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Leigh Newman (186 posts)
Monday is too stressful. Wednesday is already hump day. But Tuesday is "you" day: a day when you have the energy to do--or plan--something fresh and unexpected that might just turn your whole week around.
Tomorrow is National Lollipop Day. How to make your own scrumptious tea or fruit flavored suckers. (our advice: try lemonade).
Who doesn't love a backyard picnic? How to design little chalkboard pots that you can fill with flowers or herbs and use as totally original, fun place cards for guests (the bonus: everybody gets to take one home).
Currants are in season. What the heck are they? Learn about this lesser known berry and how to whip up a currant barbecue sauce.
Father's Day and Mother's Day are lovely, but they don't really acknowledge the team effort behind raising kids. Sunday is Parents' Day. How to make a planetarium out of a Pringles can and 40 other super-fast ways to raise the fun levels in your family's summer.
I am the crazy lady in pumps racing down the street after work to get home to my kids...only to burst through the door to find them splayed out on on the floor watching Toy Story 3 for the tenth time. The problem: how to have the kind of traditional school-is-out family summer fun--say, a trip to the beach or a monopoly marathon--when you don't have the full day to spend together?
Our solution: Make your fun happen a little faster with some quirky, original, 2-hour projects like....Making A Planetarium Out of a Pringles Can.
Click here to find out how the delightful deed is done, plus discover 41 other unexpected family activities, many involving: watermelons, tarps, grandparents, pajamas, whipped cream, clouds, and mailboxes. Not to mention laughter.
1) Google +
What it is: Kind of like Facebook. But with live video chat.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "My cousin invited me, but I haven't checked it out." (You have to be invited; this is a key point. Do not be like me and try to discuss Google Plus as if all you have to do—duh—is hop on the site and try it out).
Nonchalant Sentence #2: "I'm up to like 67 circles." (Circles are like clubs that you organize. You can have friends circle or a co-workers circle or trout-fisherman circle,etc)
What it is: A place where ordinary people can make their own tiny, simple blogs really easy. Think of it as scrapbook where people post ideas on pages instead of just pictures.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "Have you seen the one about the Daily Beast cat?" (Have see the one implies that you have seen more than one. The Daily Beast cat is a green-eyed tabby cat named Beast who is photographed by his owner every day. It bears no relation to the Daily Beast website).
What it is: A service that lets you broadcast your location to everyone you know.
Nonchalant Sentence Number #1: "I'm going for mayor of...insert fashionable eatery." (The mayor of anywhere is the person on FourSquare who is physically at that place more than any other user. So being a mayor of some place famous—say Thomas Keller's Per Se—might get you street cred among foodies. I, on the other hand, am going for mayor of Rite-Aid. I will probably earn it too, due my children's need for milk, diapers, and black Spiderman Band-Aids.)
Want to sound like a total tech-master? Just say the word: Spotify.
Keep Reading: How Social Media Can Help Sustain Your Friendships
Before the weekend arrives, before you hit a restaurant with friends or sit down at barbecue with your family and forget the last five days, you might want to give a check up...on your feelings. How good--or bad--did you really feel this week?
It's a more crucial question than you might think. Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher at the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has found that for people to really flourish in life, they need to experience three positive emotions for every negative one.
Fredrickson has developed an online quiz that takes about five minutes to complete which calculates your positive-to- negative ratio. Mine was 1:1.7, placing me solidly with the 80% of the population that live below the ideal 3:1 score.
Wait, I take that back. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Wait, I take that back too. Fredrickson points out that phony positive emotions don't count and, in fact, may be detrimental to your spirits. My last and final feeling: Drat (!) about the quiz Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! about Friday nights and the tropical sorbet martinis that I will be soon be drinking in the backyard.
How to unhook yourself from negativity.
Optimism Works. Smart ways to try it (even if you're a pessimist)!
Some stories need no introduction. This 2:25-minute-long trip to dreamland (filmed entirely on a Nokia phone) had us at the double brrrring....an alarm going off simultaneously in Paris and New York. You might suspect the ending, but as with any good to romance, that's part of the delicious squeal that utters from your lips during the few final seconds.Watch--and sigh.
Tales of real-life romance.
