• Earlier this week, a perfect stranger sized me up and, out of nowhere, suggested I do the thing I've always wanted to do--let's say it was roller skating across the country. That moment was at once terrifying and a wonderful boost of self-esteem; if this person thinks I can do it, why don't I? Well, thanks to a career quiz in O magazine, I know exactly why. I tied evenly between fear of failure and fear of success, and burst out laughing right in the bathtub.

    Lots of us keep lists squirreled away of what we want to do with our lives. They are lists that often detail dreams that can seem too lofty or woefully mundane: we want to buy a house with a pantry, live in Paris, drive across the country, have kids, start a bakery. But we don't dare do more than write it down because if we were to voice the thing we want to do than it would be out there, acknowledged and unfulfilled. Somehow, that stings more than just keeping it to ourselves.

    When it comes to setting goals and meeting them, we

    Read More »from Poll: What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
  • The upshot to the changing office rules? You can compose a memo while standing in line at the grocery store. The downside? You can still be composing that memo at 11pm after the dinner dishes have been washed. Being able to work any and everywhere has freed many of us up to work billable hours in our pajamas and dictate letters from the drive-thru, but how and where do you draw the line to keep work from overrunning the rest of your life?

    Size up the landscape
    Look at your life right now and the roles that work, family, me-time, and recreation are all playing. What needs to change in order for you to feel more balanced? You might be craving more time with your better half or more time for yoga. Take a step back and think about whether you can meet your priorities by cutting out evening email or getting more help from your spouse at home. You might also consider whether a bigger change is in order, like a career with more flexibility. It never hurts to take a timeout in life to think

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  • I've been in a hurried, harried flurry of stress these past few days, rushing from meetings to appointments to evening work events. I've already drafted one email to a friend apologizing for being abnormally MIA, and don't even ask what happened to the gym. As a fierce protector of my days--which have to include stuff like eating dinner with my husband while watching The West Wing reruns and attending my favorite step class--I do not like this state of things one bit. If you, too, feel like your life has turned into a whirling dervish of obligations with no time leftover for the important stuff, you've come to the right place.

    1. Identify your non-negotiables

    What's been getting short-shrift that is absolutely essential to you for a meaningful life? It could be pushing aside the furniture for living room yoga once a week, talking to your best friend on the phone, or time alone with your sweetie, but be specific about what in your life are absolute, no-excuses top priority. Aim for 5

    Read More »from 10 ways to find time in your day for what really matters
  • "When fall comes around," says beauty expert Lucy Crawford, "the air gets cold, dry, and unforgiving, which leads to cracking and breakouts." Don't we know it! Here she gives us four simple tips to make our fall skin gorgeous and glowing, despite the dropping temperatures.


    We love easy, affordable, do-it-yourself beauty tips like this. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of almond oil, and a dash of your favorite perfume to make a just-for-you scrub that can be used all over your body. Your skin gets soft, supple, and totally touchable.


    "This is an imperative step," says Lucy, "and you won't be able to use just any lotion." Our skin gets itchy and dry when the fall air rolls in because we're missing ceramides, the natural lipids in the skin. Look for a moisturizer that contains ceramides, like Curel's Ultra Healing Lotion.


    Just because we're not spending the day at the beach doesn't mean this tip is going

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  • Good news for the thrifty, penny-pinched, and underpaid among us: A study from Belgium's University of Liege found that money diminishes our appreciation for life's mundane pleasures. The reasoning? Regularly enjoying extravagances that money can buy--like going out to spendy restaurants and buying all the Chanel we ever wanted--makes it harder to savor the beauty in life's little joys, like sunny days and cold beers. Here, three ways to cultivate a life with more happiness, no money necessary.

    While more content people generally report higher job satisfaction, a study from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, finds that loving your job won't necessarily increase your overall level of happiness. The study suggests that the secret to being happy at work is to be happy with other areas of your life, like family and friendships. Instead of working late again, how about punching out to meet your bestie for a yoga class?

    Read more: How to love the job you have


    Read More »from 3 science-proven ways money can't buy happiness
  • It's not just the leaves that switch up their look come fall. On today's episode of Real-Life Makeover, makeup pro, Julie Murray, is showing one mom how to rock our favorite fall colors.


