Blog Posts by Oprah.com

  • Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    When we're blasting out of town for vacation, we like to know three things: where's the closest beach, pizza parlor and pit-stop motel. What we rarely think about are the locations of the nearest trauma centers, hospitals and base helipads. Still, it might not be a bad idea to keep these in mind, especially since summer makes us more likely to try activities we might normally shy away from (who goes skydiving in winter?).

    RELATED: O's Essential Summer Travel Tips

    We were happy to find the American Trauma Center's interactive map that allows us to spot "safety zones" at a glance--because a skilled medical professional is more valuable in a health emergency than an expert pie-maker (unless a margherita pizza is your dying wish). The purple splotches denote areas where advanced trauma care is just 45 minutes to an hour away. Looking at the map, we were startled to see that some popular summer destinations fall into the country's most unsafe areas.

    RELATED: Skip the Beach

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  • The Surprising Habits That Can Sink a Marriage

    Dan Farrall / Getty ImagesDan Farrall / Getty ImagesBy Tara Parker-Pope

    Can you spot a good marriage? I was pretty sure I could, starting with my own. My husband and I rarely argued, we had similar careers, we shared common interests. Things weren't perfect, but we seemed to be humming along in harmony better than most other couples we knew. In fact, nobody was more surprised than we were when our 17-year marriage ended in a New Jersey divorce court.

    RELATED: Feel the Heat: How to Be Irresistible to Your Partner

    It turns out, though, that the signs of trouble had been there all along, if only I'd known what to look for. Instead, I was judging my marriage by the wrong standards-which, I've since learned, most of us do. In one now-famous study, researchers asked therapists, married couples, and others to watch videotaped conversations of ten couples and try to identify the relationships that had ultimately ended in divorce. The results were abysmal-even the therapists guessed wrong half the time.

    So how can you diagnose the health of

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  • A Godiva Chef's Secret for the Perfect Cake

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    Godiva executive chef chocolatier Thierry Muret spends his days tinkering with double chocolate raspberry truffles and cherry cordials (it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it). And with Godiva's collection of baked goods, which will have a new line on sale in the fall, Muret learned to master the art of mixing, baking and frosting. Among the most valuable lessons he picked up: freeze a cake after baking it. It keeps the cake incredibly moist and, as a bonus for frazzled cake decorators, makes it a lot easier to cut--and, in turn, frost.

    RELATED: 17 Delicious Summer Dessert Recipes

    After mixing the cake batter (and at Godiva, all cake batters are chocolate--go figure), pouring it into the pan and baking it completely through, Muret pulls the cake out of the oven and lets it cool on a wire rack until it is lukewarm enough that he can handle it. He removes it from the pan and then wraps the entire cake with cellophane wrap--and this is crucial--twice. You must

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  • 3 Summer Beauty Emergencies - Solved!

    Illustration: Peter ArkleIllustration: Peter ArkleBy Jenny Bailly

    How to Treat a Mosquito Bite (in the Middle of Your Forehead)

    Dab a 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment on the bump as soon as you notice it to bring down the inflammation and redness. (If you're willing to pop a pill, an antihistamine, like Zyrtec, will also help reduce swelling.) Once you've treated the bite, cover it as you would a pimple. Here's makeup artist Troy Surratt's strategy:

    RELATED: How to Fix a Self-Tanner Hangover

    • Use a small synthetic makeup brush to dab creamy concealer over the bite. Brush the concealer up and down and side to side so it blends into the skin.
    • Pat the concealer with your ring finger a couple of times to remove any excess.
    • Take a sponge wedge and dab on a translucent powder to set the concealer.
    RELATED: O's Summer Beauty Survival Handbook

    Illustration: Peter ArkleIllustration: Peter ArkleHow to Treat a Killer Blister

    To pop, or not to pop, that is the question. The dermatologists we spoke with answered: Pop.

    "The blister will heal more readily if you drain

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  • 6 New Takes on Classic Sangria

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    The simplicity of sangria--a little fruit, a little wine, and there's your fiesta--is part of the drink's allure. And I'll take a cold glass of the traditional version any summer day (here's Art Smith's sangria, which was served at the Oprah Show farewell dinner). Still, playing with the recipe, whether by swapping in a different fruit or alcohol, or introducing a completely new flavor, can be fun. Here are six food bloggers' creative takes on the classic.

    RELATED: 3 Drink Recipes Created by Oprah

    Lambrusco Sangria from Chow.com
    Be delicate when you stir otherwise you'll kill the bubbles.

    Raspberry Thyme Sangria from Food Republic

    Muddled raspberries and thyme go nicely with Prosecco (if you like your sangria spritzy) or Rose (if you prefer it more full-bodied).

    RELATED: Cool Cocktails

    Sake Sangria from Daily Loaf
    Peaches and plums play up the flavors in sake and plum wine.

    Sangria and Iced Coffee from the Women's Health blog
    A non-alcoholic version that blends

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  • Is It OK to Use Your Ex for a Booty Call?

