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November 2011 (130 posts)
Containers You're Willing to Part With
There will be leftovers: Now's the time to assess your Tupperware collection and toss any partner-less bottoms or lids. If the clean-up session leaves you with just a few choice sets you don't want to give away, buy inexpensive containers at your supermarket or consider these Biotek take-out boxes, which you can order in small quantities for just $1.10 each.
Heavy-Duty Tin Foil
Any kind of foil will work if you just want to keep side dishes warm, but a heavier weight one is necessary to keep turkey breast meat juicy and prevent the skin from burning before the rest of the bird has cooked (which is a likely scenario, since higher-fat dark meat cooks more slowly than white). Many cooks like to cover the bird loosely with foil for the first few hours of cooking.
What to look for in a turkey baster, and how to make sure your thermometer's giving an accurate reading...
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.
Honor "I love to write day" today. How to write a poem in five minutes, using a 10-year-old boy as inspiration.
Brad Pitt declares he will quit acting in 3 years. How to wail out loud in public—discretely.
The surfing goat is the world's newest video celeb. How to teach your dog—or other pet—to hang ten (including how to not to pearl on the board).
Start practicing for World Hello day, also known as next Monday. How to say hello in 100 different languages.
Now, I love holiday season as much as the next Yuletide elf. I love how it doses wintertime with a sleigh's worth of twinkle. The Christmas spirit, the good will towards man, the candy canes. I'm into it. But before Thanksgiving? Hearing the relentlessly upbeat "Jingle Bell Rock" can set your teeth on edge any time of year, I suppose, but hearing it last week inspired a sinking sense of dread. You are already behind on your Christmas shopping, was the message I was meant to receive, and receive it I did. Also, Lines at CVS take way too long.
Christmas seems to sneak up on us earlier and earlier every year, but at least there is one bastion of relative sanity in the sea of premature cheer: Nordstrom's. According to the Boston Herald, every year Nordstrom's hangs a sign that reads: "We won’t be decking our halls until Nov. 25. Why? Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time." I could see how, especially in a time of recession, any retail outfit would feel tempted to join in the sale-offering fray, and it's nice to see that someone is trying to stay a tiny bit sane. I'm not the only one who feels this way, either. As one Nordstrom shopper told the Boston Herald, "It puts a stress on you when it’s too early." Right? And, as I ask myself every year (and on every holiday), why should a holiday be stressful? Aren't they supposed to be fun?
So I'm putting myself on a strict, Nordstrom's-inspired, holiday fun plan. No stressing out. Here are five steps for a stress-free holiday. I think I'm going to start with assessing my holiday plans and decoding who they are actually for, what can stay and what can go. For example, I'm pretty sure the kids don't care if I make every dish from scratch. Decorating the tree and carrying on our tradition of sledding in the park on Christmas Day? Those have to stay.
But wait, before that, I'm going to finish my kids' Halloween candy and look up a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. One. Holiday. At. A. Time. Here we go.
More ways to avoid seasonal stress:
Quick tips for happy holidays
Get organized and stay sane
Three experts on avoiding holiday freakouts
Having a "those can't really be my crow's feet" kind of day? Get inspired by this Oscar-winning Hollywood actress who refuses to worry about her wrinkles.
It's Claude Monet's birthday. Celebrate by squinting at lily pads. Also, this poem about seeing your own truths.
How you—and not mean people—shape the characters and plot of your own life story.
This ridiculously cute version of that guy from Up is the most, ahem, uplifting kid's costume ever.
The Life-Lifter: "Life is too short to walk through it blind to those around you." A shopping trip, a lost iPhone, and a "pay-it-forward" moment.
