The Experts' Guide to Life at Home

The Experts' Guide to Life at Home

by Samantha Ettus

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Read a little, learn a lot!

In the bestselling The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do, the world’s most knowledgeable experts provided unparalleled insights into mastering the little things in life that are often invariably the hardest to accomplish. Now, Experts’ Guide series creator Samantha Ettus once again brings together 100 renowned experts who share their proficiency and know-how to show you not only how to make your home more beautiful, but how to live more happily in it.

The first book to join three home-related genres—home improvement, self-help, and interior design—The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home is the ultimate must-have guide to mastering your domain. Divided into six sections (To Nest, To Protect, To Improve, To Beautify, To Relax, and To Enjoy), 100 of the world’s leading experts provide consummate insight into how to successfully accomplish everything from properly folding fitted sheets, as taught by the world’s leading computational origami expert; to hanging holiday lights, with guidance from the man who decorates the world-renowned Rockefeller Center Christmas tree; to carving a turkey, with instructions from Oprah’s personal chef.

The experts include:

• Al Roker, on how to Create a Family Barbecue

• Senator Dianne Feinstein, on how to Prevent Identity Theft

• Joy Browne, on how to Compromise

• Ina Garten, on how to Host a Dinner Party

• Harvey Karp, on how to Discipline Your Children

• Susie Coelho, on how to Make the Most of a Spare Room

• Jorge Cruise, on how to Incorporate Fitness into Your Daily Life

• Alexandra Stoddard, on how to Lead a Happy Life

The contributors to The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home range from instantly recognizable names like Rachael Ray and Leeza Gibbons to industry leaders like the CEO of AARP and the co-creators of the hit TV show The Amazing Race. All have been chosen for inclusion because they are at the very top of their profession, be it finance, cooking, relationships, medicine, security, or even building the perfect snowman.

From the bedroom to the kitchen, the kid’s room to the basement, the backyard to the front yard, The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home makes it easy to read a little and learn a lot about making the most of your home.

Also available:The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307484475
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 12/07/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

As creator of The Experts’ Guides, Samantha Ettus has developed a secret recipe for identifying the world’s leading experts. Her syndicated column, “Celebrity Assets,” appears weekly in news-papers nationwide. She is a sought-after speaker and has appeared in a number of national media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ESPN, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, among others. Samantha holds a BA and an MBA, both from Harvard University. Please visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

Increase Your Energy, Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon is author of Energy Addict and The 10 Minute Energy Solution. Jon has served as an energy coach to the PGA Tour, The Jacksonville Jaguars, and countless corporations and individuals. He recently hosted a month long energy segment on NBC’s Today.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing “I’m completely energized” and 1 indicating “It’s a miracle I get out of bed,” think about what your personal energy meter reads. Most people are between 4 and 7. They are overworked, overtired, and overstressed. We are like an energy vending machine—giving all of our energy away and not restocking it with the right power sources. When our family, friends, and businesses need our energy, we are often running on empty or sold out.

The great news is that energy can be acquired through simple strategies, action steps, and power sources.


All you need is a pair of shoes and a place to walk. While you are walking, say out loud what you are thankful for. When you are thankful, it’s physiologically impossible to be stressed. Gratitude also enhances your happiness and health, so the thank-you walk is a great way to reduce stress and increase your blood flow, happiness, and energy at the same time. Start with 10 minutes and you’ll get addicted to the way it makes you feel. Eventually you’ll love it so much you’ll walk for 30 minutes or take three 10-minute walks a day. So long mocha lattes—hello energy walk.


Mom was right. Breakfast eaters are more productive and alert at work and have more energy in the morning. Even if you are busy, you must make time for a breakfast with protein and fiber. Suggestions include eggs and fruit, oatmeal with raisins and walnuts, hummus and an apple.


Throughout the day focus on your breathing to reduce stress and increase calm energy. Take 5–10 energizer breaths. Inhale for 2 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. While you are breathing, think of a feel-good mantra, such as “Great things are happening.”


The B vitamins are essential for energy production and metabolism and they also help the liver clear out stress hormones that affect your sleep and energy.


Eating more calories earlier in the day will increase your energy and help you burn more calories. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card.


A daily practice of one or more of these exercises will make a huge difference in your energy and stress levels.


Eating healthy snacks helps you maintain your blood sugar and energy levels and increases your metabolism. Try almond butter with a celery stick or a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds.


A lack of water leads to fatigue and headaches. Many of us are not drinking enough water and are drinking too much caffeine (which acts as a diuretic), so we are dehydrated without even knowing it. Sip water every few minutes throughout the day to stay hydrated and energized.


