Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff

  • Wardrobe multitaskers that give you more bang for your buck

    Who isn't seduced by the idea of possibility? And when it comes to our wardrobes, the idea of one purchase yielding numerous results is pretty appealing, especially when you've got a clothing budget the size of Rachel Zoe's wrist. We rounded up some of the cutest wardrobe multitaskers in the form of dresses that become skirts, tops that become dresses, and reversible pieces that go from pretty to professional. How's that for options?

  • 5 ways to stop worrying

    I have a meeting coming up this week that's got me a little worried, and I spent more time this weekend than I care to admit letting those worries set up shop in my thoughts. Worry can have it's place in life --- if it encourages us to act and incites life-improving change (my worry could have gotten me super prepared for said meeting, for example), it's serving its purpose. But if worrying has just become habit, with idle fretting and rumination a general way to cope with the world at large, it might be time to nip it in the bud. Here are five ways to deal with worry in your life:

    1. Accept uncertainty.
      Oftentimes, worry can be a persistent fear of the unknown. But what's so great about certainty? Think of those movies in which characters ask to know the future of their lives from an all-knowing oracle, only to then feel like prisoners of that knowledge. Ask yourself some questions: Is it possible to be certain about everything in life? How could uncertainty be helpful? If
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  • Make over your commute (and squeeze in a workout)

    When I was little, I used to ride around the neighborhood on my Huffy 8-speed pretending I was 90210's Kelly Taylor in my red BMW convertible. The wind would whip through my hair, and I practiced my haughty smile at intersections. Even childhood play isn't always as innocent as it looks.

    Later, when I was the picture of an awkward preteen, my bike stood for freedom. My parents were freshly and bitterly divorced, but if I could get on my bike and ride to the library to check out Go Ask Alice for the third time or climb the hill nearby with a grassy overlook, I could coast away from all of that.

    A lot of us have that attachment to our bicycles when we're young. We're small and beholden to our parents decisions about bedtime, what's for dinner, and pretty much everything else. But if we have a bike, we can steer the way ourselves. It's a pretty powerful taste of freedom, and why, even though I never ride it, I have a red vintage Motobecane leaning against the living room wall.

    May is

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  • Major a-ha! book: Women Food and God

    When a book not only turns on a light bulb but shines a spotlight onto the way you feel about food, it's hard to begin to write about it in the usual pithy blog ways. The internet isn't all that well-suited to dramatic proclamations, but with a book with a title as heavy as Women Food and God, it seems we have no choice. So here goes: If you've ever been on a diet, hated your thighs, zoned out with a bag of potato chips, or felt that you could get your life clicking along if you could only lose 5, 50, or 100 pounds, you have to read this book. And given those parameters, that should pretty much mean all of you.

    I first read an excerpt of Women Food and God in a magazine. And for as many times as you've heard that your issues with food aren't really about food, this was the first time that someone could articulate these ideas in a way that made me go whoa. It's not just because you had a crappy childhood or because you have low self-esteem (all those things usually play a part, too).

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  • Underrated old movie looks we still love

    Foul Play Soundtrack/ParamountFoul Play Soundtrack/ParamountWatching Goldie Hawn in Foul Play on Sunday night, I was confronted with my new hair: bouncy, feathery, but still modern, it's a 'do that says "fox" loud and clear. But contrasted with Hawn's character's buttoned-up librarian look of tweed blazers, long skirts, shetland sweaters, and peter pan collars, it's a style as understatedly sexy as ever. And this got me thinking: what are some of the most underrated fashionable movies?

    Movies, especially old ones, are a great way to infuse your wardrobe with a new shot of style because movie looks are so fully realized. A team of people came up with storyboards and sorted through racks of clothing to come up with a cohesive look that matches a character. That's the kind of wardrobe support most of us long for.

    But if you're looking for inspiration, movies can be the best place to get it, and I'm not just talking about the Edith Head-designed glories of Rear Window or Diane Keaton's still-badass rumpled look in Annie Hall. What about the

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  • 18 ways to bring peace and quiet into your day

    Sometimes on Monday morning you can still barely make out the whiff of weekend relaxation. You know, that sense you had on Friday afternoon of possibility and time. The sense of peace that came from an afternoon spent reading your new book on the porch or weeding your garden. But there are ways to bring moments of peace into your everyday life that don't require totally checking out for two days. Here are eighteen little ways to bring instant peace and quiet into your day.

