How to Decorate the Powder Room for Christmas

1.Hang a Christmas wreath on the door.
2.Layer holiday-theme fingertip towels over larger plain towels.
3.Put out a holiday soap dish and soaps. (Think creatively - the soap dish could be a saucer from a Christmas table setting.)
4.Fill a Christmas-theme (or red or green) dispenser with hand lotion and set it near the sink.
5.Create a Christmas vignette for the top of the toilet tank. This could include a small Santa figure with a pair of reindeer on cotton batting with glitter snow, for instance, or could be as simple as a potted poinsettia.
6.Pull together a similar Christmas vignette for the windowsill.
7.Burn a candle with a seasonal scent, such as bayberry, cinnamon, or pine, and set out potpourri in the same scent.
8.Spray aerosol snow on the window and around the edge of the mirror.
9.Hang a garland atop the mirror.
10.Put out a Christmas-theme rug (even a welcome mat!) in place of the usual bathroom rug.
11.Garnish the decor with sprigs of holly and short lengths of garland where you can. For instance, use garland in place of curtain tiebacks and twist a sprig of artificial holly around the base of the lotion dispenser.  
Warnings: Position burning candles so that no one is likely to sweep a shirttail, cuff or other clothing near the open flame. Also, place burning candles so that the flames will not be near any combustible object such as a hanging towel.    

How to Play Disc Golf

1.Find a course to play on. Public parks with hills and trees to provide obstacles between you and the targets are good.
2.Determine your starting point and the targets to hit. Targets are usually two to four feet off the ground. For example, choose trees and mark them with white chalk.
3.Decide the distance from the tee-off point - usually between 200 and 450 feet.
4.Set up courses for par 3. 
Don't worry if you can't get your flying disc to the targets right away. You'll improve with practice.
You can use a regular flying disc, but you can also purchase discs designed specifically for the game - including discs called "drivers" for long-distance shots as well as "putters" for shorter distances.   

How to Make a Great First Impression on a Date

1.Dress attractively but comfortably. Don’t wear clothes that make you feel stiff or self-conscious.
2.Be aware of your posture - it speaks volumes about you. You want to appear alert and confident by sitting up straight.
3.Compliment your date. Don’t just say “I like your shirt.” Be sincere and notice something that he or she took time with.
4.Learn to flirt (see "How to Flirt”) and try it out. Don’t overdo it, though.
5.Realize that you don’t have to tell people how great you are. It’s better to show them instead.
6.Be interested and interesting. Listen actively to what your date says. Ask questions and don’t interrupt.
7.Enjoy yourself, no matter what. If you’re easygoing and fun to be around and if you can roll with whatever comes your way, you can’t help but make a great impression.
8.Thank the other person for the date - always, without exception. Good manners will get you far. 
Don’t talk about anything negative or complain on a first date.
Be cautious about drinking - it will give you a false sense of confidence and your inhibitions will be lowered. You may say or do things you’ll regret later.   

How to Protect Your Garden From Deer

1.Landscape with plants that deer don’t like to eat. Contact a local nursery to discover which local plants are less appealing to deer.
2.Surround your property with fencing that is at least 8 feet high - higher on a slope so the deer won’t be able to leap over.
3.Create a barrier by erecting parallel 4-foot-high fences, 5 feet apart. Deer won’t attempt to jump the shorter fences if they see another obstacle. Use only wire mesh or solid fencing. While those types of fences may be less attractive, deer can miraculously squeeze through just about any spaces between slats or gaps in wood fencing. (Mesh now comes in a variety of colors and can blend in better with your surroundings.)
4.Install electric fencing around the perimeter of your garden. This will definitely do the trick, but it will also zap unintended animals and children, so use it as a last resort and away from trails and houses.
5.Fence in or enclose specific trees or beds with mesh or screen. The barriers should be tall enough (up to 6 feet high) for the deer not to eat over and at least 2 feet from the foliage so the deer cannot graze through fences.
6.Spray your garden with deer repellents. Unfortunately, the ingredients that work best are ground chicken feathers and sewage, and the smell may keep more than just the deer away.
7.Hang bars of deodorant soap from trees throughout the garden. Add enough of the pungent bars so no tempting leaves are more than 3 feet from a bar. Deer are skittish about any unfamiliar smell, so change the bars to new brands regularly.
8.Get a dog. Deer are cautious animals and won’t enter a yard with a lurking canine. 
Tips: Deer are creatures of habit and often return regularly to easy targets. These steps make your yard less attractive to them and will send the deer off to more available food sources. 
Warnings: Late in the summer when wild vegetation becomes scarce and dried out, or in winter when food is less available, the deer get hungry and it becomes more difficult to keep them away.   

