Blog Posts by Woman s Day

  • How to Take the Perfect Pet Portrait

    By Brooke Nevils

    Most of us think of our pets as members of the family. So it makes sense we'd want to capture their cutest moments on camera. But while some pets can sit and stay, they aren't exactly known for striking a pose. From turning off the flash to where you should focus your frame, here are some tips from Steve Grubman, photographer of Friskies and Alpo ads, for taking picture purr-fect photos of your pet .

    1. Turn off the flash. It can frighten your animal. Plus, there's no easy way to get rid of red-eye, says Grubman. Instead, shoot in a place with plenty of natural light. If your pictures come out blurry, use a higher ISO setting, which allows you to take clearer photos with no flash.

    2. Let Fifi be the location scout. It's best to capture your pet in her favorite hangout spot, doing her own thing. "Putting your animal in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar setting for the sake of a picture is destined to fail, because she can become skittish and withdrawn,"

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  • 9 Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

    By Olivia Putnal

    Putting shovel to soil and watching flowers and vegetables grow is one of the best parts about warm weather. Not only is gardening fun, it improves your well-being, too, since it gets you out and about in the fresh air and sunshine. But it can also become a costly and time-consuming hobby if you don't know what you're doing. Whether you've been gardening for years or are just starting out, there's always room for improvement. Read on to discover common gardening mistakes, and tips from the pros on how to correct them.

    Mistake #1: Not Using Enough Mulch

    While mulch (or any other type of material-from compost to newspaper-that's used to cover the surface of your soil) is key to a healthy garden, many people just don't use enough of it. "Compost is meant to suppress weeds and hold in moisture so your plants are able to grow properly," says Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Bugs. But it does a lot more than that. Mulch also reduces the impact of heavy rain and

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  • Are You Still a Good Driver?

    By Barbara Brody

    There are nearly 19 million drivers over the age of 70 in the U.S. Are you (or your father or mother) still up to the task? Signs of trouble: several crashes or close calls in the past year, difficulty merging with traffic or problems making left turns, says Peter Kissinger, CEO and president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. If you're still not sure, try these new ways to assess your driving skills:

    1. Take a quick quiz at (click Quizzes, then Driver 65+). This simple survey asks questions such as how many tickets you've gotten recently and whether your thoughts often wander while driving. When you're finished, you'll get specific tips on how to correct your behavior.

    Check out some of the most outrageous fines for silly crimes-including kissing in a car.

    2. Get an in-depth evaluation with Roadwise Review, a free computer-based program that walks you through several onscreen exercises designed to test your vision, strength,

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  • Start a Direct Selling Business

    By Mary Hunt

    Looking to make a little extra cash while raising a family? Always dreamed of owning your own business? Recently retired and want to add to your nest egg? If any of these sound like you, the solution could be starting your own direct-selling business-you know, with a company such as The Pampered Chef or Silpada Designs, in which you sell goods through home parties and one-on-one consultations. Direct selling has become big business: In 2009, the 16.1 million direct-sales representatives working in the U.S. generated more than $28.3 billion in revenue, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), a national trade group.

    The pros: You'll be your own boss, work flexible hours that fit your schedule, meet new people, sell what interests you and make money doing it. The cons: Despite what recruiters might promise, you probably won't have customers beating down your door, especially in the beginning. You'll become familiar with rejection, because not everyone

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  • Stay Focused at the Supermarket

    By Joy Bauer, RD

    It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options available at your local grocery store . Add in the temptation of coupons, markdowns and brilliantly packaged and placed products, and it can be hard to fight the urge to chuck just about everything you see into your shopping cart. To tackle unhealthy supermarket shopping habits, stick to these tips to score a more wholesome fridge and pantry.

    1. Never shop hungry. Shopping on an empty stomach leads to a cartful of stuff you don't need.

    2. Be careful with coupons. Clip only the ones for products you would ordinarily purchase. Don't use coupons for junk food! (Say that three times out loud before you enter the store.)

    Discover 10 things you didn't know about coupons-and learn how to use them wisely.

