• Just this weekend I bought a handful of brand-spanking new things: a wedding gift for a friend, a pair of cheap pink sunglasses, and nail polish. But one woman from Portland hasn't bought anything new (except for food and personal care items) for five years. Katy Wolk-Stanley of Portland, Ore. is a member of The Compact, a group who aims to borrow or buy used instead of buying any new consumer products.

    Related: Best and Worst Vintage Buys

    When I first heard this, I thought um, no way. There's no way I could go more than even a month without buying something new. When I go to the mall "just to browse," I almost always walk out with a purchase, even if it's just a $5 trinket. How did this woman stave off the dreaded shopping itch for five long years? Then I realized … she didn't.

    Even though Katy Wolk-Stanley got creative with her purchases -- sifting through thrift stores and vintage shops instead of buying new -- she was still buying stuff. That "shopping

    Read More »from Not Buying Anything New for Five Years: Not as Hard as You Think
  • 21 Cool, Creamy No-Cook Desserts21 Cool, Creamy No-Cook Desserts
    Just because it's too hot to turn on the oven doesn't mean you can't whip up an irresistible homemade dessert. Try one of these easy no-cook recipes for frozen treats, fruity trifles, icebox cakes and more!

    By Lisa Cericola

    1. Eton Mess
    A favorite British dessert, named for the famous school, Eton.
    Get the recipe for Eton Mess

    2. Berry Mascarpone Fool
    This pretty dessert can be made with any berries of your choice.
    Get the recipe for Berry Mascarpone Fool

    3. Summer Pudding
    This classic summer fruit dessert is traditionally made with currants, but blackberries and raspberries work well, too.
    Get the recipe for Summer Pudding

    Click here for 18 more tasty no-cook desserts.

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    Read More »from 21 Cool, Creamy No-Cook Desserts
  • British actress Kaya Scodelario takes on Wuthering Heights.

    Kaya ScodelarioKaya Scodelario

    By Maura Egan, W Magazine

    When director Andrea Arnold was planning her remake of Wuthering Heights (out this fall), she asked to meet Kaya Scodelario for the role of Catherine Earnshaw, but the 20-year-old British actress was a no-show. Scodelario, who was raised by a single mom in working-class London, honed her acting chops as the depressive Effy Stonem on the lurid teen romp Skins rather than at some Shakespeare-soliloquizing academy and didn't think she could pull off a period piece. But Arnold, who favors a gritty Ken Loach-style approach to filmmaking, wanted raw, unbridled energy-the kind Scodelario had channeled so well as an aching adolescent. The actress finally agreed to meet the director, who knew immediately she had found her Catherine. "I just sensed she had this big, independent spirit," Arnold says. Scodelario went in knowing little-she was asked not to read the book-and delivered an

    Read More »from Next British Thing: Finding the Star of Wuthering Heights
  • 15 Delicious No-Cook Appetizers

    15 Delicious No-Cook Appetizers15 Delicious No-Cook Appetizers
    Whether you're hosting a party or just bringing a dish to share, these no-cook appetizers, dips and spreads will be a hit and take no time at all to make!

    By Casey Barber

    1. Balsamic Tuna Bruschetta
    Tuna salad gets a sophisticated, sun-drenched makeover with the addition of smoky red peppers, salty olives, and sweet balsamic vinegar. Substitute white balsamic in place of the regular stuff for a lighter touch.
    Get the recipe for Balsamic Tuna Bruschetta

    2. Artichoke-amole
    What if all your favorite party dips joined together to form the supergroup of spreads? Part guacamole, part artichoke dip, part tapenade, this creamy green spread is 100 percent tasty -- and surprisingly healthy to boot!
    Get the recipe for Artichoke-amole

    3. An Updated Classic: The Cheesy Nut Ball
    Bring back those fond memories of swingin' holiday parties past with an updated version of the Hickory Farms classic -- this one featuring an extra layer of sweet and salty sundried tomatoes.
    Get the recipe for The

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  • Chocolate Whoopie PiesChocolate Whoopie Pies
    Dig in and indulge a little! Check out these refreshingly sweet Valentine's Day recipes including cupcakes, cakes, brownies, cookies, mousse and more.

