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  • The Prettiest Bed Ideas to Steal Right Now

    Photo: Kate Riley/

    By Candace Braun Davison

    The Snugglier Alternative to Your Old Duvet

    We're referring to one aspect of the rustic design movement that has made its way to the bedroom: knit blankets-larger than the usual living-room throws, typically in earthy, neutral tones and made using natural fibers. Interior designer and A Place Called Home author Jason Grant says that recently, he's been finding more people than usual drawn to handmade styles that appear softer and more inviting-to-the-touch than sateen and polyester-blend fabrics. Grant recommends trying an oversize knit-where you can easily wriggle your fingers between each stitch-like the chunky wool designs found at Little Dandelion.

    Read More: What The Sleep Experts Do to Get A Good Night's Rest

    The Coveted Headboard That's All Over Pinterest

    Upholstered headboards continue to dominate home-décor blogs and shelter magazines-adored for the tailored, refined look they lend to even the most basic beds-but what many people don't realize is that

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  • 4 Ways to Defend Yourself Against Emotional Pirates

    Photo: Adam Voorhes

    By Martha Beck

    Cecily and Gwen hit it off on a Caribbean cruise after they realized they lived close to each other. Back home, they began meeting for coffee and conversation. Gwen told Cecily about her troubled marriage, her sciatica, her intrusive mother, the trials of parenting. Cecily told Gwen...almost nothing. Somehow, Cecily's life just never seemed to come up. But one stressful morning, Cecily finally decided to share.

    "My dad's got cancer," she told Gwen, clutching her coffee mug. "I'm really scared for him."

    "Oh," said Gwen. "That reminds me of the time my boyfriend-well, ex-boyfriend-thought he had skin cancer." She went on to tell the tale, in tragic terms, with herself as the dramatic heroine. Later Cecily told me, "That's when I realized that Gwen is kind of self-absorbed." Kind of? The "friend" Cecily made is an emotional pirate.

    You've probably encountered similar brigands on the high seas of life. Some are charming or charismatic, others whiny. But they

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  • Curtis Stone's Top Recipes for a Stress-Free Holiday Party

    Photo: Peden + Munk

    By Curtis Stone

    I've always believed that having people over to eat is one of life's greatest pleasures-which might explain why I love the holidays so much. What better reason to call up friends and neighbors and invite them to enjoy good company and a few bites?

    But here's what I don't love: a fussy party requiring so much last-minute scrambling that you don't get to enjoy it. If you're stressing out in the kitchen while your guests mingle, it's time to reexamine your strategy. I like to make a few fantastic, simple, eat-with-your-hands hors d'oeuvres-all of which can be prepared in advance-and lay them out in one big spread so guests can help themselves. I mix up a festive cocktail to serve as people arrive, and that's it; my work done, I'm free to socialize. My guests don't wonder where I've disappeared to, and I actually have fun at my own gathering.

    The key to party fare is this: A little variety goes a long way. You don't need a ton of dishes-just a few guaranteed

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  • 7 Little-Known Facts About Colds

    Photo: Thinkstock

    By Corrie Pikul

    You're more likely to pick up germs from a keypad than a used tissue.

    If your sniffly friend wants to show you photos of her toddler on her phone, offer to hold her purse while she does the scrolling. Droplets of moisture containing cold-causing viruses get dispersed (and thus, neutralized) on tissues, fabrics and other soft materials but remain intact on metal, glass and the scratch-resistant polycarbonate of an iPhone. Cold viruses can live on these types of objects for up to 18 hours, says Jennifer Collins, MD, who has a private practice specializing in allergy, asthma and immunology and is affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. In one 2007 study, when healthy people touched hard, smooth things like light switches, doorknobs and telephones that had been contaminated with viruses, 60 percent picked up the germs after one hour, and around 30 percent became infected at 18 hours. (Flu viruses tend to be heartier: Not only can they live from one

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  • Brene Brown: 3 Acts of Gratitude that Can Strengthen Your Family

    Photo: Leann Mueller

    By Brené Brown

    I look forward to the holidays with childlike glee. As soon as the Texas heat drops below 80 degrees, I sneak a few Christmas carols onto my playlist; the tree goes up right after Thanksgiving. But by mid-December, I've gone into survival mode, and I'm not feeling much holiday joy. Why? Because when I'm scrambling to string up lights or send out another 50 cards-that is, when I'm worrying about the outside world's perceptions-I forget to be present in my own home for my husband and our two amazing kids.

    Oprah has said that what we all want most in life is to be seen, and I couldn't agree more. A joyful home is one in which people feel seen and appreciated. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking the holidays are about giving and receiving presents or attending parties, but it's really small, quiet acts of gratitude that cultivate connection. Gratitude creates joy-not vice versa. So this year I'm going to give thanks every chance I get for that special group of folks

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  • 3 Delicious Meals You Can Make with Thanksgiving Leftovers

    Photo: Tina RuppBy Marcia Kiesel

    Curried Mashed Potato-Turkey Soup

    Bored of turkey sandwiches? Try this flavorful soup as an unexpected way to reuse a few holiday favorites.

    Get the recipe: Curried Mashed Potato-Turkey Soup

    Related: 6 Easy Pie Recipes Anyone Can Bake

    Mushroom, Turkey, and Potato Pie

    This delicious casserole-made with roast turkey, green beans, onion, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and fresh sage-is the perfect solution to an overstuffed fridge.

    Get the recipe: Mushroom, Turkey, and Potato Pie

    Read More: 5 Basics We're All Cooking Wrong

    Turkey Hash Patties

    Forget turkey burgers! Serve a couple of these patties with a salad for a simple, no-fuss dinner that's ready in 30 minutes.

    Get the recipe: Turkey Hash Patties

    More from

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  • Dr. Oz: 6 Ways to Sleep Better—Starting Tonight

    Photo: Greg Kessler

    By Dr. Mehmet Oz

    I don't have to tell you how important a good night's rest is for your health-and you don't have to tell me how hard it can be to squeeze in those precious hours of shut-eye. But an overbooked schedule may not be the only reason you're exhausted; the change in seasons could also be to blame. Up to 20 percent of adults may experience mild seasonal affective disorder, which can be caused by a disruption in the body's natural circadian rhythm triggered by fewer daylight hours in winter, and may lead to disordered sleep patterns, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Another issue: sleep apnea. This condition, which is characterized by pauses in breathing, may worsen in winter because of upper-airway infections (associated with colds) and irritation from indoor-air pollution (which can increase when we shut our windows to seal in heat). But sweet dreams can be yours with a few simple adjustments to your routine. Here's what to do.

    Get a

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  • 5-Minute Salted Caramel Cake, Plus Other Microwave Treats

    By Lynn Andriani

    Photo: Teri Lyn FisherThe Gourmet Mug Cake

    There are endless variations on the five-minute dessert phenomenon known as the mug cake-but here's one you probably haven't seen yet. It combines caramel and fleur de sel, so you get a hit of sweet and a subtle saltiness, too (fleur de sel's flavor is more delicate than that of other salts). This recipe, from Leslie Bilderback's Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, makes two cakes, and the impressive finished dish belies the easy prep: You pour the batter into mugs, microwave for 30 seconds, top the cakes with caramel candies and cook for a minute more.

    Get the recipe: Caramel-Fleur de Sel Mug Cake

    Related: 6 Essential Dishes to Make This Season

    Healthier, No-Box Mac 'n' Cheese

    You can cook pasta in the microwave, but since boiling shells or elbows in water takes less time, stick with the stovetop for that (make about 3/4 pound) and make the sauce in the microwave. Into a 2-quart glass bowl, pour a

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  • 5 Mistakes People Make when Meeting Someone New

    By Amy Shearn

    Photo: Thinkstock

    Mistake #1: Offering to Order Everyone Drinks from the Open Bar

    It doesn't look like a mistake. It doesn't smell like a mistake. In fact, it seems like exactly the right thing to do: Who doesn't love the lady with the tray of daiquiris? But according to contemporary research, when people do a favor for you, they tend to subconsciously justify their actions by assuming they helped you out because they like you. Plus, asking someone a favor makes her feel useful, which can be a generally pleasant sensation. So ask a new friend if she wouldn't mind bringing you a vodka soda from the open bar, and watch a sudden warmth bloom between you. (It's not just the vodka soda talking. It's SCIENCE.)

    Related: 9 Things to Ask Before You Say Yes

    Mistake #2: Connecting by Complaining

    Sharing gripes is an easy way to bond-after all, everyone has so many-but what starts as an ice-breaker can quickly launch a snark spiral. You have the right idea, which is to find common

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  • The Best Snacks to Combat Pre-Lunch Stomach Grumbles

    By Jena Pincott

    Photo: Thinkstock

    When You Need the Most Bang Per Calorie...

    You may have seen the headlines: Dieters who eat midmorning snacks lose less weight. But that could be because those people choose the wrong snack says Roberta Re, PhD, a nutrition researcher at Leatherhead Food Research-that is, they probably aren't eating almonds. Re and her colleagues found that when people ate a portion and a half of almonds (1.5 ounces) around 11 a.m., they were less hungry at lunch and at dinner and ate fewer calories daily than non-almond eaters. And when volunteers snacked on more than a standard-size 1-ounce serving, they also reported feeling much less angry. Re says she has tested many foods in the past decade, and very few have shown an effect like almonds. (If you become bored of naked nuts, try these recipes for spiced, spicy roasted, cinnamon glazed and "firecracker" flavors.)

    How much: 1.5 standard portions (1.5 ounces total) or about 35 nuts

    Extra perk: If you can, chew your

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