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I learned...

...palm reading from a book. It's the handiest skill to salvage a lackluster party or a really deadly baby shower.

...how to paint a bathroom, which I do every winter, when I crave color. Two years ago, I chose Pepto-Bismol pink, and I felt like I was in a Barbie Dream House. Horrible. Pale green was another disaster—in the mirror, I looked like I crawled out of a crypt. Now I have a light, light blue-green. Keep it light, I've found. And easily washable semigloss is best.

Next, I'm off to a sandcastle-building workshop on Staten Island. Our annual family vacation includes a sandcastle contest, and I want an edge. My instructor, Matt Long of the sand-sculpting firm Days at the Beach, says it's crucial to start with a big pile of sand and sculpt from the top down. Who knew?
—Jancee Dunn

Next: Learning to be handy around the house

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