Six Houseplant Mistakes to Avoid This Winter

By Kelly Manning for Martha Stewart™


Winter’s harsh elements can be taxing on our plants—even those we keep indoors. To prevent damaging (or worse, killing) your houseplants this season, we outlined the most commonly made mistakes to avoid, complete with insight from a garden expert.

© Provided by Martha Stewart Living Getty / Geshas

Overwatering

No matter the time of year, overwatering your plants can cause significant damage, including root rot. This, however, becomes particularly problematic in the winter. “People are used to a regular watering cadence during the spring and summer, when plants are actively growing,” explains Joyce Mast, an expert with Bloomscape. “But in the winter, plants go into a more dormant state. They are not regularly producing new leaves, or flower buds, so they don’t require as much water.” Sticking your fingers in the soil in order to get a sense of the moisture level is a tried-and-true method for determining whether or not your varieties are thirsty. “You’re able to bring most plants back from underwatering, but once the roots start to rot from excess water, it’s very difficult to remedy,” notes Mast.

Persistent Dry Air

Between a loss of moisture in the environment and streams of warm air pumping from heating vents, a perpetual lack of humidity leaves plants dehydrated during the colder months. Increase indoor moisture levels by placing a water-filled pebble tray underneath a pot or group several plants around a tray of water. Alternatively, set up a humidifier in your space, which provides a constant flow of moisture into the air. For an added bonus, regularly spritz leaves with water, which, says Mast, is a “nice way to maintain a regular interaction with your plants” during the winter, when they require less care. However, this should not replace any of our suggested steps for increasing humidity, as mist from a spray bottle quickly evaporates.

Letting Your Plants Collect Dust

It’s not uncommon to notice an increase in your home’s dust level during the winter and, in turn, a build-up of grime on leaves. This is the result of a sealed indoor environment and heating vents, which blow around the accumulated particles. Clean these green parts with a damp paper towel or cloth regularly, as insects, such as spider mites, can easily hide in the dust.

Situating Plants Close to Heating Vents and Windows

Be careful not to place your plants in a direct, or indirect, line of warm air, which will quickly dry them out. Similarly, when they are situated too close to a fireplace, such as on the mantel, they can also become too dry too fast. Be cognizant of cold air drafts as well, which “can shock the plant and damage leaf tissue,” adds Mast.

Continuing to Use Fertilizer

Our houseplants enter into a state of dormancy during the winter, which means they don’t require fertilizer like they do in the spring or summer. Therefore, any extra nutrients will not be absorbed and instead “sit in the soil and damage the roots,” says Mast.

Overlooking a Change in Light Levels

Not all plants like direct sunlight. While you may have found the perfect spot to situate a pot during the spring and summer, it’s important to survey the lighting conditions now that trees are bare of leaves. If your variety is receiving too much sun, move it to a shadier spot in your home.

Source: Six Houseplant Mistakes to Avoid This Winter (msn.com)

Eating This Popular Food Will Put You in the Worst Mood

Article by Clara Olshansky  for EatThisNotThat!

You probably know that what you eat can have a huge impact on your mood. Considering the fact that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut, it’s no wonder that some gut-healthy foods can be real mood-boosters, while others can put a real damper on your day. Now, researchers have determined the number one food most likely to put you in a bad mood, and the Homer Simpsons of the world are going to be seriously disappointed.

© Provided by Eat This, Not That!


A study commissioned by the natural food brand Kallo and conducted by market research company OnePoll, asked 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom which foods or beverages have the most positive impact on their emotions, and which have the most negative. It turns out that the single worst food for your mood, according to the poll, is donuts.

Maybe it’s because we tend to eat them in the morning, with a whole day in front of us to experience the resulting sugar crash. Maybe it’s the combination of simple carbs and heavy oils, two well-known gut health disruptors. Either way, if you’re like most people, you’re generally going to want to skip the run to Dunkin’ if you want to feel your best.

Many of the other bad mood–causing foods on the list are somewhat predictable. The silver and bronze go to alcohol and soft drinks respectively, with energy drinks coming in fourth place. Most of the foods on the list beyond that are highly processed meals and snacks, full of simple carbs and saturated fats which can cause inflammation, sluggishness, indigestion, and other negative physical side effects.

When it comes to mood-improving foods and drinks, the study finds that coffee is the number one choice, with dark chocolate coming in second place, and grapes in third. For more foods that will help you live your best, happiest life, check out our 13 Mood-Boosting Snacks to Make Your Day Better.

Source: Eating This Popular Food Will Put You in the Worst Mood, Data Finds (msn.com)

5 Tips to Keep a Mask From Fogging Up Your Glasses

By Chris Kissell for MoneyTalksNews

Wearing a mask in public is annoying enough — but an irritating side effect makes the practice even worse for those who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.

