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September 2011 (131 posts)
On the last day of September, we're thankful for....
Move over muscle men! Girls fight bad guys, save Gotham and prove that superheroes aren't just for boys.
Caught on camera: Bear cubs stop traffic in the name of senseless fun.
Hurricane and bitter arguments: What one man learned from a yacht race around the world, including how "to leave it on the last wave"
Update: the math behind the miracle of your existence.
The joy of being frugal is a lot like the joy of eating one illicit grape while wandering the produce section—everybody experiences it, but nobody wants to talk about it. Two days ago, however, ABC news did a story about the cheapest family in America, who buy almost expired meat, freeze on-sale milk and hit the grocery store with walkie-talkies so they can talk to each other about deals while in different aisles. It had me laughing my head off and taking notes as to how they do it (hint: they prep for 4 hours before going to the store), because, let's face it, their total for 4 kids and 2 parents was $120 dollars—and that was for food for the WHOLE month!
Watch the ABC video clip
Saving ideas from the Coupon Mom
Suze Orman: the emergency stash.
"You will laugh again. You will love again. It takes a long, long, long, long time. And you're never going to get over it. But never give up." Vanderbilt's advice to a mother and daughter in the audience who recently lost their son/brother to suicide. She tried to talk her own son (Cooper's older brother, Carter) off the ledge of their balcony before he fell to his death. While Vanderbilt says that closure is "a TV word," she has never given up hope or allowed tragedy to harden her spirit. She still believes, at 87, that her next great love is right around the corner.
"Follow your bliss." While Cooper was looking for more specific direction after he graduated from college—perhaps a lecture on what career path to follow—Vanderbilt shared with him only three words.
"We are not put on this earth to see through one another, we are put on this earth to see one another through." Simple but true.
To find out who Vanderbilt's fantasy daughter is and how Cooper has made a career out of fibbing to his mother watch the show.
What's the best advice you've ever received from your mom? Share your life lessons.
Famous kids reflect on why mom always knows best
Meet a mother warrior
6 ways to make your mom queen for a day
What were you doing when you were twenty? Daring...to change your major? Beating the odds...to get the biggest room of all your roommates?
Meet our new favorite 20-year-old, Ashley Fiolek. According to the New York Times magazine, the 5"2 Fiolek is the first woman to be signed to a major corporate motocross team and to twice win the X Games Motorcross gold. Pretty ballsy, particularly in a super-macho sport like motocross. But that's not all. Fiolek has been deaf since birth. "“I have been told that most people use sound to know when to shift,” she told the Times. “I feel when my motorcycle needs to shift. The engine’s vibrations change and I know it’s time.”
Can we all please just have an ounce of this woman's confidence? She's not letting anyone tell her that she can't do what she wants, refusing even to see a disability as a disadvantage. It makes a person feel awfully silly for making excuses about why one can't do this or that. Get on that metaphoric dirt-bike today, why don't you, and feel what the vibrations are telling you.
More athletic inspiration:
The unexpected connection between spirituality and extreme sports.
Billie Jean King and 4 other women who changed everything.
Marion Jones opens up to Oprah.
My college-sweetheart-husband and I didn't realize we'd married young until a year after our wedding, when we moved to New York. My new coworkers would go pale and say things like, "WHAT! You're MARRIED? Were you a CHILD BRIDE?" My husband and I laughed this phenomena off as just another weird New York City thing, like apartments with showers in the kitchens, or egg and cheese on a roll.
But as O magazine associate editor Katie Arnold-Ratliff writes in her thoughtful piece in Slate, statistics show that marrying young leads to increased odds of divorce. Arnold-Ratliff and her husband met when they were 15; their relationship sounds incredibly sweet, open, quirky, and supportive. And yet, they'd only been married a year when they separated. What went wrong?
Well, turns out that we should have trusted our instincts. Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission accused Reebok of deceptive advertising for telling us all that wearing their EasyTone and RunTone shoes would help us stroll our way to a Jennifer Lopez-like backside. As part of a big settlement agreement, Reebok has agreed to pay $25 million in customer refunds. If you already bought a pair of these shoes, or some of the clothes from the Reebok toning apparel collection, you can apply for a refund by going to the FTC web site.
But maybe you've already grown attached to your toning-shoes-that-don't-really-tone. Over the past few years, there have been some who found the “micro-instability” of the shoes to be uncomfortable, and worried that it would lead to injuries. But many others have discovered that while the shoes’ impact on their bottoms have been negligible, they’ve been a boon for their feet. And earlier this summer, we interviewed a podiatrist who said that while she couldn’t vouch for the the slimming powers of toning shoes, she did think they were more supportive than typical flip flops. Reebok hasn't been asked to recall the shoes; they're just required to adjust their advertising claims.
if you like the feel or the looks, you can still buy them. Just know that the only way they'll help your physique is if you wear them while working out your lower body.
Here are a few things that really will help you shape up below the waist:
Bottom push-ups, single-leg circles and other exercises from a personal trainer
Lunges for your legs
The fencing workout that helped one reader take an inch off her tush
Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, co-creators of the public radio program The Splendid Table, live by Colette's words, "If you aren't up for a little magic now and then, you shouldn't waste your time cooking." They also live by these rules for eating weekends:
1. Enjoy the luxury of having time to make something from scratch, whether it's chicken stock or homemade pasta.
2. Spend a lazy afternoon in a new neighborhood where maybe you don't speak the language, but can find new markets and restaurants. Try Vietnamese, Indian, Ethiopian or one of these other global cuisines.
3. Share the work. Four or six hands at the stove and sink makes you feel less of an imprisoned kitchen wretch.
See Kasper and Swift's new book, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends, for 100 recipes for Saturdays and Sundays, plus ways to incorporate leftovers into "Work Night Encores."
Try a roasted pumpkin pasta dish this weekend
Sweet pears combine with spicy ginger, cinnamon, allspice and clove in this tasty fall dessert
Pay-it-Forward Pillow: How one single mother makes life a little more
comfortable for people in pain.
So I was surprised to find myself giggling at my desk this morning as I sketched "Sleep with the fishes johnny," a prompt from a complete stranger on the site Teledraw. Like Pictionary—or Telephone, from which it borrows part of its name—the game starts with a phrase provided by one player that is then drawn by another. But here's the twist: instead of an angry mob relying on my ability to accurately sketch a Godfather quote, my doodle was turned over to a third player who described what he saw ("man on flotation device while goldfish wait to devour him") that then became the clue for another player to interpret. And so on. Once you've submitted your work, you can trace the chain back to its source or forward until people are stumped by it.