and more, homemade chicken stock can put the "wow factor" in even the most ordinary of recipes. If you believe homemade chicken stock is too complicated to make, think again! These four recipes break the process down into easy-to-manage steps, so you'll be enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time flat.

Delicious Homemade Chicken Stock [Instructables]

How to Make Chicken Stock [The Kitchn]

Stock Convictions [Michael Ruhlman]

How to Make Chicken Stock [Simply Recipes]

10 Ways to Celebrate Summer!

10 Ways to Celebrate Summer

How will you celebrate the solstice and all that extra daylight? Here are 10 ideas from the editors—plus, some products from our Almanac.com General Store!

1.Light a bonfire. The solstice day was traditionally celebrated by dancing around the bonfires. Build the perfect fire every time with Frame-a-Fire.

2.Go fishin'. We love to get out on the water. Consult our free Best Days for Fishing chart—plus, tackle-box and bait tips.

3.Plant a seed or a tree. Traditionally, to the farmer, the solstice is the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting, and an occasion for celebration.

4.Cook outside. There's nothing as tasty as grilled food. Have a big cook-out on the solstice.

5. Camp. Plan a camp-out to enjoy the great outdoors whether it's a tent in the backyard or a cabin in the woods! Don't forget the best natural insect repellent on earth to enjoy the outdoors in peace.

6. Listen to songbirds. We love our feathered friends. Attract birds to your garden with our beautiful bird feeders.

7. Get pampered. Midsummer Day, near the solstice, was said to make old people look younger. It was also thought that walking barefoot in the dew would keep one's skin from getting chapped. Summer certainly does cure the winter dries. You can also check out popular gardener's lotions and fisherman's soaps to soften calloused working hands.

8. Let the light in! With all this extra daylight, hang one of our gorgeous suncatchers for your window or porch.

9.Read a book. Temperatures rise and lazy days ensue. Relax on the beach or the porch and read up on gardening tips, natural health, and more. See our great books and guides.

10. Watch the night sky! In ancient Egypt, the new year was celebrated when the star Sirius rose around the time of sunrise. This roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River.

Did You Know…

Question: Why isn’t the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, also the hottest day of the year?

Answer: Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans absorb part of the incoming energy from the sun and store it, releasing it back as heat at various rates. Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length. However, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land and, especially, oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere. This usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.

Easy Ways to Incorporate More Iron Into Your Diet

While you may think that iron is only important to bodybuilders and Popeye, it’s actually a very beneficial mineral that all humans need to survive. In fact, if your body doesn’t get enough iron you could start to suffer from anemia, an iron-deficiency that causes fatigue, weakness, and brittle nails and hair. These healthful foods will help to provide you with the right amount of iron each day.

  1. Mollusks. Seafoods like clams, oysters, and mussels have some of the highest levels of iron of any food groups. Oysters contain the most, offering 53 milligrams of iron in just a 20-count serving. Because the average person’s recommended percent daily value is just 18 milligrams per day, this means that you can get 295% of your daily value from an weekly oyster night at your favorite seafood spot.
  2. Liver. While you may have hated liver and onions as a child, liver is actually filled with quite a few health benefits. Beef liver is very low in fat and calories, and it also provides an incredible 26 milligrams of iron in just one 4-ounce serving. If you don’t eat beef, you can also get similar amounts of iron from chicken, pork, lamb, or turkey liver.

Best Foods for Iron [Huffington Post]
Top 10 Iron-Rich Foods [WebMD]
Top 10 Foods Highest in Iron [Healthaliciousness]
Iron Rich Foods [American Red Cross]

Easy DIY Beauty Treatments You Can Do at Home

Creating a spa experience at home is easier than you think. Here are three easy, inexpensive beauty treatments that you can perform at home using items you probably already have in your kitchen.

1. Ease puffy eyes with tea bags.
You're probably already familiar with this one: Chill wet tea bags in the fridge, then place them on your closed eyes for ten to twenty minutes. The caffeine in the tea will help de-puff the delicate eye area, while the tea's antioxidants aid in reducing inflammation. Sliced, cooled cucumbers or potatoes can also be used here.

2. Exfoliate with brown sugar.
This sugar scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth (and smelling sweet!): Simply combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, two tablespoons olive oil, two teaspoons instant oats, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to form a paste. Gently rub the scrub into your skin, then rinse.

3. Banish dry patches using lemons.
If you're sporting scaly skin on your heels, elbows, or knees, try this trick: Grab a lemon from your fridge, cut it in half, then rub the flesh of the lemon over the dry patches. The acid of the citrus fruit aids in removing dead skin cells.

Our Favorite All-Natural Home Beauty Treatments [Fitness]
6 Cool Homemade Beauty Treatments [Cosmopolitan]
6 All-Natural Beauty Fixes [Woman's Day]

Tackle Spring Cleaning With These Helpful Tips

The change from winter to spring is typically accompanied by a desire to have a bright, clean home. You're tired of the dingy, cold effects of winter snow and ice, and everything just feels a bit less than fresh. If you’re planning a spring cleaning routine but don’t know where to begin, these seven tips will help you get started.

  • Set all clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time.
  • Change the batteries in things like smoke detectors, remote controls, and alarm clocks.
  • Flip or rotate your mattress to ensure that it lasts for years to come.
  • Protect hardwood floors against scratches by adding padded, adhesive discs to the legs of chairs and tables.
  • Clean the refrigerator using a few teaspoons of baking soda diluted in hot water. Also be sure to toss out expired or unused food items.
  • Wash pillows to prevent seasonal allergens common in the springtime from accumulating inside.
  • Re-stock cleaning supplies to prepare yourself for any number of household messes and spills that come with the spring season.

    Spring Cleaning [Martha Stewart]
    28 Spring Cleaning Tips [Country Living]