Summer's almost in its wind down phase which means the time to eat a perfectly ripe peach or go to an outdoor movie is now or next year. If you're having trouble prioritizing a summer slow down, here are some easy-peasy ways to make sure you enjoy the best thing that summer offers: time.
DO ONE THING AT A TIME
You know what the summer antidote to multitasking is? Mono-tasking. Whether you're at home or on vacation, tackle only one thing at time. Devote all your attention to packing a picnic, swinging in a hammock or collecting seashells. (The same principle applies at the office, too, but let's not talk about work right now...) When your attention's not pulled in twenty different directions, you'll be able to more fully be present in the moment and really enjoy it.
Summer has a tendency to get quickly packed with plans, but it's important to leave yourself time to indulge your whims. Make certain times sacred--Wednesday evening, say, or Saturday afternoon--when even an
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Aug 2, 2010 5:39 AM EDT
Summer's almost in its wind down phase which means the time to eat a perfectly ripe peach or go to an outdoor movie is now or next year. If you're having trouble prioritizing a summer slow down, here are some easy-peasy ways to make sure you enjoy the best thing that summer offers: time.Read More »from How to make your free time feel utterly restorative
Yesterday I was Tweeting away when I was confronted with yet another measure of the online popularity contest. With algorithms and internet fairy dust, Klout measures your online influence. I found myself balking at the this new way to measure online role models (and not just because of my own pathetic little rating, I promise). What happened to our real-life role models? And why aren't we developing more of them, instead of developing software to keep score?Read More »from Who is there to look up to these days?
I always think of Julia Child. Talk about a Real-Life Makeover. Here's a woman who didn't even know she liked to cook, let alone could, until she was in her late 30's. That she went on to write what is still considered the bible of French cuisine for the home cook and star in a beloved television show with her towering frame and warbly voice is a testament to what anyone can achieve with passion and study. "Find something you're passionate about," said Child, "and keep tremendously interested in it."
I love the online sphere, of
Lose It!Read More »from 5 ways to track what you're eating on the go
This is one of those apps people are just crazy about, and not just because it's free. It's got a sleek, simple interface with a huge database of food and exercises to track, with the kind of charts and graphs that make you feel like you're really getting somewhere. If you're the type that likes to buddy up, Lose It! combines a food journal with the buddy system: you can share your exercise goals and weight-loss successes with your friends to help stay motivated and keep each other on track. It's only on iPhone for now, but the developers are working on an Android version.
Calorie Tracker by LIVESTRONG
With an Android, Blackberry, or iPhone, you can use this app to determine a daily calorie target based on your personal goals, and then search the giant LIVESTRONG database to keep track of your meals throughout the day. Want to keep track of that whole calories-in, calories out equation? You can also track workouts and be presented with a dazzling chart of your progress.
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 27, 2010 3:23 PM EDT
Martha Beck's wise and funny column is one of the things I look forward to most in O Magazine. She is the rare bird to admit that the business of life-improvement is non-linear. Instead, it's messy, and filled with asides, tangents, and mistakes. So I was intrigued at the simplicity in her most recent column, all about two questions to ask that can guarantee a richer life.Read More »from Two gut-level questions to ask that will change the way you spend
Do I love it? Do I need it?
Beck sets forth a "matrix" of spending in which we spend the most on items that get a yes to both questions: Yes, I love it and I need it. For example, it's money well-spent when you find the perfect black wrap dress you've searched your whole life for that goes from the office to your date night with ease. You need it and you love it.
From there, the rubric goes like this: we should spend the least on the items we need but don't love (toilet paper), we shouldn't spend a dollar on things we don't need or love (another pair of candlesticks for the dining room), and any leftover money can
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Jul 26, 2010 5:16 PM EDT
We're not only talking week-with-our-toes-in-the-sand type vacations (though who among us would look a cabana boy in the mouth?), but just the act of stepping out of the workaday routine, even for a staycation. Vacations are vital. According to a study by travel site Expedia, a third of employed Americans don't take their full vacation time. If you're one of the lucky who get paid time off from work, this is as bad as walking away from free money. Summer's ticking by, and if you're still looking for the reasons to justify turning off your Blackberry and packing up a road trip cooler, look no further.Read More »from Why vacations matter (and why you should schedule yours)
Vacations give your life more meaning. Americans have a Puritan work ethic we're proud of, but we often overlook the power leisure has to inform our sense of self. Having time to just be can often lead to big conclusions about what we want from life and who we are. A study from the University of Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center found that those who enjoyed leisure time, including vacations,
You might not be given to astrological meanings as much as I am, but one thing I know: Aries are not particularly patient, and I'm living proof. Whether you can't stand waiting in line or get hot-headed in an argument (my particular bugaboo), patience is the kind of virtue we'd all do well to cultivate. Here, ten ways to keep from flipping a lid at your next staff meeting.Read More »from 10 practical tips for cultivating patience
1. Identify your triggers. What sends you over the edge? Is it bad traffic, your annoying co-workers, or how slowly your kids move in the morning when you're trying to get out the door? Note what the main irritants are to your daily sense of zen and focus on cultivating your patience in those areas in particular.