How to Make Table Napkins

1.Choose a cotton or cotton-polyester blend fabric in the color or print of your choice. Purchase 1 yard of 45-inch-wide fabric for every four napkins.
2.Prewash the fabric and press it with an iron.
3.Make a template or pattern for your napkins out of any stiff poster board or cardboard. Your template should be square and should be 1/2 inch larger than your finished napkin size. For example, make a 16 1/2-inch-square template for a 16-inch-square napkin.
4.Place the template on the wrong side of your fabric, and trace around the template with a fabric marking pen or fabric chalk.
5.Repeat for each napkin.
6.Cut out each fabric square along traced marking line.
7.Press each raw fabric edge under 1/4 inch.
8.Press that edge under once more.
9.Pin the fabric edges into place so that the pins are perpendicular to the edges of the fabric. Use a sewing machine to stitch the napkin hem. When you reach a corner, lift the presser foot of the sewing machine and swivel the fabric so that your stitching line remains straight. Keep the needle inserted in the fabric as you reposition it.
1..Hand sew the napkin hem in place with a backstitch if you do not have access to a sewing machine.
1..Add a decorative touch to the finished napkins by sewing a decorative hand or machine stitch on the right side of the fabric along the edge of the napkin. 
Choose holiday prints and complementary, solid colors if you are making napkins as a gift or will be using them to set your own holiday table.
Use a fabric cutting board and a yardstick or ruler to make a square template. The board has measuring guides printed on it.
Finish raw fabric edges before pressing the hem if the fabric looks like it will ravel easily. Finish the edges with one of the methods used in "How to Keep Raw Fabric Edges From Fraying" (see Related Hows).
Do a backstitch by bringing the needle up from the underside of the fabric and making a short backstitch. Bring the needle up again one stitch ahead. Put the needle in through the end of the first stitch and out a stitch ahead. Repeat as needed.
You can finish the edges of napkins with your sewing machine's overcast stitch or with a serger instead of hemming them. Use a contrasting color thread.    Steps:
1.Tie tight knots at the toe ends of two socks. Pull the knots as tight as you can.
2.Fill the first sock with dried soybeans, almost to the open end. This will be your keyboard rest.
3.Tie a tight knot at the open end. Pull it as tight as you can.
4.Fill the second sock with dried soybeans, about halfway. This will be your mouse pad rest.
5.Tie a tight knot at the halfway point. Pull it as tight as you can.
6.Trim the ends of both socks for symmetry. 
Tips: Choose socks that have some structure - ideally with at least 50 percent cotton. If the socks are too stretchy they'll just sag.   

How to Run Wires Through a Wall

1.Gather the following tools: a drill, a long spade drill bit a little wider than the wire you are running, fish tape, a tape measure, and a pencil or marker.
2.Inspect your home. Go to the basement and to the attic to see how accessible the walls are from each location. You will probably have better access from the attic. Your view up into the walls from the basement will most likely be obstructed by plywood or other wood products covering the joists. Looking down from the attic, on the other hand, you'll be able to see the top of the walls once you move the insulation out of the way. Behind the walls are studs, which are actually two-by-fours. They are commonly 16 inches apart.
3.Inspect the rest of your home if access to the attic or basement is limited.
4.Determine where you want to run the wires to.
5.Plan out the most direct route.
6.Working from the attic, drill through the top two-by-four to get into the wall. If working from the basement, drill through the bottom two-by-four. (Going into the wall from the basement will be difficult because plywood will be covering the walls. If you don't drill precisely, you may drill into your floor.)
7.Run the wire along the baseboard and tack it down if you can't gain access to the walls through the attic or basement. To pass the wire on to the next room, drill a hole in the wall and run the wire through into the next room using the fish tape.
8.Avoid drilling within a few inches of the corners; there are always two-by-fours at the corners and you don't want to drill into them.
9.Drill separate holes through the walls on each side. It's possible to drill one hole through both walls, but you might damage the wall on the other side. Measure from a common point to line up the holes. Be sure you are not drilling into other wires or pipes between the walls.
10.Continue until you reach the place where you intend to terminate the run.  
Individual specifics of this job will vary greatly depending on the layout of you home. You will probably have to play around for a while and figure out the best procedure. Be extra careful to avoid damaging walls and the things between the walls.
Check with authorities in your town to see if there are any restrictions on who can perform electrical wiring work in a home.    

