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May 2012 (135 posts)
After reading the collection of mini-memoirs in the February issue ("You...In Six Words"), Tish Pollack, who teaches English as a second language in California, wrote: "I was so moved by how others were able to tell their stories that I posed the same challenge to my students, who are all adult immigrants." Here's a look at their work, posted on their classroom wall.
3 ways to see your world with fresh eyes
13 quotes to inspire your creativity
The other day I was suffering a mid-afternoon slump that resisted even a stroll, even a peek at Pinterest, even an ill-conceived 4:30 iced coffee. Whither this abyss of slumpitude? Then I happened to hear, mysteriously wafting through my building's courtyard, a song I love. How could I have forgotten music?
I believe this is what's happening in this surreal animation by Japanese artist Masanobu Hiraoka. The blah-ed out figure, slumped over the table. The iPod. The figures that leap from the iPod and expand into an abstractly unfolding explosion of imagery. There's something so evocative about this artist's animations, and I love the gorgeous, colorful manifestation of music. Watch, listen, and feel your slump dissolve.
The Healing Power of Song
A Life Worth Remembering
The Fine Art of Folding Air
A: Though I'm sure many of your fellow Ask Val readers will be envious of your problem—a "ton" of hair isn't often among their complaints—I know that styles gone flat are no fun. But there's an easy solution. It's not about creating lots of volume, says stylist Rodney Cutler, founder of the Cutler/Redken salons. Rather, you want to create movement and texture by cutting layers in a style that sweeps to one side. Though this approach works on various lengths, a cut that falls between the chin and collarbone works best, says Cutler.
As for styling products, try a spray that gives hold at the roots. Cutler recommends Redken Rootful 06 ($15.50; redken.com for salons).
Keep in mind: Product on the ends of your hair will weigh it down, so avoid it.
Want to see an Oprah's Lifeclass episode before it airs? Well, today, you've got two chances. Log on today to Oprah.com or Facebook.com/owntv at 11a.m.ET and 3 p.m. ET to watch the live tapings of the show. Oh, and did we mention, you get to participate? Oprah and Iyanla will be taking questions in real time, so not only will you get to watch the show get made, you'll be a part of it too.
In 2010, when Eddy Lu and Daishin Sugano moved from Los Angeles to Chicago to open a cream puff shop ("They're the next cupcakes!" they say), the pair realized they'd overlooked one aspect of relocation: making new friends. They tried chatting with people in bars, but "guys thought we were hitting on them," Lu says. "It was awkward." Then they realized their best connections had formed over food. "Eating together is the classic way to socialize," says Lu.
A few months later, the pair launched grubwithus.com, where users browse dozens of upcoming gatherings at local restaurants and then book their seats at a table of strangers also looking to connect. The food is usually served family-style over multiple courses, which helps people settle in and get talking. "Grubbers" must adhere to a few rules, however: Be on time, don't check cell phones, and avoid politics-and-religion talk.
Now in dozens of cities—and available for anyone, in any city, who wants to use the site to set up a dinner—Grubwithus meals have produced friendships, job offers, and a few romances. But Sugano says he and Lu are their own best success story: "We arrived with no social network, and now we have 25 real friends in Chicago." And all because they remembered that before Facebook, there was food. "People say this is a forward-thinking service," Sugano says. "But making time to eat together is old-school. We're just going back to basics.
The restaurant that's changing the face of gritty West Oakland
Down-home done right: Soul food from brown sugar kitchen
Luckily for us, The Wall Street Journal asked the 18 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies what they thought would help women to succeed in the workplace. The whole article is full of helpful, enlightening advice, but here are a few of the gems (that we haven't heard a million times before):
"For a lot of women, they think the myth is true, that if they just do a good job and work hard, they'll get recognized. That's not the case...Men selectively listen. When [I made a point and a male later said the same thing], I'd stop the conversation and say, 'Do you realize I said that 10 minutes ago?' Women have to take responsibility for the dynamic around them; you can't just say 'Woe is me.' "
-Maggie Wilderotter, CEO of Frontier Communications
"I developed a strategic process for my career plan that set the final destination, developed the career track, identified skills to build, took line positions to gain experience, and sought leadership and management training on the job, through special assignments, coaching and networking. For example, as VP of Marketing for Nestle, I actually worked in a manufacturing plant which gave me a deep appreciation for how the supply chain works."
-Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup
"In order to lead an organization, you have to be incredibly comfortable in your own skin, and the only way to do that is to be confident in who you are."
-Gracia Martore, CEO of Gannett
Identifying your own successes, learning new skills, and being comfortable in your own skin? Seems like good advice for all of us, aspiring CEOs or not.
4 Mistakes Women Make at Work
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Fortunately, there's a new product that makes that choice a little less stark. I recently heard about Just Great Stuff organic powdered peanut butter from Betty Lou's, a Oregon-based company that makes healthy snacks. Powdered peanut butter sounds like the kind of thing that would appeal mostly to astronauts and Boy Scouts, and I was initially uninterested--until I heard that it has 93 percent less fat than traditional peanut butter, and that it comes in chocolate flavor (I should admit here that in those moments when I've needed extra, um, inspiration, I've been known to dip spoonfuls of peanut butter into powdered hot chocolate). Two tablespoons of this stuff has only 40 calories and 1 gram of fat (but only 4 grams of protein versus the 8 grams in the same amount of regular peanut butter).
The ingredient list sounded tame enough: peanuts, coconut sugar (from the coconut palm flower), alkalized Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla powder, Stevia extract and sea salt (all organic). To make the peanut butter buttery, the instructions say to mix 2 tablespoons with 1 tablespoon water and stir until smooth (this creates a slightly watery consistency, so I advise starting with a teaspoon of water and adding more to thicken to your taste). With water, what had started as a bitter-tasting, crumbly powder (not the kind of thing you'd eat from the jar) became a chocolately, peanutty, just-slightly-gritty paste that made me think of Nutella's yoga-teaching, NorCal-dwelling cousin. I loved it, both plain as well as spread on bananas and whole-wheat toast, and I imagine it would be great in smoothies, too. Best of all, I found that the act of mixing and stirring broke my peanut butter trance so I didn't eat it in mindless mass quantities. For a classic PBJ sandwich, I'd still opt for the real deal, but this surprisingly tasty alternative allows me to have my peanut butter (in the house), and eat it, too.
Make your own peanut butter
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who always shows up.
Thank you Andre Walker. 27 years straight you showed up.
Always on time, ready and more than willing to do my hair. You're such a good
guy in every way. Thanks for always being available for