Melanie has worked as a radio station news reporter, as a press secretary in the Wisconsin State Legislature and as editor of two local publications. Since 1994, she has worked as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in travel and fitness.

She has won numerous awards for her writing, most notably prestigious Lowell Thomas Gold and Grand Awards for her travel journalism. Her first book, "Thousand-Miler" (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017), is a memoir about her record-setting thru-hike of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Recent Contributions

Private browsers and search engines offer much more protection than using a regular browser or search engine, or a browser with privacy mode-enabled. They can shield your sensitive data, ward off third-party ads and trackers, and provide a safer browsing experience.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

We all know vinegar is often used in cooking and making salad dressings. But it has a ton of other uses in cleaning, beauty, insect control and more!

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Cities across the globe are banning or limiting cruise ship traffic, while critics are challenging the resulting loss of revenue. Why do cities want them gone and is there a way to make everyone happy?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Whether it's finding out the identity of the painter Banksy or wondering who is the real "Girl with a Pearl Earring," there's no shortage of mysteries and intrigue within the world of art.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The newly opened National Museum of African American Music celebrates the legacy and contrubutions of Black musicians in all genres, from hip-hop, rap and soul to jazz, funk, blues and pop.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Mold is a type of fungus, and it's everywhere — indoors, outdoors and even in the air. But is black mold worse than the rest?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The tell-all interview between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey had many people wondering at the differences between the British royal family and "The Firm" — and who's really calling the shots.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Sitting on your butt all day can do a number on your health. Calisthenics, which is resistance training using your body weight, is a great way to stay in shape.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Capicola is an Italian cured meat that comes from a pig's shoulder. It's thinly sliced like prosciutto, but has its own distinct flavor.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Caster sugar is a term you may have come across in a British baking book or website. But what does it mean really? And what sugar can you substitute for it?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

They both sound prestigious, but one ranks higher than the other. So, which is it and how do you get your hands on one of these British titles, anyway?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Many recipes call for kosher salt rather than regular table salt. But does it really matter? And can you substitute table salt if that's all you have on hand?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Suet is a fat long used in British cooking. But in the U.S., this high-calorie, nutritious item is favored as bird food. Here's why.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

North Yungas Road in Bolivia was dubbed the "World's Most Dangerous Road" in the 1990s, thanks to the hundreds of people who lost their lives each year on its twisting narrow path with a 2,000-foot drop. But what's it like today?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

You could call pancetta Italian bacon, but it's so much more than that. Think of it as bacon maxed out. So how do you use it? And how does it differ from prosciutto?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Pergolas add shade, space and panache to your home. Here's what to keep in mind before selecting one.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Hiking is growing in popularity, thanks in part to COVID-19 spurring more people into the outdoors. But before you head out on that trail, there are some 'trail etiquette' guidelines to be aware of.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Trundle beds are great for kid sleepovers and temporary adult guests. They're also good space savers, but you need to keep a few things in mind before selecting one.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

This American institution began with Abraham Lincoln following Stephen Douglas on the campaign trail. Today, the presidential debate is one of the most anticipated markers of candidates' campaigns.

By Josh Clark & Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The phrase (which means to ride in the front passenger seat of the car) seems like it might have come about during the Wild West. But it actually took a detour through Hollywood.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus