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  • 7 Things Never to Say to a Stay-at-Home Mother

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

    1. "I love how you're always working out."
    I know that French mothers sashay around in chic blazers and skirts and such, and that dressing like a human being makes you feel more like one, but here's the thing: Yoga pants and sneakers, while not exactly flattering, really do the trick when you need to slide under the couch to scrape peanut butter off the springs. So no, no, I'm not working out soon, or even anytime today, or maybe ever. And yes, I'm wearing stretchy pants and a hoodie. Do stay-at-home dads get flak for dressing like college students during finals week? No, no they do not. They get looks of adoration for being at home at all.

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    2. "So, honey... dinner, dancing or tequila shots?"
    Like so many off-putting comments, people we love say this with love. Of course it is. But after 12-plus hours of feeding, chasing, playing, teaching, disciplining, cleaning up, comforting, protecting, peeling off

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  • The Cheater's Guide to Homemade Food

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    Beef Stroganoff, Deli-Style
    Sautéed strips of beef with mushrooms in a sour-cream sauce over buttered noodles is a traditional winter dish, but it can take all afternoon to make. The speed version uses a pound of deli roast beef and the consummate cheater's secret weapon, cream of mushroom soup. Sauté a small onion in butter, stir in the beef (cut it into a 1/2-inch dice first) and a handful of sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, then add the soup and a half can of water. Let it bubble away for 10 or so minutes, then mix in a cup of sour cream. Serve over buttered egg noodles.

    RELATED: 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Kitchen Space

    Pad Thai Minus an Extra Trip to the Supermarket
    The sauce for this salty-sweet noodle dish can call for tamarind pulp, fish sauce, palm sugar and Thai chili powder, but you can approximate the flavor with a mixture of more common staples. Mix 2 Tbsp. each soy sauce and warm water, and 1 Tbsp. each smooth peanut butter and

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  • How to Color Your Hair like a Pro--for Less Than $15

    By Jenny Bailly

  • 5 Items that Should Never Be on Your To-Do List

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Julie Morgenstern

    Stop us if this sounds familiar: You've got your pad of paper and you're merrily scribbling down your to-dos. And when you get to about item number ten, panic sets in. How will you ever get everything done? You know as well as we do: You won't. Not until you devise a realistic plan. "A manageable list will fuel your sense of accomplishment and allow you to get more done," says Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check E-mail in the Morning. We put together a list (office duties not included) that resembles the one buried at the bottom of your purse--then asked Morgenstern to edit it. Follow her sensibly ruthless strategy, and your goals for any given day should fit on a scrap of paper no bigger than a Post-it.

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    What Your Current List Probably Looks Like:

    • Upload vacation pics from camera

    Cut It: Unless it's going to bring you joy to sift through tons of blurry, off-center images to find the gems, ask another family member

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  • 6 Ways to Keep Your Cool when the World is Making You Angry

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Jena Pincott

    Some things have a way of crawling under your skin. But before you let them make your blood boil, try these six simple ideas to reduce white-hot rage.

    The Left-Handed Reducer
    Let's say you have a colleague who has a habit of giving backhanded compliments. "You don't look happy in that dress!" she says sweetly. "Don't worry, it makes you look smaller from behind." Fuming, you keep hearing her words over and over: Worry...Smaller...Behind.

    Reducer: Thomas Denson, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales, found that we can increase self-control in the same way we strengthen weak muscles--literally. For two weeks, right-handed volunteers had to use their left hand to do just about everything: brush teeth, open doors and stir the milk in their coffee. Later, these self-made lefties were less likely to retaliate when provoked than people who hadn't been forced to switch hands. The surprising lesson here is that tiny tweaks in bodily self-control can have such an

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  • 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Your Job

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

    1. Who Else Needs a Vote?
    A friend of mine (whom I'll call Will) once told me a chilling story of how his wife came home from work one day with an air of triumph. "What happened?" Will asked, for obviously something had. "Did you get a promotion?" "No!" she said. "I quit!" He described the feeling of his heart falling to his feet. He worked, too, but she was the breadwinner. P.S. They had three children under the age of 3. I don't mean to be a career-change Cassandra here, but I must tell you that soon they were getting divorced. To Will, what stung wasn't that she wanted to change careers--he swore he would have been supportive of whatever she wanted to do--it was that she made the decision without him. Following your passion is wonderful. Leaving your family without health insurance is not.

    RELATED: 6 Steps to Regret-Proof Your Life

    2. How Will You Explain This to Future Bosses?
    Unless your reason for quitting is that you found a huge bag of money somewhere,

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  • 6 Ways to Transform Canned Vegetables

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    Green Beans: The Salty, Crunchy Side
    Everything tastes better with bacon, and canned green beans are no exception. They'll taste even better if you start with French-cut (which are simply sliced diagonally); they have a more delicate texture and taste than beans that aren't cut. Sauté two or three slices of bacon, chopped; two cloves of garlic, minced; and a pinch of dried basil in olive oil. When the bacon is crispy, add the beans along with half of the liquid from the can, and cook until warmed through. Top with grated Parmesan.

    RELATED: Everything I Know About Life, I Learned in the Kitchen

    Corn: The Hot and Cheesy Spoon Bread
    A kind of corn pudding, spoon bread is a perfect accompaniment to fried chicken or Creole shrimp. It's easy to make (here's a recipe that uses Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix) and takes on even more flavor when you doctor it up with chopped jalapeños or a few shakes of Sriracha.

    Peas: A Sweet and Filling Salad
    Little Le Sueur peas, named after the

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  • Midnight Snacks You Can Feel Good About

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    Turn Bananas Into Magic

    We didn't believe it until we tried it, but blitzing frozen bananas in a food processor really does transform them into a convincing alternative to soft-serve ice cream. Put the frozen fruit in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to break it up. Then, run the machine for about five minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Transfer to a different bowl and eat immediately or let the puree set up in the freezer for 15 minutes or until it's scoopable. Cinnamon, shaved dark chocolate or crushed, low-calorie ginger snaps make great toppings, as does maple syrup (try Tonewood Dark Amber; just a small spoonful adds the perfect amount of sweetness).

    Have the Pizza and the Popcorn

    It sounds like the start of a bad joke: "What happened when the pizzeria and the movie theater got together?" But Cat Cora's mash-up of popcorn and pizza is seriously good. She tosses freshly popped kernels with a touch of olive oil and then

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  • 5 Perfect Pairs of Boyfriend Jeans

    By Adam Glassman

    We promise these less baggy bfs won't make you look like a schlumpadinka.

  • Outdated Money Rules to Break Today

    By Amy Shearn

    Photo: ThinkstockOld Lesson: Pay Off Your Mortgage ASAP
    Here's what I've been taught about money: It's not good to be in debt, and therefore it is good to pay off debts as quickly as possible, including a mortgage. Turns out, this conventional wisdom is a holdover from a different time. Carmen Wong Ulrich, the president and co-founder of ALTA Wealth Management, told me: "People think that it's a good idea to pre-pay a mortgage and/or pay a mortgage off ASAP." What's wrong with that? "This advice comes from a previous couple of generations who had horrible interest rates on their mortgages--in the 1980s, the average mortgage interest rate was in the teens. Imagine--my dad, who had great credit, was paying 17% on his mortgage. That's expensive. Today, mortgage rates are at incredible lows--you should be in no rush."

    RELATED: Strong Life Plans: Decision-Making

    Old Lesson: Bank with the Local Guy
    Supporting local businesses is great, but you don't need to follow your parents' footsteps in

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