I used to be rigid about the accumulation of things I don’t need. Lately, though, I am relenting. I go soft at the knees for rusted farm tools, a mason jar of old unmatched buttons, a set of slightly bent tins saying “flour” “salt” and “coffee.” I buy this stuff without thinking at garage sales or weekend markets. It makes me long for the countryside I never grew up in—barns to coleslaw.
Last week I tried to take home—no joke—an old, dead stump. A man had cut down his tree and was giving away the 3-foot tall stump. It weighed about 100 pounds. I tried to carry/roll/drag it to the car. My husband watched me. He felt embarrassed. So did I. Worse, I lied to him, loudly, so that other people would hear me and think I was a normal person. “We can make a lamp out of it!” I said.
“It’s a stump,” my husband said.
“It’s like a rope swing without the swing!” I said.
“Think about it this way,” he said. “It’s history.”
We left the stump on the side of the road. As we should have. Because I needed another way to indulge my nostalgia for the past I never had. Luckily, I found such a place. It’s called dearphotograph.com.
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale today...
by Esmeralda Santiago
The genius idea: A Puerto Rican Gone with the Wind
The passage that sets the mood: "The end of her cigar was a beacon, her voice syrupy and languid and full with promises. On the floor below her was a bottle of rum."
For readers who adore: hammocks, corsets, sherry, lace, sugar cane and forbidden love
Spanish word we learned: finca (estate)
Larger message (gulp): The history—and slaves—behind the romance of the early 19th-century sugar trade
Wednesday is already hump day. But Tuesday is "you" day: a day when you have the energy to do--or plan--something fresh and unexpected that might just turn your whole week around.
Get ready for "Embrace Your Geekness" day on Wednesday. How to purchase some inexpensive and super authentic vintage geek classes.
Share our affection for the shuttle program. How to tour Discovery online, and how to see how the earth looks to a female astronaut in space.
Treat Yourself to some fruity, deep summer fun. How to paint watermelon nails.
Men, I now believe, love a lot of things as much sex. They love doughnuts as much as sex. They love a solid night of sleep under a heavy down duvet. They love an hour in the bathroom with a newspaper with nobody banging on the door. They love when people buy them clothes one size bigger than they are emotionally ready to deal with, cut off the tags, and pretend the L's are M's.
Now the British Telegraph tells me that, "Acts of affection like hugs ... were more important to men than women." Research by sociologists at the Kinsey Institute, the paper reported, confirmed that "men who said kissing and cuddling were a regular part of their relationship were on average three times happier than those who did not."
Even better, the 1,000 couples interviewed were aged 40 to 70 and had been in a relationship for an average of 25 years.
I find it uplifting that cuddling wins big in long-term loves. I can't give my husband a solid night of sleep or an hour in the bathroom with nobody banging on the door. (We are a family of four! With one toilet!) I can give him the doughnuts, but then I will have to buy a closet's worth of XL clothing, cut off the tags and pretend they are also M's. The hugging, however, I can handle—one arm, other arm, squeeze.
Where were you at 22? Crashing in Mom and Dad's basement, hiding from an ego-piercing job market? Slinging lattes at the local espresso shop--an activity complicated by various piercings and projectile hair "experiments?" Racing off to work as an administrative assistant, hoping that somebody would notice your stellar labeling skills in the file cabinet and promote you to "MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THIS MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION?" (Okay, that one was me...and by the way, neither the job title, nor the accompanying gold sticker I so feverishly imagined, panned out.)
This weekend on NPR, I heard this story about Katie Davis and felt compelled to go hug my own kids--over and over--until they made me stop. Davis, at age 22, gave up her own dreams of being a nurse in order to remain in Africa, where she had been volunteering, and raise 13 orphaned or otherwise needy girls. Her plan is to one day adopt them.
"I think that's definitely something that I was made for," said Davis. "God just designed me that way because he already knew that this is what the plan was for my life--even though I didn't."
Her first child was an HIV positive 9-year-old who was injured when a mud hut collapsed. She asked if she could live with Davis--and Davis, then age 19, said yes. Thus began her new life, as a mother and full-time resident of Uganda where she and the girls live, complete with an oversized minivan.
In her spare time, Davis also runs a nonprofit called Amazima Ministries, a job supports the family of 14. There she oversees educating 400 other children, setting up community health programs and feeding more than a thousand children five days a week.
My first task tomorrow is to promote her to "MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING" and send her a gold-star sticker--and a donation--that officially affirms the title.
Note: This article has been changed as of July 12, 2011.