    1. Wake up naturally. Get the Sleep Cycle app for your iPhone to help you wake up in the lightest stage of sleep.
    2. Lay awake. Before jumping into your day when you wake up, take a moment to stretch and take a few deep breaths.
    3. Eat breakfast at a table. Sit down with your partner before you both head out to the office.
    4. Make a gratitude list in your head. As you're walking to the subway or sitting in traffic, make a mental list of everything you're grateful for.
    5. Check something
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  • WSJ reporter Katherine Rosman investigates her mother's life

    Katherine Rosman's new book, If You Knew Suzy, exists because of her mother's death from cancer, but it's a portrait of a woman that positively crackles with life.

    Rosman applies her training as a reporter to investigate everything about her mother's life she didn't (and couldn't) know as a daughter. "I could consider my mom as it hadn't occurred to me to do before," writes Rosman "as someone who could be defined by more than motherhood. At the same time, I could test a theory I've long held as a reporter: that when you're willing to spend the time to peel back the layers, even seemingly conventional players are revealed to be complex; that ordinary people can lead quietly extraordinary lives."

    What results is a good-humored portrait of a woman as firecracker, equal parts badass and pain-in-the-ass. If You Knew Suzy is forthright and funny, an honest look at not only the relationship between mother and daughter, but of a mother as a woman. In other words, if you haven't bought a

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  • 7 things it's never too late to ask mom

    Mother's Day is an opportunity to fete your mom with flowers and to wear macaroni necklaces from your own tots. But it's also an excuse to really connect, to dig in deep with the woman who had the bravery to bring you into this world. We asked some of our favorite bloggers what they want to talk about with their moms and what they hope their own children will one day ask them. Read on for ways to collect stories about your mother that will will stand the test of time.

    What was your childhood like?

    Imagine what it will be like to one day share nuggets with your own kids about your time as a tot. "I love painting a picture of how I was a child once too," says Ruth of GraceLaced, "skinning my knees, failing a test, talking back to my parents, sneaking a candy bar, choosing my friends."

    The same goes for your own mom. Especially if there's a divide between you, asking your mom about her time as a kid -- what she liked to do, what she wanted to be when she grew up, what her role in the

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  • 10 best beauty timesavers to get you pretty in a flash

    We'll make this quick: you're time starved, and you're looking for ways to get out the door looking pretty and polished that take a hot minute. Or you're just really, really lazy. Either way, we feel you. Here are 10 timesavers to get you gorgeous so you can save more minutes for living a beautiful life.

    1. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. With one swipe, you get hydrated skin, a sheer wash of color, and protection from the ultimate ager, the sun.
    2. Convertible color. Instead of juggling separate lipsticks, blush, and eye shadow, choose a single chubby stick or pot of color that prettifies all over.
    3. Brighten eyes. Use a bit of highlighter on the inner corners of your eyes and coat lashes with a glossy, lengthening mascara for a bright-eyed look. Also try using a white eye pencil on the inner rims of eyes.
    4. Conditioner as shaving cream. Coat the bottom half of your strands with conditioner, and while it's doing the work of penetrating your dry strands with
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  • What's keeping you from being happy?

    This week begins National Mental Health Month which, if you can believe it, has been around since 1949. To help you maximize your own feel-good vibes, Mental Health America has launched an initiative called Live Your Life Well, an online campaign to help people manage stress and create better lives.

    The campaign lists 10 tools to live better and the list is a good one, backed up by plenty of research. It includes connecting with others, nurturing a spiritual aspect, and eating the requisite fruits and veggies. We hear this advice over and over. But why isn't it enough to help some of us make a change?

    A new survey conducted by Self magazine and Discovery Health found that 1 in 3 women experiences anxiety, and 1 in 5 will have a bout with clinical depression. The survey found that 40% of women thought they could treat anxiety and depression on their own, but with a clinical disorder, it's not a matter of pulling yourself up by your boot straps. Getting help from a pro is key, and not

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