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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. #26: Impress your guest list with personalized invitations.
Online invitations don't have to be so cheesy—or cluttered by ads.
Punchbowl.com: Customized invites and add-on perks like potluck checklists and a polling tool to help pick the date.
Cocodot.com: Thousands of contemporary invitations to satisfy design snobs and typography geeks.
Pingg.com: Artists upload images, creating a bank of more than four million themes you can personalize with photos or video.
Paperlesspost.com: The virtual version of high-end stationery, these pack the luxe look of letterpress.
1. Sick person coughs on folder.
2. Healthy person handles same folder.
3. Healthy person touches their face and--bam! Turns into dead man walking.
In a post-bird flu, post-swine flu world, we kind of knew that's how the transmission process works, but seeing Gwyneth keel over made us wonder how we might avoid that fate—or the common cold.
Surface-to-person contagion is technically called fomite transmission, says Anna Bowen, MD, MPH, a medical epidemiologist who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Generally, germs can live on surfaces for minutes to hours to days, depending on the nature of the germ and the surface." Smooth surfaces transmit viruses better than porous ones.
This is why the CDC is always reminding us to wash our hands. But we wanted to know--is a simple soap-and-water combo better than anti-bacterial gels at protecting us from Voldemort-like viruses?
See our 6 must-haves from the collection
Check out a bowl that mixes Missoni mystique with a Target price
Why it’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch...how spending a lot less and on different things can make you happier.
The book that showed actress Andie MacDowell how "to deal with something that was impossible to deal with." Report from Rwanda: one young American woman keeps risking it all to help the young women of Africa change their lives—from protecting their own bodies to increasing their village power.
Do you know when it's time to say good-bye?
The Life Lifter: Carrie Fisher will put on her teeny-tiny metal Star Wars bikini "if a whole bunch of women over 40 come to Yankee Stadium...and sit around and laugh and talk about the old days when we ate a lot.”
Those who have spent time in the hospital know that it's nearly impossible to get an uninterrupted night's sleep, due to constant visits by the medical staff. Last week, Theresa Brown, RN, a nurse who admits to waking up patients, wrote an article for The New York Times Well blog explaining why this is so common. For starters, she says that nurses needs to check vital signs, administer antibiotics and have the results of lab tests ready for the doctor's early morning rounds. (In this telling anecdote about a cranky insomniac, an unsteady nighttime urinator and a delusional woman, she shows us how quickly the most organized nurse's plans can go awry.)
Most importantly, Brown acknowledged that a good night's rest is crucial in helping patients recover from whatever it is that landed them in the hospital in the first place. But you don't have to be sick or injured to take advantage of the benefits of sleep. Here are three ways that a dose of zzz's can improve our health:
1. It helps us ward off colds. A 2009 study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine showed that those who sleep less than seven hours a night have a three times higher risk of getting a cold than if those who sleep more than eight hours. That extra hour or two really matters.
2. It allows our systems to reboot. Sleep replenishes your cells and allows your body to carry out important maintenance duties like strengthening your immune system, balancing your hormones and repairing fatigued muscles.
3. Getting the right amount of sleep may extend your life. A 2008 study in the journal Sleep found that, among elderly women, sleeping between five and nine hours was associated with a lower risk of mortality.
If only we could send sleep as a get-well gift...or at least FedEx ill friends a mug of warm milk.
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. #25: Thank your host with style.
"Slate and Chalk sounds like something from a Dickens novel, but you can serve cheese on the slate and write the name right next to it."
—Jayma Mays, actress
"My most memorable hostess gift was a trampoline... though I promptly flew off it and broke my arm. That was unforgettable!"
—Cynthia Rowley, fashion designer
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.
Stop everything and honor one of the most important holidays of the year today: International Chocolate Day. How to create a party your friends will never forget by throwing a wine and chocolate tasting.
Some people were taken aback by Mad Men siren Christina Hendrick's plunging gown at the New York premiere of I Don't Know How She Does It (also starring Sarah Jessica Parker), but we loved it. How to look your best in evening wear, especially when you're well endowed.
Be aware this September, National Ovarian Cancer Month. How to take a fast, simple quiz prepared by Dr. Oz that can help you figure out if you're displaying any early symptoms of the disease—and, if need be, get crucial help.
Married? Make sure your husband knows—and remembers—that this Saturday is Wife Appreciation Day. How to make yourself heard, even by busy spouses. Or how to make a bullhorn out of a milk container in order to get your message across about your love of breakfast in bed.
Like all of us, I've had a couple of rough times in my life—wrong job, wrong city, wrong direction, right guy but...whoops...he's not interested. Unfortunately, I also have a smile addiction. All through these less-than-happy periods, I'd slap on my cheerful face at work and at home. When people asked, I'd said, "Everything's fine. Thanks!" Or "just plugging along!"
The problem with this coping strategy is your day-to-day inner unhappiness quickly becomes the new emotional standard. You wake up unhappy every day but don't realize that you're unhappy because you're so used to it. One time, after listening to me talk on the phone for a while, my friend Elisabeth said, "Gee, you're really having a terrible time." A gong went off in my head. I was having a terrible time. What she had done was connect the dots for me, and the minute she did, I felt a whooshing—almost euphoric—sense of relief.
Now there's a site that will do your emotional charting for you. Moodpanda.com creates time graphs and charts from the "mood" data you insert daily. It may sound a little hokey, but looking at how you're feeling over the long term can be really interesting—and often different than short term. (For instance, this month, I'd probably say I'm "just doing okay," but actually, when you add up emotional scores from all 30 of my days, the consensus is that, surprise, I'm pretty happy!)
The added bonus? The little bits of mood analysis, such as the fact that weekends are universal happiest days of the week, while Wednesday—for some as yet still unknown reason—is the saddest. My advice is to buck the trend and, that day, buy yourself a lunch that ends in mood-lifting chocolate.