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Cindy Chupack

    Q: My dilemma is that I still love my ex, who I dated for nine years. Recently, I dated someone else-it didn't work out. I'm now thinking of using the ex (we remain friends) as a booty call, which is a new concept for me. Or maybe it's time for my old-fashioned self to get more familiar with my body and try self-satisfaction?
    - Linda, Rhode Island

    RELATED: "Can't We Be Friends?"

    A: Ladies, let's talk about the booty call. The beauty of the booty call is its simplicity. You're in the mood for sex. You don't have a boyfriend at the moment. You know someone who doesn't have a girlfriend. You call him up. Wham, bam, thank you, Sam. Everybody's happy.
    How does love factor into this, Linda? It doesn't! And yet, as women, we have trouble keeping love out of the bedroom. Love is like a puppy whimpering outside the door, waiting to be let in as soon as the sex is over. Love will ruin a booty call faster than you can say, "Where do you see this going?" It's a tragedy, really,

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  • 6 Things You Can Live Without (Forever!)

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockAuthor and political commentator Donna Brazile reveals six things she never wants to think about again-and you don't need them either.

    The words "in my humble opinion." It is never humble and it is never delivered as opinion.

    RELATED: 12 Things I'm Too Stubborn to Tell My Mother

    Energy sucks (a.k.a Negative Nancies, Debbie Downers, and Sad Sids). These are the people who find the cloud around every silver lining. If you can't cut them out of your life entirely, turn your interactions with them into a game. When my neighbor says, "I hate this horrible weather!" I say, "Isn't horrible weather great? It means I don't have to wash my car!"

    RELATED: How to Unhook Yourself from Negativity

    Another person to make us complete. Being single isn't the same thing as being alone. Sometimes all it means is that you're responsible for picking up your own socks.

    RELATED: How Self Acceptance Can Crack Open Your Life

    Bad wine. Life is too short, and good wine too cheap. I like my Chardonnay buttery,

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  • Packing a Perfect Gluten-Free Picnic Basket? Yes, it's Possible

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Kate Rockwood

    Picnics are underappreciated: less hassle and heat than grilling, but endlessly more fun than eating indoors. Yet if you're gluten-free, the classic menu--a potential danger zone of sandwiches, crackers, pasta salad, and cookies--can scream off limits. A picnic can be gluten-free, of course, if you find tasty alternatives to the old standbys. Here's what you'll find in my wicker basket this weekend:

    RELATED: Should You Go Gluten-Free?

    Udi's Sandwich Bread: Whether I'm craving cucumber-cream cheese or mounds of roast beef, I reach for Udi's, a durable rice-and-tapioca bread available in white or whole wheat. Unlike other options, it doesn't require toasting to hold up to messy fillings; you can eat it soft, straight from the loaf.

    RELATED: Recipes from Oprah's Summer Get-Togethers

    Tinkyada Pasta: Tinkyada's pasta-salad-perfect noodles (penne, shells, spirals) are made with brown rice and rice bran (fiber boost!), and stay incredibly chewy. One tip: The directions

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  • Free Birth Control Could be Just a Year and a Half Away

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    Nearly every woman in America has used some method of contraception at some point in her life (the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute puts that number at 98 percent). But many women haven't been able to use them as consistently as they'd like, or as recommended. Consistent usage can be expensive: Brand-name versions of birth control pills, the patch or the ring can cost more than $60 a month if paid entirely out of pocket. The initial costs of an IUD (preferred by many couples who already have children) are even more intimidating: The medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device and the follow-up visits can range from $500 to $1,000.

    RELATED: How to Talk to Your Doctor

    Last week, the Institute of Medicine, a leading medical advisory panel, recommended that all insurers be required to cover FDA-approved contraceptives for women free of charge-that is, no co-pays or deductibles required. This is part of a set of eight empowering recommendations that also include

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  • How to Keep Your Makeup From Running

    Photo: Fernando MilaniPhoto: Fernando MilaniBy Jenny Bailly

    Is your instinct to wear less makeup in the heat? Congratulations, your instinct is right! You can still look polished, though, with this pared-down routine from makeup artist Tracy Murphy.

    RELATED: O's Summer Beauty Survival Handbook

    To even out your complexion in summer, use a moisturizer with gradual self-tanner and SPF (like Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 20, $8.50).

    RELATED: 8 New Skin-Saving Sunscreens

    Minimize undereye circles and blemishes with a waterproof concealer, like Lancôme Effacernes ($30).

    Powdery makeup and perspiration are not a pretty combination; swap your powder blush for a cheek stain (like Benefit ChaChaTint, $29).

    RELATED: This Month's Best Beauty Buys

    Eyeshadow can be ephemeral in the heat, so retire it until fall. Define your eyes with a waterproof liquid liner (like Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner, $23) and waterproof mascara (like NYC New York Color Show Time

    Read More »from How to Keep Your Makeup From Running

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