How to Decorate Your Living Room in Cottage Style

1.Choose a sofa with a relaxed attitude, such as an overstuffed style with a homey fabric like a floral, an awning or pillow tick stripe, or a nubby cotton. Look for big rolled arms and a cushioned back; wicker porch-style settees work well, too.
2.Look for easy chairs that are in the same general style but don't match - cottage style is eclectic. Keep the budget low with an Adirondack chair - just add cushions.
3.Go for casual lamp tables: Outdoor furniture can be painted white, stenciled or trimmed with painted-on flowers. Or look for wicker tables or spool and turned-spindle styles.
4.Set out traditional, low-key lamps with fabric shades in gingham or floral prints. Add a lamp with a wicker, terra-cotta or vintage-looking ceramic base, or consider candlestick lamps.
5.Make sure the coffee table invites you to put your feet up. Try to find an old kitchen table that you can cut down - or even a chicken coop to which you add a glass top.
6.Dress the windows simply or leave them bare - you want lots of light in a cottage-style room. Choose simple unlined curtains or plain white wood blinds if you must cover them.
7.Hang old-style pictures in old-style frames. Look for quilts and collectible plates to hang on walls, too.
8.Top tables with folk art sculpture and casual flower arrangements. Use dried flowers and potted plants in the room, and try to keep the containers humble.
9.Use light-colored paint or a small-print floral on the walls to keep the look cozy but light. 
Because cottage style is humble in nature, it can be executed on a budget. Don't feel you must have new pieces; you can make finds at flea markets, tag sales, thrift shops and secondhand stores.
Make the sofa and chairs more comfy by adding pillows, possibly in vintage-look fabrics such as 1940s florals, salvaged quilt pieces or old-style cotton chenille.
Slipcovers and quilts can cover up upholstered furnishings that have seen better days; a pretty quilt also makes a great wall hanging for cottage-style rooms.   

How to Write Your First Letter to a Pen Pal

1.Be friendly and polite.
2.Keep your tone upbeat.
3.Share information about yourself that you think others will find interesting.
4.Tell the person who you are and what you are about.
5.Include information about your age, education and career.
6.Mention your favorite hobbies, pets, children or anything else that might unearth a shared interest with in your new friend.
7.Avoid talking about controversial topics.
8.Take care not to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Revealing a little bit at a time will pique the reader’s interest.
9.Ask questions of the other person so he or she can respond.
1..Let your personality show by your choice of words and the descriptions you use. 
Tips: Remember not to share too much too soon. Wait until someone knows you before you air your family problems and secrets. 
Warnings: Use careful judgment when deciding how much information to share with a stranger. Always be cautious when it comes to revealing personal information.   

How to Assess Weather Patterns for Avalanche Conditions

1.Check a local backcountry store for an avalanche report. This information lists recent weather events and probable hazard ratings. You can also find reports online.
2.Test the depth of new snow out on the trail. A large amount of new snowfall adds stress to the snowpack and increases the chance of a slide.
3.Be aware of any dry cold spells prior to a new snowfall. Extended periods of cold, clear weather can weaken the snowpack, causing new snow to be even more hazardous.
4.Look for signs of heavy wind - cornices, trees blown free of snow, and drifts are all signs that snow has been moved from one place to another. The pockets where wind has deposited snow are less stable than other areas of the terrain.
5.Watch for signs of heavy rain on top of a snowpack. This puts additional stress on the snowpack while eroding the bonds between grains.
6.Feel the air for excessive heat and solar radiation. Warm spring skiing offers some of the safest backcountry conditions. However, when the snowpack becomes too wet, it can cause a loose snow slide.
7.Remember that with any type of weather, a rapid change can cause drastic differences in the snowpack stability. 
Tips: The best way to assess weather-related stability is to be aware of it on a continuous basis. An entire winter of weather can affect the stability on any given day in the spring. 
Warnings: The risks of avalanches are extremely high in many backcountry situations across the country. The Hows on avalanche assessment are designed to increase your awareness and help you make safe decisions. However, a class on the subject or traveling with a guide is recommended for those new to the backcountry experience. 

How to Choose a Bank

1.Consider a bank that is convenient to your everyday activities. Look for banks that are easily accessible as you drive to and from work or while you run your usual errands.
2.Check out different banks’ Web sites. There you can get a good idea of the types of accounts, available services and rates offered before you set foot inside a branch office.
3.Think about what is most important to you in a banking relationship. If you want to be able to develop a personal, long-term relationship with a bank, a smaller, local bank might best suit your needs. If you travel frequently and need access to branch offices while you are out of town, consider a regional or national bank.
4.Consider how you will be banking. If online banking and ATM banking interest you, select a bank that offers those services.
5.Visit the branch office where you would be conducting most of your banking business. Are the tellers professional and friendly? Are the account officers and/or managers accessible? Are the hours of operation compatible with the hours when you will do your banking?
6.Compare interest rates and service charges among banks to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 
Ask friends and family to recommend a bank.
Many banks will use the combined balance of all your accounts (checking, saving, money market, etc.) in calculating monthly account service charges, so consider moving all of your accounts to one bank.
Consider a “virtual bank.” All banking is done online or by mail, and service charges, if any, are minimal. Some virtual banks will even reimburse you for fees you incur using their cards at another bank’s ATM.