Now that you have that new DVD player, it's time to catch up on all those movies you've missed. But where do you start?
Get to know an actor or director by renting a series of their films, suggests David LaDuke, manager at The Video Fan. Or, he says: "Maybe you could even pick a country. With the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, there are a lot of movies from New Zealand out there."
And don't forget that new videos are released every week. Check Tuesday mornings for the freshest new releases.
3. To clean out my closet.
First, get rid of things you haven't used in a while, says Vicky Garrison, a designer with California Closets. "If you haven't used them in a year or two and if you can't purge them," she says, "put them in an attic."
Or donate them to a worthy cause, says Lloyd Robinson, owner of California Closets in Glen Allen.
"If the closet has only one rod, you really need to change that," Garrison advises. "Most people have stuff piled to the ceiling above the rod and stacked up on the floor under it, but can't reach anything. A second rod will help you get to things more easily."
4. To keep up with the news.
You can only feel so good about recycling when you're putting a pile of papers on the curb that you never got around to reading.
The trick is not to view keeping up with the daily news as a chore, according to Hank Stuever, a reporter for the Style section of The Washington Post.
"It's like watching reality TV: It's no fun unless you get upset," Stuever says. "To really getting your 35 cents' worth, find stuff that just drives you nuts. Find a writer you can't stand. If it's Family Circus, that great; if it's a local columnist that's always writing about their infant child, that's good too."
One media-relations habit more familiar to older readers is adding your own two cents. "You can call the newspaper and just gripe about anything because the paper is so beholden to the readers and doesn't want to appear not to care," Stuever says. "So you can really come up with something completely cranky and so trivial and call every day."
5. To get together more often.
How many times did you say that this holiday season? So why not try to entertain more? It may not be as overwhelming as it seems. Whether it's dinner with a few friends or a black-tie wedding reception, planning ahead makes all the difference.
T.J. Enderle, executive chef at A Sharper Palate catering company, says that some food can be made as much as two weeks before an event. "We always make our sauces first three or four days in advance," he says. "All your marinades you can do early." And as for sweets, he says: "Cookies hold up really well. You can bake them and freeze them and pull them out that morning."
Tidying up in advance helps too. "Clean as you go, try not to accumulate messes," Enderle says. "And stay away from red wine!"
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