© dissx / Shutterstock.com

As anyone who dons spectacles quickly realizes, wearing a mask can cause your lenses to fog. Every time you breathe, the warm air you exhale travels into the mask, then up and out, onto your lenses. Because the lenses are cooler, fog forms inside.

Fortunately, the following fixes can prevent this annoyance.

1. Soap and water

A 2011 study published in the journal Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England found that a little soap and water goes a long way toward eliminating unwanted fogging. According to the study authors:

“Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”

One caveat: Although dish soap typically is recommended for this technique, it’s important to choose a brand that does not use lotion, which can harm the lenses. Lukewarm water also is recommended, as hot water can damage lenses too.

2. Anti-fog spray

Sprays also are available to keep your lenses fog-free. You can find anti-fog sprays at Amazon.

Just note that these can irritate the eyes of some people, so they may not work for everyone.

3. Tuck a small tissue into the mask

Newsweek says tucking a small tissue inside the mask will absorb moisture that otherwise would find its way to the lenses.

The publication recommends placing a folded tissue at the top of your mask and taping it there.

4. Slide your glasses further down your nose

By sliding your spectacles a little lower down your nose, you can keep them out of the way of the moist air escaping out the top of the mask.

This is probably not an ideal long-term solution, but it works in a pinch.

5. Modify the mask to better fit your face

Finally, Glamour says a mask that fits your face more snugly is less likely to produce fogging. So, if the mask has a wire inside the top edge, pinch it tightly to your nose.

If your mask doesn’t have a wire, Glamour recommends a tutorial that can help you create a mask with a “flexible nose.”

Source: 5 Tips to Keep a Mask From Fogging Up Your Glasses (msn.com)

Hulu February 2021: Every new movie and show coming this month

By Nicole Archer for C|NET©

Welcome to February! The highlight for this month is the Hulu original The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Andra Day stars as Holiday, who is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics during her career. It looks interesting, it looks great. 

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Andra Day are posing for a picture
© CNET

The United States vs. Billie Holiday comes out on the 26th of February. If you don’t know what to watch while waiting for it, here’s the full list of everything else hitting Hulu this month. 

Feb. 1 

60 Days In: Complete Season 6

Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story (2019)

Ancient Aliens: Complete Season 14 (History)

Bride & Prejudice: Forbidden Love: Complete Season 2

Forged in Fire: Beat the Judges: Complete Season 1

Kings of Pain: Complete Season 1

Married At First Sight: Complete Season 10

Mommy is a Murderer (2020)

Pawn Stars: Complete Seasons 11 & 12

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch: Complete Season 1

Tempted by Danger (2020)

The UnXplained with William Shatner: Complete Season 2

9 to 5 (1980)

Affliction (1998)

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho 2 (2002)

The Bellboy (1960)

Bug (1975)

Cinderfella (1960)

Crimes Of The Heart (1987)

Did You Hear About The Morgans? (2009)

District 9 (2009)

Downhill Racer (1969)

Employee of the Month (2006)

Everything Must Go (2011)

From Hell (2001)

G.I. Jane (1997)

Garfield (2004)

Gargoyles: Wings of Darkness (2004)

Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Happy Tears (2010)

Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia (2013)

Hello, My Name is Doris (2016)

Hitman’s Run (1999)

Jane Austen’s Mafia! (1998)

Jennifer 8 (1992)

John Grisham’s The Rainmaker (1997)

The Juror (1996)

Mars Attacks! (1996)

Me, Myself And Irene (2000)

Ninja Assassin (2009)

The Omen (1976)

Damien – Omen II (1978)

Only God Forgives (2013)

The Patsy (1964)

Phase IV (1974)

Possessor (2020)

The Prince Of Tides (1991)

Shirley Valentine (1989)

The Shootist (1976)

Sideways (2004)

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

The Tenant (1976)

Teresa’s Tattoo (1994)

Turbulence (1997)

Van Wilder: Party Liaison (2002)

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Witness (1985)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

You Laugh But It’s True (2011)

You’ve Got Mail (1998) 

Feb. 2

The School That Tried to End Racism: Complete Season 1 

Feb. 4

12 Hour Shift (2020) 

Feb. 5 

The New York Times Presents: “Framing Britney Spears”: New Episode

Feb. 7 

Harrow: Season 3 Premiere

Feb. 11 

Then Came You (2019)

Feb. 12 

Into the Dark: Tentacles: New Episode Premiere

2067 (2020)

You’re Next (2013) 