That's why I was intrigued by a new video game designed by meditation master Deepak Chopra to help newbies like me improve our skills. It's called "Leela" (Sanskrit for "play"), it works on the Xbox Kinect, and it involves physical challenges as well as more traditional meditation instruction with Chopra and others (it's as if these spiritual personal trainers make house calls). If you take a look at the the game's web site, you'll see the world of Leela is full of gentle, tinkling Eastern-sounding music, cosmic shapes and glowing patterns. One part of the game, which a spokesperson described to me as similar to "spiritual Tetris," helps you identify different chakras or energy centers in the body, and uses the same ideas behind Wii Tennis to help you dial into those chakras. For example, you connect to your navel chakra, which is supposed to be the center of willpower, achievement and desire, by building energy between your hands and then pretending to launch fireballs at the screen. You can also control icons on screen with your breath: you inhale, they rise; you exhale, they fall. This sounds like a neat trick to make me actually pay attention to my breath, which can be difficult to do when there are other more interesting things to look at (like the cat drinking water. That little pink tongue!). By providing a visual representation of what's happening when we meditate, I think the game could provide a shortcut to focus. At least if I were throwing fireballs at the TV screen, or moving my hips to help center a picture of the earth, I'd feel--and look--like I was accomplishing something.
Deepak Chopra on the 5-step path to a life of love
How to quiet your mind during meditation
Chopra answers what it means to "go inside oneself"
I adore Marcel—and the squeaky sweet voice Slate loans him in the video and in the audio of the app—but it's the way you're given a chance to experience his pleasures alongside him that makes the app so special. He takes comfort from his breadroom and finds friendship in Alan, the piece of lint he ties to a string; best of all, his life is a constant adventure. Whether it's his regular visits to the "aquarium" (fishbowl) or yearly trek up the sandal, he's an expert at discovering joy. So yes, maybe imagining a partial shell with shoes on scampering around my apartment is a little strange, but as Marcel would say, "compared to what?"
5 things I know for sure about the internet
Gorgeous coffee table books for art lovers
8 great adventure reads
Bold. Bright. Expensive. These are three of the words that usually come to mind when I think of Versace, a fashion house known for its vibrant prints and dresses that leave little to the imagination. (Remember Jennifer Lopez's navel-baring gown at the 2000 Grammys?) Lucky for you, this Italian brand has teamed up with H&M—meaning you'll be able to score Versace's sexy signature style for less than a quarter of the regular price when the collection hits stores on November 19th. O's creative director Adam Glassman says the star-studded fashion show that took place last week in New York City—with an after-party complete with performances by Prince and Nicki Minaj—was nothing short of what you'd see in Milan. His favorite piece that came down the runway: a studded black leather trench. Or if you're looking for a dress that will turn heads your next cocktail party, you might want to consider this flashy fuchsia silk shift, at left ($199).
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale tomorrow, the memoir...
by Diane Keaton
Why the book is more than a celeb fest: Keaton tells a two-part story, that of her life and that of her mother's as they struggled to find themselves artistically and personally—using first person diary entries and letters.
Why the book is a celeb fest: Keaton describes her relationships with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, but in way that's honest and honorable—and painful at times (especially, say, if you've ever tried to make somebody marry you who didn't want to). The love letters from Woody, where he calls her "Worm" and "Lamp-head" are bewitchingly original with lines like "Last nite I had a tender dream about me & my mother...I wept in the dream & ate my laundry."
The idea she poses: That our lives aren't just our own. They're made up of the people we connect with—lovers, family, or even grandfathers who walked out the door.
The moment that shows this actress can write: "When I was nine, Dad taught me how to open a pomegranate...Inside was a chestful of garnets—my birthstone. I bit into the pomegranate. Fifty red gems came crashing into my mouth all at once. It was like biting into both heaven and earth.
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by...
"Literature is hands down the sharpest tool in the shed for conveying the feeling of being lost in one’s own skin, one’s own life."
-Susan Salter Reynolds, via W. W. Norton & Company's Tumblr
"It's affected me. It's changed me. It's melted this hard, icy heart."
-"The Help" star Viola Davis, on the film's story of intertwining lives.
"The agreement between perpetrator and victim in which the victim agrees to remain silent because he's in fear. I wanted to write about it."
-Former SNL cast member Darrell Hammond on why he wrote about being abused as a child in his memoir.
"I always say that kids and siblings often 'love hard.'"
-Soleil Moon Frye, TV's "Punky Brewster" and the author of Happy Chaos, talking about parenting on the TODAY show.
"It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people that look after us and our freedom... Humble, concerned for others before themselves... This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away."
-Justin Timberlake, on attending the Marine Corp Ball (with a marine who asked him to accompany her via YouTube).