Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff

  • 20 sweet, flirty sundresses under $100

    There's something for everyone here, and that's no small task when it comes to dresses. Whether you're looking for something to flatter your bombshell figure, want a dress that's ankle-skimming, or are open to anything as long as it will keep you cool on the next scorcher and is is way less than a b

  • 101 best things about summer

    You probably already broke out the shorts and the sunscreen weeks ago, but today marks the first official day of summer. In an effort to enjoy every little moment of these all-too-brief days of surf and sunshine, we've put together a laundry list of some of our very favorite summer delights. Add yours in the comments!

    1. lemonade stands
    2. whirring vintage fans
    3. sundresses
    4. fireflies
    5. wildflowers by the highway
    6. s'mores
    7. grilled burgers, steaks, fish, fruit...
    8. summer thunderstorms
    9. the long, lingering daylight hours
    10. fireworks
    11. parades
    12. linen
    13. the return of Mad Men
    14. watermelon
    15. napping in a hammock
    16. sunglasses as headbands
    17. the smell of sunscreen on kids
    18. farmer's markets at their most glorious
    19. a chelada on a hot day
    20. picnics
    21. daytrips to the beach (and the reminder of it with sand everywhere)
    22. iced tea out of mason jars
    23. espadrilles
    24. bocce
    25. swimming
    26. halter top strings dangling
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  • POLL: How do you deal on Father's Day without your dad?

    Given the wrong set of circumstances, holidays are like an emotional pressure cooker. Take Christmas, for instance. If you're mourning any kind of loss in December, the relentlessly cheery carols and elves are like fingernails on a chalkboard for the grieving. We don't want to think about glitter and bows and sugar plum fairies--we're just sad.

    This is the case for many of us on Father's Day. The farthest thing from our minds is a day at the grill with old pops, chowing down on burgers and laughing into the sunset. Whether your father has passed away or has never played much a figure in your life at all, it can feel like the department store commercials for polo shirts and electronics just won't go away.

    That's the problem with the advertisements and movies that surround certain holidays: the images are unrealistic, and there's no space for how we really feel. We should be gathered 'round a campfire, holding hands and singing Kumbaya. But for many of us, the realities of divorce,

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  • 5 things Jillian Michaels wants us to learn from "Losing It"

    Our girl crush, Jillian Michaels, has a new makeover show on which she will do whatever it takes to help you change your life. That means hours of sweaty workouts, dredging up the past, and lots and lots of tears. And despite the rocky start of the predictable (and slightly awkward) premiere episode, we find ourselves kind of won over by this show. Yes, it is manufactured sentimentalism, but we're willing to look past that because of Jillian herself: girl is real. And if she's just acting like she cares about these people's emotional, mental, and physical well-being, she might as well join the ranks of Meryl Streep. Here, our favorite takeaways from what could possibly be our new favorite tear-jerker show:

    The idea of change is exciting. The work of change? Not so much.

    Three episodes in, there's something it appears we can count on: Even though these people have willingly volunteered themselves as makeover subjects for this show, when Jillian calls from her iPhone and says, "I'm in

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  • Luxe summer essentials under $50

    Of all the seasons, summer's got the best goods. When we're not battling snow and rain, the distance to look super cute is that much shorter. Even on the steamiest days, looking cool is just a matter of throwing on a pretty sundress and calling it a day. Here we've collected the summer essentials you'll need (and the bag to throw them in) to transform into a summery beach babe.

  • Being the grown-up the kid in you always wanted

    Last night I watched my husband receive an award for his first feature film. Making movies is a dream he's had since he was a little kid, and of course, I couldn't help but think about the 8-year-old who would have been jumping up and down at something so long sought coming true.

    It got me thinking about those eight-year-olds in all of us--what they wanted, what they hoped for. Some psychologists suggest that the ages from 8-10 are a time when we are our most authentic selves, the last breath of our truest individuality before the indignities of middle school and high school set in. I like to imagine sitting down for lunch with my younger self and seeing if she would like me. She wrote stories about headstrong girls who loved horses and the library. And I like to think she'd be delighted to see her grown-up self a writer, and the proud owner of a red bicycle (with baskets!). So far, I think I've done her proud. Here's how to use your own eight-year old self as a compass for your

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  • A totally rad playlist of '80s jams you've (probably) never heard

    When I sat down to come up with a list of tunes that would help all of us shake up our workout playlist from its usual "Hey Ya!" and "Crazy In Love," I didn't intend to come up with a bunch of songs neither of us had ever heard. But as I clicked and dragged Prince and the B-52's, I thought: as great as these songs are--and they are fantastic--there has to be something else. Something a little more surprising than another three minutes jogging with Wham! And guess what? There is!

    I fell down a radical rabbit hole of jangly '80's indie pop, post-punk, and new wave that actually made me want to take a run in the park. Yes, it was that inspiring. There are bands here you've heard before like The Go-Go's and R.E.M., but their playing some of their lesser known '80's songs. And then there are some bands that were new to me (and hopefully to you, too), like the deeply awesome The Three O'Clock, Shop Assistants and Delta 5.

    And as I accidentally stumbled across more and more songs that a

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  • Real-life experts: Looking super chic on a real-life budget

    I love an expert opinion as much as the next gal--that's why I regularly tune in to Oprah--but there's something to be said for the everyday experts in life. And when it comes to dressing well, day in, day out, these are the women who make my head spin. They're not tailed by hair and make-up people, they don't have Rachel Zoe in their pocket, and they're not working with Carrie Bradshaw-sized budgets. Naturally, it was to these women I turned for advice on how we can all make over our closets from something stuffed with crap into something marvelous. Here, their tips for looking good without breaking the bank:

    1. Find one 4-season item that you love and makes you feel great. When you are frequently living out of a suitcase and still managing to look chic in places like Croatia and Portugal, you learn a thing or two about getting dressed--especially when you manage to do it all on a non-glamorous budget. Frequent flyer Katie suggests that "every woman needs an every-season dress that
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  • Make over your cubicle: How to bring the outdoors inside

    The cruelty of office cubicle land gets particularly bitter in the summer, when birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and you, poor dear, are stuck inside in the land of gray. We've got some simple tips to help you bring nature's stamp not only onto that corporate-issued space, but in your home, as well. A bouquet of flowers look just as lovely on your bedside table as it does on your desk, and some of the ideas here are perfectly fit for transforming your standard box apartment into a forest of enchantment. Read on, nature lover!

    More from Real-Life Makeover>>

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  • Slaying the green-eyed monster: 5 ways to overcome jealousy

    Most of us would probably consider ourselves generously spirited people, genuinely happy for others when good things come their way. Even still, most of us can say we are no stranger to that familiar pang of jealousy over someone else's career, house, or crazy long legs. I myself felt a twinge of this recently when all the coolest people in my 'hood were profiled in a magazine as being fabulous and creative, which they are. I felt stoked for their publicity. But that little whiny voice inside could still be heard saying, "Why aren't I in the magazine?" As much as of any of us try to not pay attention to whatever the Joneses are up to, jealousy can still creep in. Here are five ways to keep that green-eyed monster in check:

    1. It's usually not a zero sum game. Feelings of jealousy usually get set off when we see someone with more than us: more money, more love, more Manolos. But their stuff doesn't have anything to do with us. Their success in scoring a life-long love or the house of
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