Read About Some of the Country’s Weirdest, Wackiest Museums

While the Smithsonian is fascinating, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is always a sight to see, some lesser-known American museums are just as interesting—if a bit weirder! If you have a flair for all things out of the ordinary, these unique museums are worth a visit.

1) International Cryptozoology Museum
Cryptozoology is the study of “hidden animals” not verified by science, and this small museum in Portland, Maine, is dedicated to just that. From Bigfoot to Lake Monsters, take a tour of all of the world’s most intriguing—and mysterious—unknown species.

2) International Banana Museum
This fruity museum in North Shore, California, is filled with every type of banana-related item that its curators could hunt down, from salt and pepper shakers to staplers and even a banana record player. Be sure to visit the famous banana bar and sample a banana-flavored milkshake or banana split.

3) Mütter Museum
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Mütter Museum is one of the finest museums of medical history in the world. While it is a bit creepy to see the 19th-century medical instruments and anatomical specimens, it is also completely fascinating.

4) The Museum of Bad Art
The name says it all at this silly museum in Somerville, Massachusetts. Keep in mind that it’s all in good fun, and just enjoy the truly awful displays of artistic expression.

Hosting a Party? Check Out This Handy Food and Drink Calculator!

It seems that every time you host a party, you never prepare the right amount of food and beverages. From the time that you overshot the buffet and had leftovers for months to the last minute drink run at your last shindig, something just doesn’t add up.

Luckily, this handy food and beverage calculator from Real Simple will help you to calculate exactly how many refreshments to make for your party size. Simply enter the number of guests that you’re expecting and whether or not their children are also invited and the online tool will do all of the food and beverage planning for you.

The calculator’s results detail how many bottles of wine, cases of beer, and even ice to purchase. It also details cheese by the pound, hors d’oeuvres by the piece and a number of other food options. Take the results with you to the grocery store and you can be sure that you’re getting exactly the right amount of everything for your party.

Party Food and Beverage Calculator [Real Simple]

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How to Keep Your Furniture Looking Like New

Purchasing furniture is one of the priciest investments that you make in your home, so you likely want to keep it looking as good as new. Follow these smart tips for preventing stains, rips, and other signs of wear and tear on your new furniture.

  1. Invest in high-quality pieces. First and foremost, investing in good quality furniture is one of the very best ways to ensure that it keeps its original look for years to come.
  2. Protect your fabrics and upholstery. When you first purchase a new rug or upholstered sofa, pay a bit extra to have a professional administer a protective coating to repel stains.
  3. Flip sofa cushions. By flipping your sofa cushions monthly, you can distribute the weight from frequent use to multiple parts of the cushion.
  4. Minimize eating in the living room. If you’re already trying to break this bad habit, just imagine a food stain on your brand new sofa for a bit of extra motivation.
  5. Tackle stains immediately. Whether it’s on a rug or the sofa, the most important way to prevent permanent staining is by addressing it immediately so that it can’t sink into the fabric. Read the care instructions on your furniture or rugs when you purchase them so that you know exactly how to remove that red wine stain before it inflicts major damage.

How to Keep Your Furniture Looking Like New [WikiHow]
4 Steps to Keep Your Furniture Looking New [Apartment Therapy]
Keep Your Sofa Looking Like New in 3 Easy Steps! [Shofer’s]

Sewing 101: How to Sew a Button by Hand

Whether you’re making your own sewing project from scratch or simply replacing a missing button on an old shirt, knowing how to properly sew on a button is an essential skill to have. Even if you think you already know how, these ingenius tutorials will show you how to do it faster and to create a sturdier hold that will never tear or loosen.

Sew a Button in No Time Flat
This timesaving tutorial from Martha Stewart shows you how to sew on a button using simply a needle, thread and a common toothpick. The toothpick acts like a bit of a crutch to make the sewing process almost completely effortless.