Feb. 13 

Hip Hop Uncovered: Documentary Series Premiere

Feb. 15 

Cutthroat Kitchen: Complete Season 15

Dragnificent!: Complete Season 1

House Hunters International: Complete Seasons 139 & 140

House Hunters: Complete Seasons 160-162, 164 & 165

Property Brothers: Complete Season 14

Southern Gothic: Complete Season 1

Witches Of Salem: Complete Season 1

Lost Girls and Love Hotels (2020)

The Shape of Water (2017) 

Feb. 16 

Bad Habits, Holy Orders: Complete Season 1

Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Complete Season 19

North Korea: Inside the Mind of a Dictator: Complete Season 1

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) 

Feb. 17 

Logan Lucky (2017)

Feb. 18 

Good Trouble: Season 3 Premiere

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) 

Feb. 19 

Nomadland (2021)

Feb. 23

Spring Baking Championship: Complete Season 7

Dredd (2012) 

Feb. 25 

Snowfall: Season 4 Premiere 

Feb. 26

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) 

Happy binging !

Source: Hulu February 2021: Every new movie and show coming this month (msn.com)

‘This is America’s day’: Biden inaugurated as 46th president

Courtney Subramanian and John Fritze, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden asserted that “democracy has prevailed” Wednesday after he was inaugurated the 46th president of the United States, calling for Americans to unite and confront the perilous challenges before them: a deadly coronavirus pandemic, economic turmoil and divisions over American leadership. 

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden gestures to stage members before delivering his inaugural address during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol.
© William Bretzger, USA TODAY

Biden takes the helm at a precarious moment in U.S. history, as the nation continues its struggle with a virus that has claimed more than 400,000 American lives. And he enters the White House amid fallout from a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump, underscoring tensions in U.S. politics that Biden must navigate if he hopes to advance his ambitious agenda.

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” Biden declared in his 21-minute inaugural address.

Standing on the steps of the Capitol, where rioters ransacked its hallowed halls just two weeks ago, Biden was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in an austere ceremony stripped of much of its pomp and circumstance due to the pandemic. The otherwise ceremonial peaceful transfer of power had the feel of a war zone, ringed by large security fences near the National Mall with more than 25,000 National Guard members called in over security concerns after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. 

“Today, we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause: The cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard,” he continued. “We’ve learned again, that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

Despite the absence of cheering supporters, Biden struck a hopeful tone throughout his first address as president, hitting on his campaign theme of unity and vowing his “whole soul” is invested in trying to bring people together. Touching on an idea often raised by past presidents but largely missing over the past four years, Biden pledged to be a “president for all Americans,” fighting as hard for those who didn’t vote for him as those who did. 

“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,” he said, “rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.” 

Source: ‘This is America’s day’: Biden inaugurated as 46th president, Harris sworn in as vice president (msn.com)

Meet Joe Biden, America’s imperfect leader

By insider@insider.com (Marguerite Ward,May Teng) 

© Joshua Roberts/Getty; Skye Gould/Insider A look into Joe Biden’s past shows a complex leader characterized by working-class roots, perseverance, compromise, and an ability to connect with others. Joshua Roberts/Getty; Skye Gould/Insider

Biden checks a lot of boxes as your typical politician. The 78-year-old has a receding hairline, marked crow’s-feet, white skin, and whiter hair. He stands at 6 feet and flashes a bright toothy smile. Politically, he’s viewed as a moderate Democrat.

But a closer look into the life of the president-elect reveals a man deeply shaped by sadness, comfortable with vulnerability, and in possession of a unique ability to connect with others. And yet, over his nearly five decades in politics, he’s faced controversy, scandals, and gaffes, some of which have led to national discussions over Biden’s fit for certain offices.

Insider spoke with several former colleagues of Biden, including former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and official White House photographer David Lienemann, in addition to leadership experts like the “Grit” author and psychologist Angela Duckworth and the writer Evan Osnos, to get a close-up look at what they say are the strengths and weaknesses of America’s new leader.

  • Joe Biden will begin leading the US on Wednesday amid a pandemic, an opioid crisis, and massive political instability.
  • The president-elect presents himself as a conventional leader with a moderate stance toward policy.
  • Yet deep grief, empathy, adversity, and controversy have all informed his leadership.

Source: PRESENTING: Meet Joe Biden, America’s imperfect leader (msn.com)

Netflix is releasing 45 new original movies and series in February – here’s the full list

By Zach Epstein for BGR©

a screen shot of a person: Netflix Movies 2021

© Provided by BGR Netflix Movies 2021

Well, Netflix fans, we have good news and bad news for you today. The good news is that Netflix has announced its full release schedule for February 2021. The bad news is that unfortunately, we’ve got a pretty bleak month in store.

