Illustration: ShoutBy Marcia DeSanctis
If I've served pasta twice a week since my 17 1/2-year-old son, Ray, first gummed solid food, that comes to roughly 1,768 pots of the stuff. So one evening last summer, when I asked him for help with dinner, Ray's response surprised me: "What's a colander again?" he said.
I could only blame myself. I was never one for "attachment cooking." Nobody's hands went in the sauce except my own. But that night, as I explained with a touch of panic that a colander is the thing with holes in it, I wondered what else I hadn't prepared Ray for. I felt confident that I'd raised a self-reliant boy, as we all try to do. But could he boil water? Sew on a button? Wash his clothes without turning them pink? No, no, and no. Suddenly it hit me like a ton of boiled rigatoni: He'd be leaving the house in a year to attend college. No way was I going to unleash a spoiled princeling into the world.
As parents, while we focus on our child's confidence and character, we perhaps don't always
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Illustration: ShoutBy Marcia DeSanctisRead More »from 4 Rules for Teaching Your Son to Keep House
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie PikulRead More »from 8 Reasons You're Still Tired
You Forgot Your Water Bottle at Home
Even mild dehydration (1.36 percent loss of normal water volume in the body) can slow your mental gears and make you feel woozy, concluded the authors of a study published last year in the Journal of Nutrition. But the sensation of thirst doesn't usually kick in until you're about 1 or 2 percent dehydrated, so a dry mouth isn't a reliable gauge. In addition to drinking plenty of water, you can stay hydrated by snacking on raw fruit and vegetables, yogurt or soup.
Your Thyroid Has Turned into a Slacker--or an Overachiever
You know the connection between fatigue and hypothyroidism, when an underactive thyroid doesn't produce enough metabolism-regulating hormones, so you may already be on the lookout for an unexplained weight gain and a slower-than-average heart rate. But you can also feel wiped out by hyperthyroidism, the opposite condition, says Sandra Fryhofer, MD, an Atlanta internist and past president of the American College of
- Oprah.com | Shine Food – Mon, Dec 10, 2012 5:37 PM EST
Photo: Anna WilliamsBy Lynn Andriani
If you've got 30 minutes... Let preseasoned sausage do the work. Sweet or hot Italian links may be a summertime grilling staple, but they also deserve kudos for how easily they transform into flavorful patties. Since the meat is already seasoned, all you have to do is remove the casings, form the pork into burgers, brush with oil and grill over moderate heat until browned and crusty, about 5 minutes per side. While the burgers cook, sauté a bag of baby spinach with garlic in olive oil for a fresh-tasting topping. Toasted ciabatta rolls will soak up the juices. If you've got 20 minutes... Make Oprah's last-minute pasta. Her lemony, herby spaghetti calls for staples such as lemon juice and zest, butter, olive oil and Parmesan, plus a rotating cast of fresh herbs-Oprah suggests basil, lemon thyme and oregano, but parsley, tarragon, chives and mint work well, too. If you happen to have a bag of frozen peas on hand, add a cup or so to the pot Read More »from The Exhausted Woman's Guide to Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less
- Oprah.com | Love + Sex – Wed, Dec 5, 2012 2:55 PM EST
Illustration: ThinkstockBy Leigh NewmanRead More »from 5 Insanely Nice Things You Can Say to Your Partner (Right Now!)
Nice Thing #1: "The way you handled that huge, hairy spider on the wall of the shower was hot."
This is also known as "the way you handled that insane toddler temper tantrum was hot" or "the way you handled that endless grocery list was hot." The most joy-inducing aspect of each of these examples is that you're not being cute or indulging in flattery in order to make your partner feel good. Completing these kinds of trying tasks do have a nugget of honest-to-God sexiness. Bravery, even in the face of bugs, is sexy. So is self-control and patience in the face of a furious child throwing blocks around his room. So is grit and determination in the face of 76 aisles of glittering food products and a cashier who won't take coupons. So your other half didn't save a kitten from a burning house this week. Recognizing his everyday acts of heroism makes those acts--and him--feel spectacularly unordinary, if not extraordinary.
Nice Thing #2: "You smell like the day I met you."
Photo: Michael SmithBy Karen ValbyRead More »from How China Smith is Changing the Face of Ballet
Her back quivering in plank position, 17-year-old Danielle looks ready to give up. "Don't you quit!" says China Smith, Danielle's dance instructor and founder of the Austin dance studio Ballet Afrique. Smith's youth company is nearing the end of its rigorous class warm-up of barre stretches and pliés. With her hand on Danielle's back, Smith turns her attention to the other teenagers in the room, exhorting them to push themselves to their limit: "I want you to know that feeling where you're so tired, just beat down physically and mentally--and still you trust in your power."
