Dan Farrall / Getty ImagesBy Tara Parker-Pope
Can you spot a good marriage? I was pretty sure I could, starting with my own. My husband and I rarely argued, we had similar careers, we shared common interests. Things weren't perfect, but we seemed to be humming along in harmony better than most other couples we knew. In fact, nobody was more surprised than we were when our 17-year marriage ended in a New Jersey divorce court.
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It turns out, though, that the signs of trouble had been there all along, if only I'd known what to look for. Instead, I was judging my marriage by the wrong standards-which, I've since learned, most of us do. In one now-famous study, researchers asked therapists, married couples, and others to watch videotaped conversations of ten couples and try to identify the relationships that had ultimately ended in divorce. The results were abysmal-even the therapists guessed wrong half the time.
So how can you diagnose the health of
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Dan Farrall / Getty ImagesBy Tara Parker-PopeRead More »from The Surprising Habits That Can Sink a Marriage
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn AndrianiRead More »from A Godiva Chef's Secret for the Perfect Cake
Godiva executive chef chocolatier Thierry Muret spends his days tinkering with double chocolate raspberry truffles and cherry cordials (it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it). And with Godiva's collection of baked goods, which will have a new line on sale in the fall, Muret learned to master the art of mixing, baking and frosting. Among the most valuable lessons he picked up: freeze a cake after baking it. It keeps the cake incredibly moist and, as a bonus for frazzled cake decorators, makes it a lot easier to cut--and, in turn, frost.
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After mixing the cake batter (and at Godiva, all cake batters are chocolate--go figure), pouring it into the pan and baking it completely through, Muret pulls the cake out of the oven and lets it cool on a wire rack until it is lukewarm enough that he can handle it. He removes it from the pan and then wraps the entire cake with cellophane wrap--and this is crucial--twice. You must
Illustration: Peter ArkleBy Jenny Bailly
How to Treat a Mosquito Bite (in the Middle of Your Forehead)
Dab a 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment on the bump as soon as you notice it to bring down the inflammation and redness. (If you're willing to pop a pill, an antihistamine, like Zyrtec, will also help reduce swelling.) Once you've treated the bite, cover it as you would a pimple. Here's makeup artist Troy Surratt's strategy:
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- Use a small synthetic makeup brush to dab creamy concealer over the bite. Brush the concealer up and down and side to side so it blends into the skin.
- Pat the concealer with your ring finger a couple of times to remove any excess.
- Take a sponge wedge and dab on a translucent powder to set the concealer.
Illustration: Peter ArkleHow to Treat a Killer Blister
To pop, or not to pop, that is the question. The dermatologists we spoke with answered: Pop.Read More »from 3 Summer Beauty Emergencies - Solved!
"The blister will heal more readily if you drain
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn AndrianiRead More »from 6 New Takes on Classic Sangria
The simplicity of sangria--a little fruit, a little wine, and there's your fiesta--is part of the drink's allure. And I'll take a cold glass of the traditional version any summer day (here's Art Smith's sangria, which was served at the Oprah Show farewell dinner). Still, playing with the recipe, whether by swapping in a different fruit or alcohol, or introducing a completely new flavor, can be fun. Here are six food bloggers' creative takes on the classic.
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Lambrusco Sangria from Chow.com
Be delicate when you stir otherwise you'll kill the bubbles.
Raspberry Thyme Sangria from Food Republic
Muddled raspberries and thyme go nicely with Prosecco (if you like your sangria spritzy) or Rose (if you prefer it more full-bodied).
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Sake Sangria from Daily Loaf
Peaches and plums play up the flavors in sake and plum wine.
Sangria and Iced Coffee from the Women's Health blog
A non-alcoholic version that blends
Photo: ThinkstockBy Cindy ChupackRead More »from Is It OK to Use Your Ex for a Booty Call?
Q: My dilemma is that I still love my ex, who I dated for nine years. Recently, I dated someone else-it didn't work out. I'm now thinking of using the ex (we remain friends) as a booty call, which is a new concept for me. Or maybe it's time for my old-fashioned self to get more familiar with my body and try self-satisfaction?
- Linda, Rhode Island
RELATED: "Can't We Be Friends?"
A: Ladies, let's talk about the booty call. The beauty of the booty call is its simplicity. You're in the mood for sex. You don't have a boyfriend at the moment. You know someone who doesn't have a girlfriend. You call him up. Wham, bam, thank you, Sam. Everybody's happy.
