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August 2011 (146 posts)
Everyone struggles with the big questions: how to discover what you were really meant to do (not what your family, circumstance or fear directed you to do), how to forgive and be forgiven, how to live your best life, no matter how your life changes.
Today, Oprah announced her return to television this fall, with a very personal project: Oprah's Lifeclass. Each episode will focus on a specific lesson that matters the most to her, using clips from The Oprah Show’s 25-year history. She'll explain what she was really thinking back then--and what she knows now.
The first one million people to sign up for the class will receive a limited-edition journal and can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Atlanta to meet Oprah in person.
After salmonella linked to ground turkey became a stealth health threat earlier this month, sickening 107 people in 31 states, we've been unable to bring ourselves to grill up one of our favorite summer dinners: turkey burgers. But there are fears....and then there's reality. Here's what you can do right now to protect yourself, enjoy dinner and put an end to hysterical turkey terror:
1. Go check your freezer right now. On August 3, the Arkansas-based food producer Cargill recalled 35 million pounds of turkey that could be tainted with a rare form of salmonella Heidelberg. Turkey can last in the freezer for up to four months, so there's a chance that some of the recalled meat (with "sell by" or "freeze by" dates from February to late August) may be lurking in your home. The USDA web site lists all of the products that you should be looking for, with their identifying names and markings.
Wondering why there's a wheel on the lid of a beauty product? Kiehl's hosted a week-long charity motorcycle ride, which kicked off in Philadelphia and ended in New York City. Besides the rich texture of this Ultra Facial Cream and the fact that this moisturizer absorbs instantly minus any residue, we love that 100 percent of the proceeds benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. And if this cream helps relieve the wind-burned faces of tough guys/girls who spent seven days on the open road, then we're pretty sure it can handle our dry summer skin.
Kiehl's Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream, $46
Check out 14 more stylish items that give back (for under $100)
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #5: The changeup that will make hosting a snap.
Who knew the humble paper plate could bring both class and consciousness to the table? A Japanese brand called Wasara, that's who. Designer and restaurateur Shinichiro Ogata sculpted the curvaceous plates (and bowls, and cups and saucers) for easy balancing while you're deep in conversation, then molded their creamy surfaces from rapidly renewing materials like bamboo, reed pulp and sugarcane fibers. When the party's over, the dishes go straight into the compost bin. (BranchHome.com)
30 days of makeovers
A stress-free dinner party
How to break bread (and poor eating habits)
Every Monday, we're rounding up things—small and big—that made us stop and think. Today, we were captivated by a writer learning to love her red hair, a self esteem expert who explores a health hazard of self-acceptance, the lovely Bill Murray, and more...
"...At my most recent DMV trip, the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted my license to say 'red' or 'brown.' I'd wanted to be anything but a redhead my whole life, and there I was, suddenly insulted by the mere suggestion that I might not be one. I put 'red' because anything else felt like a lie."
"There has to be a lightness; you have to be as light as you can be and not get weighed down and stuck in your emotion, stuck in your body, stuck in your head. You just want to always be trying to elevate somehow."
"...I was rescued through the novelty of reading on a Kindle. My hyper-attentive habits were alienating me further and further from the much older and (one would have thought) more firmly established habits of deep attention. I was rapidly becoming a victim of my own mind's plasticity, until a new technology helped me to remember how to do something that for years had been instinctive, unconscious, natural."
From The Pleasures of of Reading in an Age of Distinction by Alan Jacobs, which was excerpted in the Chronicle of Higher Education
"My weight hadn’t stood in the way of my dating gorgeous men or succeeding in my career. But I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to the doctor. And it had been 16 years since I weighed myself...So I didn’t know: Was I really obese? My body wasn’t anyone else’s business, but had I done everything I could to make it my business?"
Self-esteem expert and author Jess Weiner writing in Glamour about the danger of loving your body too much
"Maybe sooner or later a black or gay — or both — hero will be considered something absolutely normal."
Italian artist Sara Pichelli, who helped design the look of Marvel comics’ new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen
Last Tuesday, when Diana Nyad gave up her quest to swim—without a shark cage—to Cuba at age 62, we all cried. We cried even more when the New York Times reported that Nyad said she had no regrets and that she had concluded that the combination of her injured shoulder and the asthma attack made continuing impossible.
So we moved over to her blog to grieve with her, where her supporters Candace Lyle Hogan and Elaine Lafferty said, "This was always about the importance of reaching beyond your grasp. Of course, a shore-to-shore success would have been nice—it was what Diana wanted, passionately. There’s no sugar coating for that; her disappointment is real. But for her contemporaries whom she so specifically addressed, this was always about the attempt, about the courage to risk wanting anything passionately again—or maybe even for the first time.... "
And we agreed, sobbing over our keyboards (okay, that was just me). Then we stopped. Because, the glory of Nyad's efforts was about her passion and willingness to try, but, geez, it was also about what she accomplished. As one Twitter fan so insightfully pointed out, "[She] 'only' made it halfway to Cuba?"
Fifty-eight miles of open ocean isn't exactly nothing. Which serves as a little reminder: sometimes what we achieve is something other than what we dreamed, but that doesn't mean it's failure.
The best advice I've ever received on dealing with a break-up was to write a long, emotional letter to my ex, seal it up, and put it under my pillow. After sleeping on the envelope for a few days, I not only felt better about expressing my feelings (if only to myself), but I wanted to rip up the letter into a million soggy pieces and flush them down the toilet. I couldn't even bear to look my own hysterical, mortifyingly honest words.
Who writes letters these days? We let the world know how we're feeling through blogs, Facebook, Twitter feeds—and perhaps that's not always the best idea. The New York Times Magazine recently covered a conference that the Boston Public Health Commission sponsored on "healthy breakups" which helped over 200 teenagers deal with tricky issues like changing a relationship status and tagging photos of exes.
But teens aren't the only ones who need need pointers. When I heard about the conference, I immediately thought of a friend's friend who changed her last name on Facebook before she'd even filed for divorce, and another guy who had posted photos of himself on vacation with his new girlfriend while still married to his wife. So I asked Casey Corcoran, director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Start Strong Initiative (which organized the conference) for advice on adapting my old-fashioned break-up rule to the digital age.
As a child, I used to collect all my mom's old catalogs (my favorite: Spiegel) and leaf through the photographs, decorating my dream grown-up house and dressing my dream grown-up self. Today, not much has changed. I pour over the pages of J.Crew, Crate & Barrel and Sephora, imagining myself with glamorous new shoes, chairs and lipsticks—and then proceed to the Internet with my credit card in hand.
The problem (besides a painful monthly balance): The catalogs clog up my mailbox and pile up in my already-crowded living room. Plus, I'm not a fan of chopping down trees for a few minutes of at-home "window shopping."
Luckily, there's now an app for that. If you have a tablet, like an iPad or Android, you can download Catalogue by TheFind and say farewell to piles of paper. (Or check it out on your regular computer via Facebook.) The app keeps your favorite catalogs (like those mentioned above, plus over 200 more) in one organized location, archives your favorite items in a personal album (so much more convenient than flagging or tearing out pages) and allows you to search for the products you want (time saver). Bonus: You can click to buy everything you see instantly.
The upside? You'll eliminate clutter, earn brownie points from Mother Earth and your tired mail carrier...and do all this without spending one penny—the app is free!—which you could save for those new perfect-for-fall fuchsia wool pants.