2. Take a deep breath. You're in the heat of the moment with your identified irritant and you feel your blood starting to boil. Acknowledge your reaction and slow it down by taking a deep breath and a slow exhale.
3. Count to 10. Now, we're going to slow down your reaction even more. Count to ten in your
Whether you're driving across country, staying home, or working out, you're going to need some kickin' tunes this summer. Studies show that listening to any kind of music--whether you like country or punk--can boost your mood, and our own very unscientific research shows that there's nothing like an awesome song to make scrubbing the bathroom or pushing through that last mile almost enjoyable. We've taken the liberty of putting together a super upbeat summer soundtrack to get you smiling. But there's always room for improvement. Tell us what you're listening to at all your summer parties and sunny day workouts.
- "Roam," The B-52's
- "Mustang Sally," The Commitments
- "Wouldn't It Be Nice," The Beach Boys
- "Vacation," The Go-Go's
- "Honey in the Sun," Camera Obscura
- "Hot Child in the City," Joan Jett
- "Deceptacon," Le Tigre
- "Pleasant Valley Sunday," The Monkees
- "I Think I Need a New Heart," The Magnetic Fields
- "I Hear a Symphony," The Supremes
No, a "healthy, green road trip" isn't an oxymoron. With a little planning and forethought, it turns out it's not impossible to bypass fast food and plan the most energy-efficient route. We've got some ideas to make your vacay a little healthier for you and the planet.Read More »from Take a healthy, green road trip
Pack a mini-kitchen
You'll be equipped for anything with reusable water bottles, a mini-cooler, ice packs, a can opener, wet wipes, dish towels, and flatware. Bring along lightweight melamine plates or eco-friendly disposables.
Just because you're in the car, doesn't mean you're immune to the sun's rays. Plan to drive during the middle of the day so that your activity breaks fall in the morning or early evening when the sun is less powerful. And still wear sunscreen! Get Consumer Reports' top picks.
Join the Better World Club
An auto club for the modern era, Better World offers the usual roadside assistance and towing and maps, but also helps route trips with energy-efficient itineraries or via scenic
Read More »from What's so wrong with just being ourselves?
The celebration of Bastille Day last week inspired the usual rash of articles on how to be more like a French woman with even the New York Times chiming in with advice on how to age like the Frenchies. This came on the heels of my reading a passage in The Happiness Project about the sadness of being one's self. The whole thing got me thinking: what's so wrong with just being you?
The French, as we've been told repeatedly, know how to dress, eat, and age better than we do. The Italians know how to seduce, the Danes know how to be happy. And it's not just cultural emulation. We want Jennifer Aniston's legs, and Cher's house. We want to know what Gwyneth Paltrow eats and how Christina Hendricks stays so freakin' gorgeous. Why don't we just want to be ourselves?
Author Gretchen Rubin argues that there is a certain sadness to being ourselves. In just being us, we resign to live only one life and work within our own limitations. Being ourselves means admitting we will never be an acrobat,
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 16, 2010 5:24 PM EDT
Two important things happen during the summer months to affect our usual dinner routine. First, we're loathe to undo the hard work of our air-conditioner by turning on the oven. Second, and equally important, who wants to get out of the hammock, return from the beach, or stop playing croquet just cause our stomach's grumbling? But, ah, the grocery store roast chicken is a lazy girl's BFF and just the thing for a summer dinner makeover. Swoop in, pick up a chicken for less than $6, and with a few pantry staples you've got dinner for four in a flash. Easy as pie. Mmm...chicken pot pie. (We'll save that for the colder months).Read More »from 1 rotisserie chicken, 7 super simple summer recipes
The Classic: Carve up chicken in six or eight pieces. Serve with a simple green salad, whole wheat couscous, and sliced peaches and nectarines.
Down-home Style: Shred chicken meat, and toss with your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve on split, toasted buns. Dish up cole slaw or baked potato chips alongside.
Fiesta Ready: Shred chicken and stuff inside taco shells with