How does love factor into this, Linda? It doesn't! And yet, as women, we have trouble keeping love out of the bedroom. Love is like a puppy whimpering outside the door, waiting to be let in as soon as the sex is over. Love will ruin a booty call faster than you can say, "Where do you see this going?" It's a tragedy, really,
Photo: ThinkstockAuthor and political commentator Donna Brazile reveals six things she never wants to think about again-and you don't need them either.Read More »from 6 Things You Can Live Without (Forever!)
The words "in my humble opinion." It is never humble and it is never delivered as opinion.
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Energy sucks (a.k.a Negative Nancies, Debbie Downers, and Sad Sids). These are the people who find the cloud around every silver lining. If you can't cut them out of your life entirely, turn your interactions with them into a game. When my neighbor says, "I hate this horrible weather!" I say, "Isn't horrible weather great? It means I don't have to wash my car!"
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Another person to make us complete. Being single isn't the same thing as being alone. Sometimes all it means is that you're responsible for picking up your own socks.
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Bad wine. Life is too short, and good wine too cheap. I like my Chardonnay buttery,
- Oprah.com | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 29, 2011 7:25 PM EDT
Photo: ThinkstockBy Kate RockwoodRead More »from Packing a Perfect Gluten-Free Picnic Basket? Yes, it's Possible
Picnics are underappreciated: less hassle and heat than grilling, but endlessly more fun than eating indoors. Yet if you're gluten-free, the classic menu--a potential danger zone of sandwiches, crackers, pasta salad, and cookies--can scream off limits. A picnic can be gluten-free, of course, if you find tasty alternatives to the old standbys. Here's what you'll find in my wicker basket this weekend:
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Udi's Sandwich Bread: Whether I'm craving cucumber-cream cheese or mounds of roast beef, I reach for Udi's, a durable rice-and-tapioca bread available in white or whole wheat. Unlike other options, it doesn't require toasting to hold up to messy fillings; you can eat it soft, straight from the loaf.
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Tinkyada Pasta: Tinkyada's pasta-salad-perfect noodles (penne, shells, spirals) are made with brown rice and rice bran (fiber boost!), and stay incredibly chewy. One tip: The directions
- Oprah.com | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 29, 2011 7:03 PM EDT
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie PikulRead More »from Free Birth Control Could be Just a Year and a Half Away
Nearly every woman in America has used some method of contraception at some point in her life (the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute puts that number at 98 percent). But many women haven't been able to use them as consistently as they'd like, or as recommended. Consistent usage can be expensive: Brand-name versions of birth control pills, the patch or the ring can cost more than $60 a month if paid entirely out of pocket. The initial costs of an IUD (preferred by many couples who already have children) are even more intimidating: The medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device and the follow-up visits can range from $500 to $1,000.
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Last week, the Institute of Medicine, a leading medical advisory panel, recommended that all insurers be required to cover FDA-approved contraceptives for women free of charge-that is, no co-pays or deductibles required. This is part of a set of eight empowering recommendations that also include
Photo: Fernando MilaniBy Jenny Bailly
Is your instinct to wear less makeup in the heat? Congratulations, your instinct is right! You can still look polished, though, with this pared-down routine from makeup artist Tracy Murphy.
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To even out your complexion in summer, use a moisturizer with gradual self-tanner and SPF (like Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 20, $8.50).
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Minimize undereye circles and blemishes with a waterproof concealer, like Lancôme Effacernes ($30).
Powdery makeup and perspiration are not a pretty combination; swap your powder blush for a cheek stain (like Benefit ChaChaTint, $29).
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Eyeshadow can be ephemeral in the heat, so retire it until fall. Define your eyes with a waterproof liquid liner (like Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner, $23) and waterproof mascara (like NYC New York Color Show TimeRead More »from How to Keep Your Makeup From Running
It's been said that parenting is the toughest job in the world. Wrong. It's the second toughest: Stepparenting wins hands down. Right now, approximately half of all Americans live in a stepfamily, which means that every day, millions of women are subject to the taunt-sometimes mournful, often angry-"You're not my mother!"Read More »from 4 Things a Stepmother Should Never Say
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I've been a stepmother three times. I know, from hard-won experience, that a great relationship with your stepkids is possible. And if you avoid certain trapdoors like the 4 verboten phrases here, you'll not only get along, but you'll never have to ask them to pick up their socks.
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1. "Go ahead, call me Mom!"
You're not their mother, and you never will be. They're conflicted enough, and pushing them to use a mom-name will only confuse them more.
Corollary: "We're going to be one big, happy family!"
You might eventually become the happiest of stepfamilies, but it