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Beatrice Goodman of Chapel Hill shared her recipe for “Awesome Stuffed Celery.”
Beatrice Goodman of Chapel Hill shared her recipe for “Awesome Stuffed Celery.” MCT

Best time capsule

We love this idea for creating New Year’s memories and keepsakes with your kids. The Come Together Kids blog suggests making an annual New Year’s time capsule that will capture your children’s changing likes, dislikes and personalities through the years.

Create a form and ask your kids to fill in the blanks (or help them do it) to things relevant to 2014 such as:

Three of my favorite foods are _______.

If I have some free time, I like to ______.

This year I learned how to ______.

Something that makes me really happy is ______.

Then take a clean, empty 2-liter bottle, remove the label and create your own time capsule label to affix to the front. (Or you could store the list(s) in a keepsake box or shoe box.) Add extra momentos for the year such as report cards, Christmas lists, the outline of a foot or hand or measure and cut out the child’s height from a length of yarn or ribbon. It will be easy to see how much they’ve grown from year to year.

Check out the original post at http://nando.com/p6.

Best for holiday wreaths

As you’re taking down holiday decorations, use this reader tip to keep your “wreaths looking new year after year.” Marie Little of Fuquay-Varina suggests storing them in a wardrobe box from a moving company. “Just slide them on the hanging bar, close it up and they will come out dust-free with uncrushed bows!”

Best appetizer

Beatrice Goodman of Chapel Hill shared her recipe for “Awesome Stuffed Celery.” It would make a tasty appetizer to add to your New Year’s party or dinner menu.


8 ounces cream cheese (low-fat is fine)

6 ounces gorgonzola cheese crumbles

Package of celery stalks



Bring cheeses to room temperature so that they will be easier to blend together.

Mash together with a fork.

Wash and separate the stalks of celery. Cut off browned ends. Dry with clean paper towels.

Stuff celery with the mixed cheeses using flat butter knife or thin spatula. Place on plate with the cheese sides up.

Shake paprika on celery after stuffing the stalks.


Best little life hacks

From Real Simple magazine, here are four ideas to make your life easier in 2015:

1 Repurpose those celebratory New Year’s Eve party hats by filling them with confetti and letting your party guests toss confetti to ring in 2015.

2 Untangle necklaces by rubbing a few drops of baby oil into knots and working them free with a straight pin.

3 Dress up a pair of ordinary flats or other shoes. Attach a funky pair of clip-on earrings to shoes at the center and let your fancy footsies peek out from under your trousers or gown. You’ll be able to update your wardrobe as quickly as you change your mood.

4 Speaking of shoes, make your new shoes slip-resistant by adding duct tape to the bottom. The tape will create added traction that will come in handy as your tool around town in your new wares.

Seeking our readers’ best

We are seeking our readers’ best tips for cleaning, organizing and gardening in the new year. If we use your tip, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a gift card. Send your tips to topdrawer@newsobserver.com. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best tips” in the subject line.

Dena Aretakis-Horn

Best of the tube


Old Hollywood flair: Matt finds two actors looking to glam up their dated bath with some Old Hollywood flair and he delivers. The centerpiece is a vintage-inspired vanity with mirror accents and a glass countertop with glowing black and pearl marbles below. A cabinet that opens up to a secret handbag closet is a take on the secret rooms in this Prohibition-era home and sliding panels with Art Deco wallpaper are another nod to the past. Modern touches include a freestanding jetted tub and a steam shower for two. “Bath Crashers” airs at 8 p.m. Monday.

Send news and photos to The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; email topdrawer@newsobserver.com.