Photo: ThinkstockIf you're a cheery person, you may have your DNA to thank. Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science found that people tend to be more satisfied with their lives if they possess a version of the 5-HTT gene that is more efficient at transporting the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.
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Making joy a goal may not be the best idea. According to a study in the journal Emotion, women who place a high premium on happiness tend to be more depressed, perhaps because they feel disappointed with their failure to meet their high standards.
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A rigorous review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that for depressed people, finding contentment may be as simple as doing nice things: "Positive activity interventions"-such as performing acts of kindness, counting one's blessings, and writing letters of gratitude-reversed apathy, stimulated the brain's
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Photo: ThinkstockIf you're a cheery person, you may have your DNA to thank. Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science found that people tend to be more satisfied with their lives if they possess a version of the 5-HTT gene that is more efficient at transporting the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.Read More »from The Latest Science on Happiness
- Oprah.com | Fashion – Tue, Nov 1, 2011 8:59 PM EDT
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DBy Brooke KosofskyRead More »from Fall's Must-Have Skirt: 5 Pleated Pieces (Under $100)
Long or short, wispy or crisp, the classic motif of pretty pleats is cool again.
Spotted Pleated Skirt Tuck a tee or blouse into the ruffled waist of this sweetly spotted knee-length skirt.
$35 | DownEastBasics.com
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Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DLush Tea-Length Pleated Skirt Flirty and fun: A long, sheer layer skims over a knee-length black slip.
$39 | Urban1972.com
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Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DBurgundy Pleated Skirt Deep, rich burgundy makes this accordian-pleated skirt unusually versatile.
$54 | AmericanApparelStore.com
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Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DLine & Dot Print Skirt A rich print in traditional fall tones gives this silky skirt vintage charm.
$69 | Piperlime.com
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Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DTwo-Tone Pleated Skirt Pair this two-tone model with a chunky sweater on Sunday, a blazer on Monday.
$88 | AnnTaylor.com
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KEEP READING: 6 More
Photo: ThinkstockThe political strategist explains how detours and shortcomings can get you where you want to go.Read More »from How Donna Brazil Found Her Path to Success
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I stood up to authority.
At 12 I was an assistant softball coach. Telling my mom why I had to bench my sister taught me I could make tough decisions for the greater good.
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I was fiscally irresponsible.
In my 20s, I'd blow all my money on a Eurail pass and return broke but happy. I learned the only way to save was to put my credit cards in the freezer and pour water over them.
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I ran my mouth.
My mom once bought me a cassette player so I'd shut up and listen to some music. If she'd lived to see me on TV, she'd see that worked.
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In 2000 I achieved my dream of managing a presidential campaign-Al Gore's. Though I really believed he could make a difference, the job was stressful and thankless. A few months after we lost, I
Photo: Ben FinkBy Lynn Andriani
The Casserole for People Who Say They Don't Like Casseroles
Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock-better known as the Casserole Queens-have yet to meet a skeptic who isn't converted by their chicken potpie. Beyond the usual roasted chicken and vegetables, this version has white wine, tarragon and shallots.
Get the recipe: World's Greatest Chicken Pot Pie
Photo: ThinkstockThe Saturday Night Casserole
Cook's Aunt Joan oozed charm and elegance, and this dish, inspired by one of her recipes, practically does the same. This take on the well-known chicken-and-broccoli casserole is perfect for a dinner party since each portion comes wrapped in its own crepe. It goes well with a crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.RELATED: 6 Ways to Save the World by Grocery Shopping
Get the recipe: Chicken Divan Crêpes with Gruyère
Photo: Ben FinkThe Casserole for When You Want to Go Old School
Stuffed peppers wereRead More »from 10 Casseroles for Every Taste
Photo: Sally HansenBy Amber Kallor
Are the neighborhood goblins already ringing your doorbell? Get in the spirit fast with one of these quick beauty tricks.
The Monster Mani Mashup
DIY nail art can be tricky and time-consuming. But not these press-on polish strips printed with sparkly spider webs, skulls and crossbones, and miniature ghosts. The best part? No drying time is required, so applying last minute (or even in the car on the way to a costume party) is no problem.
Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips, $10 each
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Photo: Courtesy of SephoraThe Disco Queen
These small sparkles come ready to stick on-meaning you won't wind up with more glue on your face than glitter. We also love that each set comes with two strips that can be worn as eyeliner. Pull out that sequined dress from last New Year's Eve (or anything metallic), dust colorful eyeshadow on your lids and dot a few of these around your eyes for a look worthy of Studio 54.RELATED: EveningRead More »from 7 Last Minute Halloween Costumes (Under $20)
Sephora Eye Bling, $6
Downward is good. So is squinting. Delia Ephron considers self-reflection from many angles.Read More »from 13 Ways of Looking at My Body
Illustration: Oliver JeffersDefinitely not naked from the back.
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Illustration: Oliver JeffersDownward. At my feet. Crimson nails poking out from under a sheet, saying hello. Very sexy.
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Illustration: Oliver JeffersAs I catch a reflection, walking by a shop window. Unexpected encounters with oneself are always risky: Am I slumping? Am I prepared for a candid glimpse? But my legs never let me down. It seems unfair that after a certain age, a woman with good legs can't walk on her head.
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Illustration: Oliver JeffersWith a dog on my lap.
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Illustration: Oliver JeffersWith a scarf around my neck. The only good thing about whiplash, a friend of mine said after she was rear-ended, is that you get to wear something that conceals your neck.
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Illustration: Oliver JeffersWith sunglasses on. The other day I was having lunch with my sister. I was wearing my
Photo: informationisbeauytiful.netBy Lynn AndrianiRead More »from Your Flavor GPS
When your goal is to make a 30-minute meal, the last thing you want to do is waste the first five of those precious minutes figuring out what, exactly, you're going to whip up for your hungry self. You stare into the open refrigerator, your eyes falling on a package of shrimp you bought yesterday, and then to the asparagus that probably has one more night left before it starts to go limp. You look at the rack on the door, holding all those condiments. "Barbecue sauce? No. Chili sauce? That doesn't go with asparagus, does it?" Your eyes begin to glaze over.
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That's where Taste Buds, an infographic created by data visualists David McCandless and Willow Tyrer, comes in. The simple black-and-white graphic visualizes flavor patterns, with each area covering a different food category, like fish, poultry, root vegetables, etc. The categories are laid out like the spokes of a wheel, so the offshoots of, say,
Photo: Getty ImagesBy Lynn AndrianiRead More »from And We Thought We Knew Emily Dickenson
Even the most open-minded of us do it: Size a person up based on the little we know about them. We look at the late 20s/early 30-something man wearing the glasses, polo shirt and khakis and think, "Yes, you are clearly an IT guy." The knockout blonde in the low-cut dress? Right, got it, aspiring reality TV star. And despite how many times we judge books by their covers, we're regularly reminded of how often we're wrong in doing so. It happened to me this week with Emily Dickinson, of all people.
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Here's what I thought I knew about the poet: She was an eccentric whose largely hermetic life screamed austerity and mystery. And I can't help it: The first words that pop into my head when I hear her name are always, "Because I could not stop for death" and not "hope is the thing with feathers." So when I read in this post on the New York Times' Diner's Journal blog that she was really into baking, I was shocked.
Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy ShearnRead More »from There Will Be Tears: A Mother's Love
Seriously, grab a hanky. Here is the story of a woman who sacrificed herself so that her child could live. Stacie Crimm, of Ryan, Oklahoma, reportedly " laughed and cried all at once" when she discovered she was going to have a baby at age 41-she'd been told she couldn't become pregnant. A few months later Crimm started complaining to her brother of strange aches and pains. Scans revealed that she had neck and head cancer, but she worried that chemotherapy would damage her unborn child and refused treatment.
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Soon the tumor reached her brain; Crimm collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where they delivered her tiny, 2-pound, 1-oz baby girl. Although Crimm was in and out of consciousness, and little Dottie May needed intensive care, a sympathetic nurse at the hospital worked to get the baby to her mother, moving her in a capsule-like ICU, so that Crimm could hold her baby in her
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn AndrianiRead More »from 3 Rules for Eating on The Weekend
Even if your Saturday or Sunday schedule bears a shocking resemblance to Monday's-the only difference being birthday parties and apple-picking outings take the place of conference calls and meetings-weekend dinners still feel a little more special than Monday-night meals. Maybe you sit down to the table a little later, and linger a half-hour longer. You eat dessert. You let the pots soak in the sink overnight.
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Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, co-creators of the public radio program The Splendid Table, live by Colette's words, "If you aren't up for a little magic now and then, you shouldn't waste your time cooking." They also live by these rules for eating weekends:
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1. Enjoy the luxury of having time to make something from scratch, whether it's chicken stock or homemade pasta.
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