    3. Make a list-and keep it in sight. It's the best way to avoid being tempted by unhealthy foods and sale items.

    4. Shop the perimeters first. This is where you'll find fresh produce, dairy, eggs, meat and

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  • What You Should Know About Taking Vitamins

    By Sara Reistad-Long

    If you're like nearly half of all Americans, you take at least one supplement to boost your health. But are you spending your money on the right ones? For that matter, do you need to take vitamins at all? It can be hard to know.

    With the help of top nutrition experts, we've combed through the research and pored over the products to create an information-packed, easy-to-use guide to what to take (and skip) to protect your health for years to come.

    Q: I think I eat pretty well. Do I really need supplements?

    Possibly. Some experts, like Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, a professor of nutrition at New York University and author of What to Eat: An Aisle-by- Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating, say that if you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products, you can skip the supplements. (Ideally, it's better to get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need through real food, since all the

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  • Better Doctor Visits for Teens

    By Barbara Brody

    A study in pediatrics underscores what you may suspect: Teens don't like to discuss touchy topics with adults-including their doctors. Sure, you want to give them their privacy from time to time, but when it comes to matters of health, there should be no secrets between them and their physicians. Here's how to help your teen get the most out of trips to see their MD.

    1. Ask if she's comfortable. Some teens may develop a preference for seeing someone of the same gender; others may feel awkward being surrounded by babies and toddlers. If either is true it may be time to change providers, says study author Maria Britto, MD, MPH, an adolescent medicine specialist.

    2. Do a little prepping. Explain that the doctor may ask seemingly intimate questions about sex, drugs, alcohol or family history, but that he's not being nosy; these details will help your teen get the best care.

    Follow these sanity-saving tips and communicate with your teens effectively.

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  • Put the Spark Back Into Your Marriage at Any Age

    By Jill Provost

    Contrary to popular belief, getting older does not signal the end of your love life-far from it! A 2007 survey from the University of Chicago found that most people between the ages of 57 and 85 consider sex an important part of their life. Not sure if you're one of them? Don't worry-even if you think your desire has gone MIA, it may just be a matter of knowing where to find it. Read on to discover the science behind intimacy and aging-and find out what you can do to bring the sexy back to your relationship.

    Sleep often wins out over sex.

    When it comes to sex, exhaustion can be a major mood killer. A recent survey found that 41 percent of married women would choose an extra hour of sleep over hanky-panky with their hubby. A screaming baby, work stress, fluctuating hormones or hot flashes can all make shut-eye harder to come by as we hit midlife. If you find yourself dragging through the day, waiting until bedtime to have sex almost guarantees no nookie,

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  • 4 Ways with Shift Dresses

    By Woman's Day and Staff

    Dress Code

    A shift dress is one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Whether it's patterned, neutral, bright or ruffled, it happily goes with most accessories, adapting to become the look you want. The proof is in these pleasing picks.

    Fine Print

    The beauty of a multicolored smallscale print: You can pair it with nobrainer coordinating shades (a brown belt and bag, a blue ring), or go for broke and introduce another color altogether (say, earrings with splashes of orange or a crimson blazer).

    MICHAEL Michael Kors dress with belt ($130, at Lord & Taylor; 800- 348-6940)

    Accessorize with...

    These intricately designed dangling earrings-in the season's hottest color (!)-will splash your your look with trendiness and cheer. Yochi earrings ($48;

    Accessorize with...

    The shift dress's unique patterns and vibrant colors calls

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  • How to Wear Spring's Hottest Trends

    By Mandy Major

    It's time to banish those bulky sweaters and structured garments because spring is about to arrive, and with it a bevy of blousy and bright looks. This season is set to be one of the most upbeat in years with an eclectic array of flattering shapes and cheery colors. For insight on the best styles to embrace, we turned to Jeannie Mai, host of How Do I Look?. Below she shares her five favorite trends and how you can work them into your wardrobe.

    Prints That Pop

    This spring, the bolder the better. Go for sunny colors (yellow, orange, violet, green) and peppy prints, then try layering complementary prints to create a unique look. "Start small," Mai suggests. "Pull out a dainty, soft floral print skirt that's not too bold, in a soft lilac or lavender. Then pick out a camisole or small blouse that's a lighter print and tie it all together with a solid denim jacket or cardigan." The key is to balance your overall look, wearing one neutral, solid-colored piece to

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