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,
Read More »from What's so wrong with just being ourselves?
Vacations might offer up exotic locales and daily housekeeping, but they can be murder on the family budget. We're giving your summer staycation a makeover with three creative and crafty ideas to keep the kids entertained at home.Read More »from "Staycation" activities to keep the kids smiling
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Tue, Jul 13, 2010 5:04 PM EDT
A study published in Psychological Science reveals that Jack Handey might have discovered a key to happiness with his "Deep Thoughts." Researchers at the University of Arizona recorded participants' conversations for four days and found the happiest subjects had twice as many substantive conversations (ones that get beyond the weather to touch on religion, current affairs, or the meaning of life) and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants. So should we be spending less time comparing exercise routines and more time talking about foreign policy?Read More »from Small talk won't make you happy but deep conversations could
These findings struck me as particularly interesting given a conversation I'd had with a friend that stuck with me. He works in an industrial park straight out of Office Space, and despite majoring in philosophy in college and being a pretty deep thinker, he prides himself on having chatty relationships with everyone at work from the receptionist to the cashiers in the cafeteria. These are conversations that skim the
Yesterday I attended a Quaker meeting in deep-shaded woods. After a stressful week of work and the usual personal woes, it was there on a wooden bench surrounded by the cacophony of forest sounds that the truly important things hit me like a ton of bricks. The knowledge of what really matters is inside all of us all the time, of course, but sometimes the buzzing of daily life drowns these truisms out. It's a luxury to step out of your routine long enough to get some perspective on it, but you don't have to take a trip out of town. Changing your perspective is often a matter of just looking at your life from a different angle. Here are five ideas how to do it:Read More »from 5 ways to change your perspective
1. Go outside. There's a community garden a block away from my house. I'm usually rushing by it on my way hither and yon, but when I take even 10 minutes to step inside and sit in the shade of the gazebo, I can feel my lungs fill with green air and my shoulders unfurl. A hike in the woods is great, but for the everyday, how about
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Thu, Jul 8, 2010 3:39 PM EDT
Recently, one of my friends who is pretty much in the dictionary under "goal oriented," told me she's going to ease up a little on her life to do list. For someone who is ambitiously over-scheduled, it seemed like the most brilliant thing I'd ever heard. Duh: if you've spent years trying to completely overhaul your love life, body, and career, at some point, you will hit a wall. You will need to lie in the dark and watch hours of reality television and eat barbecue spareribs. You will be burned out.Read More »from Mono-tasking your makeover: What one thing do you want most from life?
We're a country of multi-taskers, but if there were ever a time to make things simple, it's during the summer. My brain barely works during crazy heat and humidity. It's like nature itself is pleading with us to take stock of the craziness that is daily life and see if it's really working. Was there ever a better time to focus on the one thing you really want?
I've been thinking lately about the conceit of making over our lives. It's so tempting to do it all at once, to go full throttle
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Thu, Jul 1, 2010 4:17 PM EDT
You've got on a killer dress and your best blingy cocktail ring, but when your host greets you at her fourth of July party cookout, you are suddenly seized with panic; not even your chignon can save you. Take a deep breath, remember that everyone feels a little self-conscious at these things sometimes, and then follow some of these tips.Read More »from How to be a conversational sparkler at all your summer parties
This is the easiest social boon in the world, and one that always works. People feel comfortable talking to someone who is friendly, and a smile with warm eye contact is a wonderfully effective non-verbal opener.
Be General...Or Specific.
Once you've made initial contact with the person you want to talk with through an introduction from your host or just a smile, it's time to start chatting. General topics like the cocktails the host is serving or the weather always get people talking, though they may not lead to the most scintillating talk. Once you feel comfortable, get specific by asking how you each know the host, or compliment a
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Wed, Jun 30, 2010 3:11 PM EDT
The recent ice cream sandwich makeover got us thinking about our favorite flavors and if they need a makeover, too. Maybe we're in a rut with strawberry and rocky road. Maybe chocolate chocolate brownie and birthday cake batter don't quite have the allure they once did. There are plenty of bizarre, rather unsavory ice cream flavors out there (boogers, anyone?), but we thought we'd whet your appetite with five cold treats you'd actually want to dip into.Read More »from 5 bizarre ice cream flavors that sound crazy delicious
1. Bacon Ice Cream
Sure, it's a combination of sweet and savory that raises some eyebrows. But if bacon works beautifully in a chocolate bar, we have a feeling it just might be divine in ice cream. Buy a scoop in Delaware's Rehoboth Beach, or try your hand at pastry chef and blogger David Leibovitz's recipe.
2. Brown Bread
This sounds like something you'd be more likely to eat in Sweden with some smoked salmon, but it's one of the most popular flavors at ice cream parlor Scoops in Los Angeles. Made with Grape Nuts and caramel, it
You'll scream for our sweetest makeover yet. We're serving up three twists on the classic black and white ice cream sandwich. Worth every single calorie, these cool ice cream treats will have tongues wagging for more.Read More »from Ice Cream Makeover!
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Jun 28, 2010 3:29 PM EDT
The news that Americans are overtreated in hospitals during their final days probably doesn't surprise many of us. Western medicine is often criticized for turning to prescription solutions when a natural approach would be just as effective. Here are five common ailments and the natural remedies that can ease them. Use common sense, though, and always remember to check with your doctor before starting on any course of treatment.Read More »from Make over your medicine cabinet: Holistic remedies for five common ailments
Tiger bone was traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat pain, but Tiger Balm is a topical treatment made of herbal ingredients that was originally developed in the 1870s. It can treat headaches, as well as muscle aches and mosquito bites. Aromatherapy can also help for a mild headache. Try massaging a couple drops of lavender oil on your temples.
2. Cold and Flu
Because it seems so out of place, there's something particularly vexing about a summer cold. Though results are mixed, some studies have shown echinacea can shorten colds. At your
Hello, weekend. Boy, are we glad to see you. If you don't already have a jam-packed weekend, or if you're looking for some ways to have fun that don't involve a $45 ticket to the water park, read on. We've got ten feel-good, budget-friendly ideas for fun in the sun (or the air-conditioning).
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