In my neck of the woods, we're experiencing the kind of weather that inspired Norman Rockwell's entire canon. Yesterday, I saw cute little girls in plaid coats, dogs trotting through dry leaves, and the light coming down on my dirty neighborhood sidewalk, sunny but diffuse in that quintessentially October way. Fall seems to stir up our creativity (call it a vestigial habit from our school days), and the trick of making it a part of our lives is just listening--hearing our inner creative voice (everyone has one) and letting it out. Here's how.
Try a daily photo challenge. We take photos at weddings, graduations, and birthdays, but a daily photo challenge calls you to look for the beauty in your ordinary, everyday life. Looking around for just the right frame becomes not only an exercise in seeing the art of the everyday, but a simple exercise in awareness. Choose a method that works for you: digital photos, snapshots on your cell phone, polaroids, whatever. And then, if you feel really
In my neck of the woods, we're experiencing the kind of weather that inspired Norman Rockwell's entire canon. Yesterday, I saw cute little girls in plaid coats, dogs trotting through dry leaves, and the light coming down on my dirty neighborhood sidewalk, sunny but diffuse in that quintessentially October way. Fall seems to stir up our creativity (call it a vestigial habit from our school days), and the trick of making it a part of our lives is just listening--hearing our inner creative voice (everyone has one) and letting it out. Here's how.Read More »from Stoke a creative spark in your daily life
There are those days when the solution to life's problems feels like it could be uncapped with a new lipstick. Or a lavender-scented bubble bath. Or a peppermint foot scrub. Says my friend who feels no guilt about such occasional drugstore splurges: "That's just the price of happiness today." Better still is when your beauty treat is so easy on your wallet, happiness comes free from any buyer's remorse.
Something in my life has just mentally clicked over from annoying-thing-I-don't-like-about-myself to enough-is-enough-already. I'm ready for a change. But when you're familiar with that desire for things to be different but the sad reality of them, well, never actually changing, the need to set yourself up for success becomes as strong as pit bull's jaw. Here are three wise ways to make changes that stick.Read More »from How to make changes that stick
Break it into the tiniest "to do" possible
Let's say you want to have more energy. You feel ready to run one thousand errands when you eat some protein at every meal. What kind of protein do you like? Turkey sausage, you say? Write down "buy turkey sausage" on your to do list. Identify what you want in your life and then distill it down to the smallest action items. Want to run a 5k Thanksgiving morning? Download the Couch to 5k running plan. Schedule your first gym time. Lay out your workout clothes. See how easy it is to get going? When you break your goal down into small pieces
I had a thoroughly depressing realization recently: If your PMS lasts about a week, your actual period another five days--and if you're also one of the lucky few who is struck with pre-PMS, go ahead and tack on another week of cravings and mood swings--that means hormones are riding roughshod over 50% of our lives. So unfair. Here, six natural ways to deal with that half of your life. (And remember to ask your doctor before taking any supplements!)Read More »from 6 natural cures for your PMS
Studies have shown that magnesium can significantly reduce weight gain, swelling of the hands and legs, breast tenderness, and bloating. Beef up on magnesium-rich foods like legumes (soybeans, black beans and peanuts), dark leafy greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale) and seafood (salmon, halibut, oysters). And while it's hard to do when cravings are running rampant, limiting your sugar and salt intake can reduce bloating.
Whether you're PMS-ing or not, exercise is a tremendous natural mood stabilizer. If your body is
On this episode of Real-Life Makeover, we've got five fall beauty foods that will help improve your skin, hair, and health this season. Get ready for a diet and beauty makeover in one go.Read More »from 5 fall foods to make you look and feel gorgeous
I just spent a weekend in a house with six cats, four dogs, a phone that rings every seven minutes, and a doorbell that trills twice a day. The cacophony of commotion in this house got me thinking about simplicity and how we try to create it in our lives, inspired by those silent, Zen-like photographs of orchids and a cup of green tea. Instead of fighting against the fact of our loud lives filled with kids, soccer practice, and teeth cleanings, maybe our best bet is to embrace the messiness of life. Here, five ideas how.Read More »from Learning to love the chaos
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Most of life is out of our control. We can't make people call or not call. We can't change the economy. We can't keep our loved ones from getting sick or keep disaster at bay. What we can control is ourselves: how kind we are, how we adapt to change, how much we smile. Doing our best work, eating food that makes us feel healthy, and how we talk to ourselves and others are all under our own domain. Even if you can only do it for one day,
I have a standing, 24-minute lunch date with Kate & Allie, and the reason I keep tuning in isn't because of Allie's awesome style icon-worthy puff-sleeved sweaters or the so-cute-you-want-to-pinch him Chip. It's because the show offers something that feels markedly absent on television today: a friendship between women represented in full form. Why the heck does a 25-year-old show feel so modern in its portrayal of friendship?Read More »from What happened to TV's gal pals?
Kate and Allie live together in an apartment in New York's West Village and raise their kids in an age-of-divorce kind of blended family. Did you get that? They're not lesbians, they're divorcées, and the main axis of the show is a friendship between two women who are, predictably, polar opposites but have managed to be friends since high school. At the end of the day, they put their feet up on the coffee table, each have a nip of brandy, and talk about it all: men, money, kids, career, who they are versus who they thought they'd be. And it's funny. They don't
When I saw this story on indecision in the Wall Street Journal, an image instantly sprang to mind of people who waffle. You know the ones: They stand in the grocery store aisle looking back and forth between boxes; they spend days debating whether they should make the call or take the job. They are, sometimes, well, me. See where you fit on the spectrum of black-and-white thinkers versus shades-of-gray seers, then weigh in on our poll. Can't decide? Check out our no-fail suggestion for making decisions fast.Read More »from Poll: Do you have trouble making decisions?
IF YOU'RE A SHADES-OF-GRAY THINKER...
Shades-of-gray thinkers have more trouble deciding because they have more ambivalence; the choice of which option to take isn't immediately clear to them. Psychologists ignored ambivalence for years as insignificant. But recent studies have shown that there is some upside to indecision. It's a "coming to grips with the complexity of the world," Jeff Larsen, a psychology professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, is quoted as saying. Those
Thanks to the magazine Whole Living, I have a new favorite life-guiding principle that sounds like something you order at a sushi restaurant. Wabi sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in an imperfect world. And while it's hard to define precisely, a definition by author Leonard Koren has come to take hold: "Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental." Here's what this means to you and why it matters.Read More »from What's wabi sabi got to do with it?
The magazine article set out some examples on what wabi sabi is, but also what it isn't. Wabi sabi is those cracked, crazy looking heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market, handmade pottery, wrinkles from smiling. It's not "Botox, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones or the drive for relentless self-improvement." And it's not our sleek, stylized, 21st century idea of modern simplicity either (which is often just code for clinically spare rooms
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