From a party you want to skip to a loan you shouldn't lend -- how to say no to life's relentless requests.
Thinking you are a bad person for saying no is a symptom of "the disease to please." "Saying yes when you need to say no causes burnout. You do yourself and the person making the request a disservice by saying yes all of the time," says author Duke Robinson. Here's how to do the right thing -- for yourself and others -- in 10 common scenarios where you know that opting out is your best option. Don't feel guilty. Just take these tips from experts on etiquette and communication -- and a cue from your favorite two-year-old -- and say no.
Saying No for the Sake of Your Wallet
Request: A friend in need asks for a Trump-worthy loan.
What you should say: "I wish I could, but as a rule, I don't lend money to friends."
Why it works: It's clear that you are not singling out this person as untrustworthy.
Why you shouldn't feel guilty: Lending any amount of money can cause problems, says
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From a party you want to skip to a loan you shouldn't lend -- how to say no to life's relentless requests.Read More »from 3 guilt-free strategies for saying no
Too many cooks in the kitchen? Sounds like a party. Guests bring the tomatoes, you supply the wine, and everyone goes home with fresh homemade pasta sauce.
Divide and Conquer
Set up your kitchen so each task has a designated spot and let guests pick their stations (see recipe for instructions). A little teamwork can make peeling and chopping fun. (Wine helps, too.)
Everything you need to get things simmering.
Tomatoes: Ask guests to bring the main ingredient. For a party of six, figure on each person contributing 5 pounds of tomatoes toward a big batch of sauce. The host provides the other ingredients (see recipe).
Signs: Mark workstations with note cards in place-card holders. Binder clips turned upside down also work.
Snacks: Rev up the troops with a "Take a Break" area, complete with a spread of Italian cheeses (try Gorgonzola, Robiola, and bocconcini), prosciutto, olives, fruit, honey, bread sticks, and crackers.
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Frances JanischCoat Rack as Jewelry HolderRead More »from New Uses for Old Things: Coat Rack, Nail Polish
Original Purpose: Keeping your raincoats off the hall floor
Aha! Use: Storing your best-loved (and most frequently worn) necklaces and bracelets within easy reach.
Reward: Tangle-free baubles that decorate your wall when not decorating your neck.
Use Nail Polish to Color-Code KeysEllen Silverman
Original Purpose: Giving yourself a well-groomed look from tip to toe.
Aha! Use: Color-coding keys. Lay keys flat and apply a thick coat of a different shade to the top of each key.
Reward: Keys of distinction.
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Frances JanischWhen cleaning the kitchen always start with the sink. "Keep it empty and shining," says Marla Cilley, author of Sink Reflections (Bantam, $10.20, www.amazon.com) and creator of www.FlyLady.net, a housekeeping website.
A sparkling sink becomes your kitchen's benchmark for hygiene and tidiness, inspiring you to load the dishwasher immediately and keep counters, refrigerator doors, and the stove top spick-and-span, too.
- Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
- Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
- Wipe down the counters (one minute).
- Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (two minutes).
- Mop the floor (five minutes).
- Wipe the cabinets, backsplashes, and appliances (10 minutes).
- Wash the dish rack (four minutes).
- Wipe the switch plates and phone (one minute).
- Wipe the inside of the garbage can (one minute).
- Empty and scrub down the inside of the refrigerator (30
Insomnia is defined as "repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, or quality, despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep, that results in some form of daytime impairment," according to the National Classification of Sleep Disorders.Read More »from Are You An Insomniac?
In other words, it's a term that can refer to a wide range of sleepless situations, from those who lie awake all night to those who wake up and can't get back to sleep. (Sleep problems that don't fall under this umbrella include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.) Insomnia can last a few weeks or months, and for some it's a lifelong challenge.
One thing is certain: "Insomnia is a symptom of an underlying problem," says Susie Esther, a specialist in sleep-disorder medicine. So if your doctor gives you that label, she will want to look for the cause, which might be depression, anxiety, or physical issues. Treating those underlying issues can often cure the insomnia.