How to Sew on a Button
The clever website Instructables offers some truly smart advice for sewing both shank and flat buttons. No matter what type of article of clothing you’re sewing, one of these processes is sure to work.

How to Sew a Button
Women’s Day also offers tips for sewing on a button, and these include step-by-step instructions and high quality photos for more visual learners.

How to Sew a Button On a Shirt
This tutorial from Real Simple will teach you to sew a button on a shirt or other garment made of lightweight material. With just three simple steps and about the same number of minutes, you’ll have a sturdy button with minimal effort.

Great Date Ideas in Alexandria

If Virginia is for lovers, Alexandria ignites sparks as the "Best Place for a First Date" (Washingtonian magazine) and "One of the Most Romantic Cities in the US" (Amazon.com). Get carried away for Valentine's Day this year! Delight in sweet treats from local, award-winning shops like Society Fair or Artfully Gifts & Chocolate, or indulge in a couple's spa retreat at the Lorien Hotel & Spa.

Whether you're looking for a romantic date, a date on a budget, a nice getaway, or even a delicious meal, Alexandria has it all!

For more date inspiration click here.

Groundhog Day 2015: Did Phil See His Shadow Today?

Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most beloved and furry seasonal prognosticator, has seen his shadow this morning, predicting six more weeks of winter.

The groundhog’s predication came around 7:25 a.m. in Punxsutawney, Pa., with overcast skies and scattered snow and rain showers moving through the region from the latest winter storm.

Read more about Phil here.

Where to Read About Tech and Gadgets Online

If you love all things technology, you’re likely always on the hunt for the latest products and most recent gadget news. The Internet is filled with sites dedicated entirely to fueling your technology addiction, but these three are some of the very best.

Gizmodo
Although its name sounds silly, Gizmodo is a website for serious technology aficionados (or those looking to learn more about it). You’ll find journalistic articles describing the latest trends and advancements in the area of electronics, incredible life hacks and technology news from around the world—and even from outer space.

TechCrunch
With a number of different product reviews and gift guides, this is the site to surf when you’re choosing between smartphones or looking to purchase a new computer. TechCrunch also posts fascinating articles from the world of technology and high-quality TCTV online shows that are both funny and informative.

Engadget
On Engadget, you’ll find photos, videos, must-read news stories and a wide variety of different types of media all entirely dedicated to technology. The site also offers the Engadget Daily, a roundup post of quick snippets of the most recent tech news, which makes a fun read first thing in the morning.

Tips for Proper Disposal of Old Technology

Q: Where can I take my old electronics for proper recycling?

A: This time of year, many of us are asking this question after getting new electronics during the holiday season.

This article encourages people to think about repurposing electronics before recycling them. Just because the device is no longer good enough for you doesn’t mean that it won’t be useful for others.

Click here to learn more.

How to Organize Your Bedroom in 4 Simple Steps

The bedroom is supposed to be for sleeping, but for many of us, it’s also where we eat, where we work, and where we lounge around with the whole family. You bedroom takes a lot of wear and tear, but these four simple steps will help you to organize it with ease.

  1. Make your closet work for you. If your closet is overflowing with clothes and shoes, reassess what you need it to do. Add extra shelving if you have an abundance of sweaters, or invest in higher quality hangers if things are always falling on the floor. Having an organized closet takes a major weight off your shoulders.
  2. Keep furniture free of clutter. If your nightstands are covered in decorative knick knacks or personal items, minimize them. Keep only a few functional items on these surfaces, such as a bedside lamp or a jewelry box for storing rings and bracelets.
  3. Update your bed. Invest in a matching sheet and comforter set, or use a simple quilt for warmer weather. Having a full set that functions properly eliminates the need for lots of blankets and pillows that don’t match.
  4. Maximize storage potential. If you still need extra storage space, look in unexpected areas. Purchase a headboard with built-in shelves, or add rolling storage bins underneath your bed.

    Organizing 101 [Style at Home]
    Bedroom Organization Tips [House Beautiful]