    "I'm a firm believer that if you're going to have a dramatic eye, keep your lips neutral, and vice versa," says Julie. Otherwise, you run the risk of makeup overload. For fall, try pairing a neutral eye, with a rich, luxurious color on your lips, like a deep burgundy.

    Just because you're not hanging at the beach doesn't mean you get a free pass on skin protection. Always remember to prime your skin with some SPF. "It's important when you're choosing your foundation color that you match to your natural skin tones," says Julie. Even out your skin with a foundation that makes your skin look radiant and provides a bit of sun protection, to boot.


    When I asked Julie about the season's hottest makeup colors, she suggested we

    Read More »from Fall makeup trends to update your look
  • In the "Whoa, we live in the future!" moment of the week, researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City report they have identified a gene responsible for depression. Could replacing the gene cure depression?

    Neuroscience Michael Kaplitt and co-author of the paper in the journal Science Translational Medicine said in a statement, "We potentially have a novel therapy to target what we now believe is one root cause of human depression."

    Kaplitt's team looked at the activity of a gene called p11 in a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, an area responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, and laughter. When doctors are determining whether to give a diagnosis of depression, one of the key symptoms they look for is anhedonia, or the inability to derive pleasure or satisfaction from previously-enjoyed activities.

    Kaplitt's team conducted studies on depressed mice who lacked motivation to squirm away when held by their tales or pass swimming tests. When

    Read More »from Scary or awesome? Researchers report gene therapy could cure depression
  • We've all seen sitcoms where a towel drops to the bathroom floor and our heroine is beset with a shrieking "OMG, my hair!" moment of terror. Here, how to avoid hair color trauma and tears with five simple tips.


    If you've got Cher black hair, here's the truth: you're not going to become Gwen Stefani at home. Drastic changes seldom work in your own bathroom (didn't you see that episode of 90210?). Don't go more than two shades in either direction. Home color works best for people who want a subtle change or to cover up grays. Save the who's-that-girl? style transformations for the pros.

    Like the color on the box? Cool, but you're going to need to decode the language on the box like a Girl Scout studying a map key. You know the color's black, brown, red, or blond. That's the easy part. Now look for the other defining clues to see how the color will look on you. Is the shade light, medium, or dark? Is the tone warm or cool?


    Read More »from Five things to know before you color your hair at home
  • There are some questions I ask over and over of people. "What's your go-to weeknight dinner?" is a biggie. But as someone who is now and then beset with bad moods, here's another choice query: How do you fix a bad mood? Self-soothing tactics aren't just some namby-pamby way to coddle yourself. The way I see it is like this: if we don't take responsibility for our own happiness, who will?

    By the time we hit adulthood, most of us don't have a mommy who will wipe away our tears with the same regularity as when we were toddlers. It's vital to know how to do this for ourselves. Not because bad moods don't have a place in our lives--they're a part of the normal emotional life cycle, for sure. In fact, research has shown that not only are bad moods natural, but that they can help you make clear-headed decisions and boost memory.

    But whatever. None of that means anything when life has just come at you hard: a project lands on your desk at the eleventh hour, you get stuck in traffic, and a

    Read More »from What's your tried-and-true way to banish a bad mood?
  • Perhaps it's the Yankee in me--relatives who will remain unnamed have been known to pick up nickels off restaurant floors--but I was born a thrifty girl. So when the economy tanked and belts were tightened, I was already in the habit of living close to the bone. Only now I had to find new ways to cut costs that still jived with my desire to lead a life filled with daily pleasures. But cutting back at the grocery store doesn't have to mean giving up your bon vivant mantle, just a little reimagining of the way we spend, shop, and eat. Here, bloggers and smart ladies like you share some ideas.

    1. I've found that getting handy with baking has been a huge money-saver in our household. Homemade bread for roughly 50 cents a loaf is awesome. So are fresh batches of zucchini bread, applesauce muffins, and bar cookies. --Kristina
    2. [One of my biggest tricks is] Planning my menus for the entire week. When I plan ahead I can take into consideration what I have in my pantry - or what few
    Read More »from Money makeover: 20 ways to slash your grocery store spending


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