Don’t get us wrong — there are definitely a few big releases to look forward to. The problem is that sadly, we do mean “few” in the truest sense of the word. Season 3 of the fantastic crime drama The Sinner is set to hit Netflix in its entirety on February 6th, and it’s an excellent season so you should definitely check that out. There are also a few solid movies set to arrive next month, such as the decade-old Christopher Nolan blockbuster Inception. Where original Netflix movies and series are concerned, however, the highlights are few and far between.

Netflix made a huge announcement in early January to tout the fact that it has at least one new original movie set to debut each and every week in 2021. While that may be true, the quality of said movies remains to be seen. In February 2021, there are a few series that we’re definitely looking forward to. There are also some solid movies on the way like I Care A Lot, which looks fantastic, and Malcolm & Marie, which stars John David Washington and Zendaya. Beyond that… well… take a look for yourself.

You’ll find the full list of Netflix original releases in February 2021 down below.

Streaming February 2nd

Streaming February 3rd

Streaming February 5th

Streaming February 10th

Streaming February 11th

Streaming February 12th

Streaming February 15th

Streaming February 16th

Streaming February 17th

Streaming February 18th

Streaming February 19th

Streaming February 20th

  • Classmates Minus — NETFLIX FILM

Streaming February 23rd

  • Brian Regan: On The Rocks — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL
  • Pelé — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Streaming February 24th

  • Canine Intervention — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Ginny & Georgia — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Streaming February 25th

Streaming February 26th

Release Date TBD

  • Sisyphus — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Vincenzo — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Source: Netflix is releasing 45 new original movies and series in February – here’s the full list (msn.com)

Sleep expert’s simple trick for getting an extra hour of sleep

By Sophie Haslett For Daily Mail Australia

a couple of people posing for the camera: MailOnline logo

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Omega 3 is the key to getting an extra hour of sleep every night, a sleep expert has claimed. Olivia Arezzolo, from Sydney, said her ‘simple trick’ can easily help you enjoy an extra 60 minutes of shut-eye, and this has been proven in clinical trials.

‘A recent study found that omega 3 supplementation without any other changes can support an individual in sleeping an extra hour,’ Olivia said in an Instagram video. ‘A deficiency in omega 3s can contribute to a deficiency in melatonin, the sleepiness hormone, while supplementing your body with it can support your melatonin levels, reduce your anxiety and make you sleepy.’

The sleep expert highlighted that you can either find omega 3 in foods such as oily fish like salmon or hemp seeds if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Other fish including mackerel, tuna and sardines are also rich in omega 3s. You can also find them in nuts and seeds and plant-based oils like flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil.

a woman smiling for the camera: Olivia Arezzolo (pictured), from Sydney, said her 'simple trick' can easily help you enjoy an extra 60 minutes of shut-eye, and this has been proven in clinical trials
© Provided by Daily Mail Olivia Arezzolo (pictured), from Sydney, said her ‘simple trick’ can easily help you enjoy an extra 60 minutes of shut-eye, and this has been proven in clinical trials

‘Omega 3 is ideal for anxiety,’ Olivia added. ‘Studies show a 20 per cent decrease in anxiety after supplementation.’ 

If you struggle to eat omega 3s every day, you could also consider a supplement like The Beauty Chef’s Omega 3 Elixir and supplements like Nature’s Own and Nordic Naturals.

a person standing in front of water: Previously, Olivia (pictured) shared her 10-step bedtime routine that she follows every evening for the perfect night's sleep - which includes chamomile tea and meditation

What is Olivia’s 10-step bedtime routine?

1. Create a sleep sanctuary: Remove any blue light from iPhones and devices and keep your bedroom for sleep and relaxation.

2. Block blue light: Do not allow blue light into the bedroom and restrict this two hours from bedtime.

3. Set a goodnight alarm for your phone: At this point switch it off so you wake fully refreshed.

4. Diffuse lavender: Diffuse lavender either onto your pillows or throughout the room to promote relaxation.

5. Have an evening shower or bath: This helps to promote relaxation 45-60 minutes before bed.

6. Drink chamomile tea: Do this an hour before bed to make you calm.

7. Take a magnesium supplement: This helps the muscles to relax.

8. Practise gratitude: Think about what you are grateful for.

9. Try meditation: This can be useful to help you sleep.

10. Practise deep breathing: This makes it easier to sleep.

Olivia likes to drink a cup of chamomile tea and banish any blue light before she settles down in bed.  ‘Know that blue light, the spectrum of light suppressing melatonin and contributing to sleep difficulties, is emitted from your bathroom’s ceiling lights as well as the bedroom and your phone,’ Olivia said. 

For this reason, even if you work hard to avoid devices and reduce blue light exposure, this will still be undone the minute you go into your bathroom to go to the toilet or take an evening shower.

To find out more about Olivia Arezzolo, you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Instagram here. 

Source: Sleep expert’s simple trick for getting an extra hour of sleep (msn.com)