Children laugh about 400 times a day while adults only laugh about 25 times. Start playing again and you’ll have energy, too. Turn on some music and dance around your home.


We live in a noisy world and tapping the energy of silence helps us recharge our batteries and reenergize our lives. Take a daily energy break.


Don’t let negative people drain your energy. Focus on your positive energy and kill them with kindness. Energy vampires are no match for your positive energy.

Other quick tips to increase your energy

*Listen to your favorite song when you need a pick-me-up.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Tape your late-night shows and get more sleep.

*Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

*Don’t waste your energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the present.

*Drink green tea. It has about a quarter of the amount of caffeine as coffee, plus it’s an antioxidant that helps fight cancer and prevent heart disease.

*Smile more.

*Before you go to bed complete the following statements:

I am thankful for . . .

Today I was a success because . . .


Secure a Mortgage, Melissa Cohn

Melissa Cohn is the founder and CEO of the Manhattan Mortgage Company, a leading brokerage firm with ten offices on the East Coast. For the past nine years she has been named Top Mortgage Originator by Mortgage Originator magazine.

If you are looking to buy a home or thinking about refinancing, here is how to approach it. Start by having the following information available when you shop for your loan:

*The purchase price of the home you are buying (or current value of your home if you are refinancing): Contact a local realtor who can give you comparable sales for your home—the value is based upon the location, the condition, and most recent sales in the neighborhood.

*The amount you want to borrow: Depending on the price of your new home, there are lenders that will finance up to

100 percent of the purchase—but at a higher cost. Generally, the best rates are available if you put down 20 percent of the purchase price. But don’t fear: many lenders will give you a home equity loan for another 10 percent so that you can readily finance up to 90 percent of the purchase price.

*Your income for the past two years: Most banks will allow you to spend up to 40 percent or more of your gross income on your housing costs (mortgage payments and taxes/insurance.) If you have great credit, there are banks that will go as high as 50 percent of your gross income to cover your monthly debt expenses.

*Your liabilities: These include car loans/leases, credit card debt, mortgages on other properties, student loans, and alimony child support payments.

*When you plan to close: The typical time for closing is 60 days. It is possible to close as quickly as 30 days, but 60 is considered the safe standard.

*Your liquid assets: These include cash, stocks, bonds, money market funds, and hedge funds. Banks will also consider stock options and retirement assets as part of your liquid net worth. Generally, banks look for you to have sufficient liquid assets to cover the transaction and they also require you to meet a postclosing liquidity requirement. The bigger the loan amount, the more assets your bank will want to you to have.

*Your credit rating: Most banks rely on a report that merges three separate credit bureaus’ analyses of your credit. Your score is based on three main elements: your payment history, your debt versus your available credit lines, and the length of time you have had credit.

Each of the lenders should ask you these questions. Give them precise information so that they can give you an accurate quote on a rate.

The most important component in the whole process is to find

the right mortgage lender. Don’t simply approach your bank for a mortgage—it may not have the most competitive rate. Instead, shop around for recommendations. Once you have gathered your list, get an apple-to-apple comparison from each of them.

They should then be prepared to tell you the following:

*The rate they can offer you

*Whether there are any points

*The closing costs

*Length of the lock-in period

*Criteria to get you locked in

*Whether you qualify for the requested loan

These are some things to look out for in the process:

*The rate: Rates change daily with banks and move with the bond market. If bonds yields go up, so do mortgage rates. If you can’t close within the traditional 60-day lock, ask about the cost of a longer lock-in—and get it in writing from your lender.

*Junk fees: Banks today charge a number of fees that aren’t tax deductible and can get costly. Make sure you get a complete list of closing costs from each lender and compare them. Sometimes it pays to take a slightly higher rate if the closing costs are much lower. Keep in mind that mortgage interest is tax deductible but closing costs are not.

*Qualifying and getting approved: If you don’t give complete information or if the lenders are not accurate in qualifying you, they can come back and tell you that you don’t qualify for the rate you applied for (or were offered) but they will offer you a higher rate instead. Avoid this by getting preapproved for your financing before locking in.



Getting preapproved is a smart way to start the mortgage approval process in a volatile market. It should be free of charge and the bank will approve the loan without doing an appraisal of the home.


Seventy percent of all borrowers use a mortgage broker to do the shopping for them. This will save you time and money.


If you are not planning on being in your home for very long, look at adjustable rate options. If your intentions are long term, consider a fixed rate—it may cost a bit more up front, but in the long run it may save you.

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