RELATED: Women Who Create Gifts That Give Back
If Smith demands a lot of her students, it's because she knows they're working against enormous odds: the presiding belief that classical dance is the exclusive privilege of white girls from the well-to-do side of town. "I wanted to dance more than anything as a child and didn't have access to it," Smith says. "My idea of ballet didn't include anybody
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DSpice Boys
Even if the main men in your life don't usually wear cologne, they'll be game to try Molton Brown's Black Pepper scent. It's bracing and clean and never overwhelming.
Polaris Holiday Set, $85; Barneys.com
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DFlower Girl
If your cheerful friend credits her rosy outlook to the fresh flowers that fill her home year-round, give her this rich floral fragrance, an intoxicating mix of orange blossom, rose absolute, tuberose, and musk.
Houbigant Paris Orangers en Fleurs Eau de Parfum, $180 for 100 milliliters; BergdorfGoodman.com
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DA Dynamic Duo: Part 1
If your sister is a sucker for red accessories (shoes, bags, and, of course, lipstick), she'll be thrilled with this shiny crimson gloss...
Laura Mercier Lip Lacquer in Laque Rouge, $24; LauraMercier.com
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DA Dynamic Duo: Part 2
...And her eyes will really light up when she pairs it with a veilRead More »from 9 Gifts for Beauty Lovers
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
A Way to Tap into the Cake Pop Craze Without Losing Sleep
There's no denying that those little balls of sweetness are adorable (hi, fluffy sheep with tiny pink heart noses), but they can take hours-if not days-to make. We've got two shortcuts: Make them with doughnut holes or Rice Krispie treats instead (just form the treats into balls instead of pressing them into a pan). Then get creative with the toppings, from tiramisu (cocoa powder and a chocolate-covered espresso bean) to Mexican hot chocolate (chocolate spiked with cinnamon).Photo: Thinkstock5-Minute Fudge
If you don't have a can or two of sweetened condensed milk knocking around your cupboard, stock up: The $2.99 ingredient, which can last for years unopened without refrigeration, is a dessert maker's secret weapon. It's indispensable in key lime pie and caramel candies, but less well known is its ability to transform chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and vanilla into fudge. This recipe has myriad variations, likeRead More »from The Tired Woman's Guide to Bake Sales
Can your doctor tell when you last had sex?
She might be able to if it was the last thing you did before leaving home, says Lauren Streicher, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. The evidence may remain inside you for 12 hours. This presents a bit of a challenge, says Streicher, because ejaculatory fluid-as well as spermicide, lubricants and creams-alter the vaginal flora (we love that phrase) in ways that can make it difficult for your doctor to accurately read your test results. If you're getting a Pap smear, give your doctor a heads-up about your very recent tryst so that she knows what she's dealing with. If the reason for your visit has to do with abnormal discharge or odor, abstain from sex for about 12 hours, or consider rescheduling. But good news if you're feeling self-conscious about a monthslong dry spell: Your doctor won't be able to tell unless you decide to tell her, says Streicher.
Can you beRead More »from Crazy Questions People Ask Gynecologists
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
Southern Fried Chicken-from the Oven
There is a way to get crackling chicken skin without deep-frying (or shaking and baking). The trick is to preheat the oven with a pan in it--so when the chicken hits the hot metal, it instantly forms a golden crust. Crank the oven up to 375 degrees and place a dark roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet inside. Bread drumsticks, breasts and thighs--a mixture of Ritz cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese gives you a wonderfully crunchy and salty exterior--and then carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Slowly drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil around the pan and carefully lay the chicken down; when the meat hits the pan you'll hear a sizzle. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, squirt with lemon juice and bake another 20 minutes.
Photo: ThinkstockA State Fair at Home
We aren't about to give you a recipe for no-mess fried Twinkies, but crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside fried dough is well within a home cook's reach--and itRead More »from Simple Shortcuts for Amazing Fried Food
Photo: Alison GooteeBy Kate Rockwood
If the very mention of the holidays has you overwhelmed--decking the halls, shopping for 82 family members, stocking up on boxes and bows--O's organizing wiz, Peter Walsh, is here to help you breathe a little easier. "Set aside the question 'What do I need for this holiday?' and instead ask yourself, 'What do I want from it?'" suggests Walsh. "The answer is usually family, warmth, relaxation, reconnection--not things." Here are some easy ways to de-clutter this season and make room for what really matters to you.
"When I'm in someone's garage and I see endless storage boxes filled with strands of lights and garlands and ornaments, my first thought is always 'Are you kidding me?'" says Walsh. "I'm not Scrooge, but for many of my clients the collecting has gotten out of control." Part of the problem, he says, is that we amass more decorations each year, yet we rarely (if ever) filter out what we no longer use or appreciate. "People just shoveRead More »from 5 Secrets for a Clutter-Free Holiday