Written by Sally Wadyka
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Michele GastlNothing's so annoying as wanting to make your friend Sally's snickerdoodles and not being able to find the recipe -- or her cell-phone number for that matter.Read More »from Create a Recipe Notebook
A binder system can solve one of the most niggling kitchen problems -- keeping track of recipes. This is more than just a place to stash clippings: It works for the novice as well as the gourmet. Unfortunately, this binder will not cook four separate dishes for four sets of picky taste buds. But it will help you avoid the anguish in locating the recipes.
Setting Up the System
1. Categorize and Subcategorize. Instead of organizing your recipes by appetizers, entrees, and desserts, make your categories as specific as possible. Break them down by major ingredient (poultry, beef, pork, etc.), type of side dish (salad, rice, potatoes), or kind of dessert (brownies, cookies, pies).
2. Protect. Keep your recipes behind the plastic sleeves when you cook so they stay splatter-free.
3. Consolidate. Instead of flipping back and forth
David HoriiThe CauseRead More »from Tip: Conquering Food Odor
Poorly ventilated or cramped kitchens mixed with pungent foods -- such as garlic, curry, eggs, cheese, and burned casseroles -- make for strong odors that re-create the atmosphere of a pub at closing time.
Lemon and citrus fragrances remove strong food odors. Often the best (and easiest) remedy is to open a window or turn on a vent. "We use exhaust fans that suck everything out," says Wayne Almquist, a professor at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York.
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Nancy NewberryFirst impressions count, even when it comes to a pet. Before falling head over heels in love, determine whether a dog or a cat will be the right fit for you and your family.
At a Breeder:
"When you are first introduced to the litter of puppies, sit down in a chair, not on the floor, and observe them," says Kellyann Conway, director of animal training and behavior for PetFinder.com, an online database of adoptable animals. While the first puppy that comes bounding over may seem full of spunk, he may prove to be a difficult pet. "You want a little hesitation from a puppy, especially if you are looking for a family pet," says Conway. "The puppy that immediately runs over might be too assertive and test boundaries when he grows up." On the other hand, a puppy that hides in shyness or cowers in the corner won't be a good match, either, especially for a social family. "You want a dog confident enough to come over and say hello," says Conway.
Note, too, how the puppies interact with one Read More »from How to Choose a Pet Dog
Body language can almost always be interpreted in more than one way. Following are 4 gestures, with advice for reading them from a team of experts in nonverbal communication.Read More »from Become Fluent in Body Language
It Could Mean: She's thinking.
But It Might Mean: She disapproves of or disagrees with what you're saying. Or else she can't hear you.
What the Experts Say: "This almost always means something negative," says trial lawyer Maria Katrina Karos. It is often a cue people use to tell you something is wrong, says author Lydia Ramsey: They want you to ask them what they're thinking.
It Could Mean: She's unhappy or uncomfortable.
But It Might Mean: She's concentrating.
What the Experts Say: Some people frown without realizing it, so don't comment on the frowning directly, says anthropologist David Givens. If it happens during a job interview, you might ask, "Did that answer the question?" With a friend, just ask if she's OK.
It Could Mean: Nothing. It's just a
Anna Williams1 6-to 7-pound whole roasting chicken, giblets removed
9 sprigs fresh thyme
9 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 lemon, halved
4 heads garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
1 cup Nicoise olives
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large baguette, thickly sliced
Heat oven to 450Â° F. Gently loosen the chicken skin from the breast meat and place a third of the thyme and tarragon under the skin. Place another third of the herbs, plus the lemon and a handful of garlic cloves, inside the chicken cavity, and tie the legs together with cooking twine.Read More »from Real Simple Recipe: Garlic Roast Chicken
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan and surround with the remaining herbs, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the thigh juices run clear when pricked with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170Â° to 175Â° F. Transfer the chicken to