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February 2012 (120 posts)
"But really, what is life but to love and to create? And to keep moving along, always choosing forward motion and never backtracking." A philosophical approach to being productive while traveling.
Just what the economy needs...money designed for modern times.
How eating an apple can improve your life—and other small changes that yield big results.
Mapping time: A fascinating look at the history of the timeline.
The Life-Lifter: Gotta love a good saved-by-the-dog story, and this is a beauty: How an elderly woman's foster dog saved her life..
Tree Print Pillow Cover, $34. If you can't carve your initials into the real deal, this personalized throw pillow is the next best thing. And perfect for sprucing up your love nest come Valentine's Day.
"Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner" Tea Cozy, $18. Prevent fingers from getting burned by your morning cup of joe and subtly show your boss you mean business with this Dirty Dancing-inspired drink sleeve.
Flying Squirrel Dusting Glove, $18. You'll actually want to clean your computer screen and wipe down your coffee table with this adorable microfiber mitt.
Vitaminschtick Biggy Lip Balm, $9. These jumbo sticks hydrate lips just as well as the fruity-flavored waters they're named after.
Michelle M. Warner, class coordinator at The Brooklyn Kitchen, a recreational cooking school in New York, stirs a teaspoon of honey into tons of savory dishes, from chili to enchiladas--she says its warm sweetness is the perfect finishing touch. Honey has plenty of other uses, too, from balancing out the saltiness in terikyaki sauce to jazzing up your breakfast cereal.
Keep a hunk around to grate over pasta, enhance a basic pasta sauce (mix the cheese with the pasta cooking water), shave over salads, shred over eggs and melt for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Here to offer an alternative: Cisco's StyleMe Mirror. Currently available in the United Kingdom and making its way across the pond, this high-tech mirror allows you to virtually try clothes on through a series of gestures. By standing in front of the screen, you can digitally drag clothes onto your reflection and punctuate your look with accessories like belts and necklaces. You can even share a photo of an outfit on Facebook, Twitter or via email and get a second opinion from friends. While this new technology won't provide the most accurate depiction of how an item fits, it can help narrow down your pile—making decisions like what color looks best against your skin tone and if a neckline is right for your shape faster and easier. Meaning you can try on less, and in turn, cut down the time you spend under unflattering fluorescent lights.
A camera for your bum
Check out O's shopping deals of the week
A feel-good Facebook friend: You are beautiful, pass it on.
For those days when you're feeling your age...this organism is thought to be 200,000 years old. Er, 200,000 years young.
"I’ve learned a lot of life lessons, like perseverance, from this." Wisdom from a tween entrepreneur.
Stop being so nice! And 4 other (sometimes counterintuitive) ways to dispel anxiety.
The Life-Lifter: Celebrating the world's oldest WWI veteran, a member of Britain's Royal Air Force who was afraid of flying, and after the war lived a long, happy life as a wife and mother.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking there's a Right Way to do everything. For example, dinner. I know I am under the impression that families are supposed to eat dinner like so: arranged around the perfectly set table, chatting about the day, eating a freshly-prepared meal composed of locally-grown vegetables and exotic spices that everyone is happy to try. This is not my dinner reality. Then again, it's not the dinner reality of anyone I know, either.
The gorgeous photography of Miho Aikawa, however, has me thinking that maybe that's totally okay. Her series "Dinner in NY" captures people having dinner the way they actually have dinner. A twenty-something woman has leftovers on her bed, watching television. A cat begs at the table for pizza. A young mother balances food on her lap while waving a toy at her newborn. A teenager eats alone, staring at her laptop. The photos are amazingly intimate portraits of people being themselves, and I can't stop clicking through them. What struck me most was how very many people eat while watching TV or using their laptops. And when I thought about it, I was honestly surprised to realize that I often eat this way too.
As Aikawa writes on her website, "we now do almost 50 percent of our eating while concentrating on something else." Here, I admit, I expected a mini-lecture on how we need to talk to each other more, focus on food and family more. We've heard all this before, and we know it, of course. I loved that Aikawa instead writes, "I would like to propose thinking what a dinner should be by objectively seeing diverse dinner situations. When you enjoy mealtimes, you're more likely to eat better. Let's think what we can do to enhance the pleasure of the table." Here's a dinnertime message we can all use: not a finger-wagging, but a call to action. She's not saying any one way of eating is better than any other, just that we should enjoy our mealtimes. Some of these distracted eaters seem a little zoned-out, but some (a smiling group of friends eating and watching television together) seem to be having a really wonderful time. And in the end, isn't that what a shared meal is all about?
Check out all of Aikawa's wonderful portraits at her site. (via TheKitchn)
What your family wants you to know about your cooking.
Make one night a week family night.
Classic dinner recipes in 35 minutes or less.
We're always hearing about how we multitask too much. After I typed that last sentence, for example, I checked a text-message that popped up on my phone, then perused my twitter feed, looked up to greet a friend (hazards of coffee-shop-working), all while listening to music and eating lunch. And I was not meaning to be ironic. The problem with this constant stream of doing-ness (soon I will go home, make dinner for my toddler while throwing pieces of cheese at the baby, probably all while making a phone call and plotting how to carve out some minutes to write an article that's due) is that while I find myself doing many things at once, it seems that I'm not doing any one of them particularly well.
No matter how many articles I read about how being overstimulated is frying my brain, I have to admit that the multitasking is not going to stop anytime soon. The only choice, it seems, is to improve the way we multitask, so that we are multitasking AND having fun. So, like, multi-multitasking. Like this gentleman, Dicken Schrader. Behold, the master of the joyful multitask:
Watch those four camera angles! This guy is playing percussion (an empty Coca-Cola bottle and a tambourine), keyboard, xylophone, kazoo, and singing all at the same time. Oh, and he's hanging out with his kids, teaching them about music and resourcefulness (all those hacked instruments!) -- and they all seem to be having a lot of fun. His joyful celebration at the end of the song makes me feel like I've participated in something incredibly exciting. Well, that and also like they must have gone through a lot of takes.
It got me thinking: why not take a page from Mr. Schrader's book and involve the children? My toddler loves to help, so tonight she can be in charge of doling out the finger food to the baby. And increase the fun quotient? Maybe we'll channel that witching-hour energy into a kitchen-cleaning-dance-party. Sure, we're all busy and trying to do too many things at once, but that doesn't mean we can't be having as much fun as the family in this video. After all, everything counts...even the busy, stressed-out moments.
Because of course I couldn't just enjoy this video for its insane cuteness. That's so single-tasking.
(via Apartment Therapy)
Klinenberg writes, "The mere thought of living alone once sparked anxiety, dread and visions of loneliness. But those images are dated. Now the most privileged people on earth use their resources to separate from one another, to buy privacy and personal space." After studying the numbers, Klinenberg suggests that living alone has become desirable for adults of all ages. After all, "living alone comports with modern values. It promotes freedom, personal control and self-realization — all prized aspects of contemporary life."
And that's not all. People who live alone actually spend more time being social, seeing their friends, and attending cultural events than married people. Even families who live together tend to spend their time in separate rooms, ensconced in separate media experiences. In other words, lonely and alone often have nothing to do with one another.
Read the entire piece for Klinenberg's interesting revelations on what the increasing numbers of middle-aged and older people living alone means for all of us.
Staying married but living apart.
What not to say to a single woman.