Erin McKenna

When Erin McKenna decided to opened a specialty bakery in 2005, she little baking experience and had never run a business. B…

  • In an age when work follows you home on your laptop, and home life can intrude on office time in email and cellphone calls, it's hard to strike a balance between your career and the rest of your life.

    And yet, according to Leslie Baker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and instructor in the counseling program at the University of Phoenix Bay Area Campus, you can - and you must.

    "Identifying your priorities and setting boundaries are imperative in creating a better work-life balance," she says.

    Here are five steps toward striking that important equilibrium:

    1. Leave work at the office.

    Try keeping your laptop closed - and your work phone switched off - between the time you arrive home from work and the time you go to bed. Make it clear to co-workers that you're unavailable after, say, 6 pm and on weekends. And treat paid holidays as something other than a chance to catch up on your work.

    Likewise, Baker says, don't handle personal matters - making doctor appointments, phoning your kid

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  • Jessica Herrin was a successful e-commerce entrepreneur who, after having her first child, suddenly started making jewelry in her living room. "People thought that was totally nuts," she said, "and in a way it was." Her crazy living room-based bauble project turned into Stella & Dot, a $175 million dollar business. And Herrin? She's the founder and chief executive officer of the company, with more than 10,000 sales reps working under her in five countries.

    Herrin knew she'd pursue a career in business when she fell in love with economics in college. "Really, economics is at the underpinning of happiness," she said. "If you can give people a economy that provides jobs and food, it's the basis of need. And from there they can do whatever else they want." She went on to co-found her first business, WeddingChannel.com, while she was a student at Stanford Business School. It quickly grew into a multi-million dollar business and was sold to another company.

    More on Shine: Why You Should Fake C

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  • 7 Tips to Be a Smarter Consumer

    Don't get fleeced at the mattress store, repair shop, gym, and more with this top shopping advice from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

    1. What an Appliance Salesperson May Not Tell You
    Delivery and installation could almost double the cost of a new appliance. Charges vary from free to nominal ($20) to $150-plus. Extras add up, such as delivery to an apartment above the second floor ($50), or connecting a water line to a fridge (about $130). One store charges $170 to set up a dishwasher, $10 to take away the old one, and $35 if a community restricts delivery hours - and additional $215. Ask about all fees before you buy.

    Related: Answers to Your Most Common Product Questions

    2. What the Hotel-Reservation Website May Not Tell You

    The advertised "best" rate isn't necessarily as low as the hotel will go. Hotels often don't want competitors to know their rock-bottom rates. Once you've found a place to stay, call and ask, "Do you have any discounts or promotions (kids stay for

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  • Do you ever feel like you're an imposter in your job or life? Amy Cuddy has a simple piece of advice based on her personal life journey: Fake it until you become it.

    Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School, studies confidence and body language. Specifically, she looks at how a person's body language impacts his or her own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and hormones. Her interest in Cuddy grew up in Pennsylvania and immersed herself in the arts, theater and dancing. But when she was 19 and studying at the University of Colorado, she was thrown from a car and suffered a serious head injury. Cuddy discussed the accident's impact with Harvard Magazine, saying she knew she was gifted and was aware of her high IQ. "I always thought that if everything fell apart, I would always be smart, or smart enough to get by," she said. But as a result of the accident and brain injury, her IQ dropped by 30 points. Doctors told her she'd never finish college. Cuddy said it felt like her intelligence

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  • moms

    moms

    Overall, having kids and being a parent can be expensive when considering all the classes, activities, and unexpected expenses. Here are 5 ways to be a frugal mother and still have a life.

    1. Get Thrifty

    To furnish your apartment or home, search through local thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales. You'll find many great, comfortable pieces of furniture at a significantly lower cost than buying new. You can also check out the clothing racks at these same places to supplement your closet without spending a fortune on new designer duds.

    Related: 10 "money-saving" tips that actually leave you broke

    2. Listen In

    Make a concerted effort to find baby and child gear in good condition before you sink a lot of cash into buying new. There are swap sites online as well as rental sites that can help you find everything you need without breaking the bank. While you're at it, don't forget about your needs. Maybe you could find a used purse online that would spruce up your wardrobe

    3. D

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