    By Kristen Aiken and Lisa Cericola

    1. Chocolate Whoopie Pies
    This version of whoopie pie from Baked Explorations features a very moist, deep-chocolate cookie and a light and fluffy vanilla filling.
    Get the recipe for Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    2. Black-Bottom Ice Cream Pie
    You can make this easy frozen pie with any flavor of ice cream you like. Just don't forget the deep, dark chocolate crust and gooey fudge sauce.
    Get the recipe for Black-Bottom Ice Cream Pie

    3. Mississippi Mud Cake You don't have to be from Mississippi -- or even Southern -- to come under this cake's spell. A chewy chocolate base is covered with marshmallows in this version from Southern Cakes.
    Get the recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake

    Click here for 45 more delicious chocolate desserts.

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    Read More »from 48 Recipes to Satisfy Your Chocolate Cravings
  • heartinlatteRecently, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece by Elizabeth Bernstein on The Divorce's Guide to Marriage. It discusses marriage research by Terri Orbuch (I draw on this research myself, in Happier at Home) in which divorced people were asked what they'd learned about relationships from that experience.

    No surprise, they emphasize the importance of "affective affirmation," which is psych speak for making loving gestures such as kissing, hand-holding, giving compliments, and saying "I love you." Fact is, people do feel closer to each other when they regularly demonstrate loving feelings.

    Orbuch reports that divorced people identified four important ways to show affection:

    1. How often a spouse showed love

    2. How often a spouse made a person feel good about the kind of person he or she was

    3. How often a spouse made a person feel good about having individual ideas and ways of doing things

    4. How often a spouse made life interesting or exciting.

    Read More »from 4 Important Ways to Show Love, Identified by Divorced People
  • Communication

    Communication is key to everything. We should all learn how to communicate better so things will work out for the better. Poor communication is our own ignorance and choice to not put in the effort needed to make things work better in our relationships with our families and at work. Our lives could be a lot better if we all decided to communicate with each other in positive ways that didn't allow feelings and misunderstandings such as cultural differences to keep us from moving forward to better places of understanding with each other. Communication is a tool that should be used correctly and respected as any other tool would be. It is one of those things that can't be seen, but has a way of affecting people in significant ways that are very hard to change once set in over time.

  • healthychild.orghealthychild.orgby Margie Kelly, Communications Manager, Healthy Child Healthy World

    We know a lot about how toxic chemicals hurt kids. Babies are born with more than 200 chemicals in their bodies. Rates of childhood cancer keep rising, while other types of cancer are holding steady or declining. Every ecosystem, person and animal on the planet is contaminated with toxic chemicals. It's not just factories that harbor dangerous chemicals; our couches, lotions, household cleaners, toys, building materials, canned foods and more in our homes are made with chemicals known to harm human health.

    We live in a stew of toxic chemicals. There are 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States but only 200 of them have been tested.

    How did this happen? One big reason is that the national law that is supposed to protect us from toxic chemicals is a total failure. Passed in 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act has been rendered essentially toothless, with no authority to ensure the safety of

    Read More »from Tell the Senate: Healthy Children Need Safe Chemicals
  • Friends or Foes

    This is my very first blog and it's a very good time for me to be starting. I am going through somethings with my friends. Or so called friends. It seems that everytime they need something I am always there but whenever I need them they are never there. I wonder why that is? I mean I try to be a good friend. Maybe I am doing something wrong or maybe I'm choosing the wrong friends. I don't ask them for money or anything just to be there when I need them but it doesn't seem like they can do that. I wonder is there anyone else going through this or am I the only one?

  • Hello - thought I would write about something different. today as I haven't written in a long time.
    I would like to pass out clear advice to anyone who is considering taking a family member into
    their home for any given period of time.
    "Go with your Gut" If you don't have enough money to care for yourself
    don't be taking in any family! It will truly ruin your life.
    Oh, Its very difficult not to let it. It can happen please believe me!
    When your "nice to family" it always seems to come around and slap you
    in the face. Well I am done being nice to family!
    I have had 4 pregnancies & it has effected me me in many ways.
    My husband's daughter from a a first marriage became homeless.
    So she had wanted to start over in New York. I said,'YES" dues in part to
    the way I was raised.
    Well it started off ok & slowly went down hill since.
    She fully knows I am on a special diet due in part to my heart.
    Then she had the nerve to post something awful on her "facebook"
    about me & said I

    Read More »from It's so Very Sad when Your Nice, & Family Members Have Forgotten Where They Where at One Time


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