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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. #21: Giving back has never been easier.
30 days of makeovers
Skip the beach for a volunteer vacation
5 ways to use your professional skills to give back
Ways for children to volunteer
The weekend is within reach...let these little splurges make getting there more fun.
Encore Prints, $10. Get a motto for our modern times printed on a page from a vintage book or an antique dictionary.
Mimi Miniature Pyramid Stud Earrings, $16.10. These posts—embedded with a dainty faux diamond—are equal parts rocker and sophisticated.
Totes Bubble Umbrella, $17. Sometimes you need personal space—especially during a downpour on a crowded sidewalk.
Fila by Pierluigi Rolando Athletic Gear, $58-70. Get in the swing of things with this 70s-inspired workout wear splashed with prints by famed designer Pierluigi Rolando.
Get more of Adam's great advice:
Try shoes that feel like you're barefoot
Flatter your athletic figure with 4 small alterations
How to dress 10 pounds lighter
I often like to think that I'm different kind of learner. I didn't do particularly well on the SATs before college or the GREs afterward, or even my driver's license test. My children, too, I found, suffered from the same plight. They didn't score well on our city's Gifted and Talented exams, despite my flashcards and enforced workbook sessions. Could it be, I wondered—loudly, repeatedly, insistently, to anyone that would listen—that none of us were wired for important, multiple choice questions? Was it all about how and not what we learned?
Imagine my chagrin at the findings presented recently on NPR's Morning Edition, which suggested that none of us learn particularly differently and that teachers shouldn't alter their teaching styles. Talking to Doug Roher, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, the radio show reported that when it came to learning styles, Roher found no scientific evidence about different kinds of students. "We have not found evidence from a randomized control trial supporting any of these," he said, "and until such evidence exists, we don't recommend that they be used" in the classroom.
But what impressed me most was the opposite idea, presented by Dan Willingham of the University of Virginia who suggested it might be more useful to figure out similarities in how our brains learn, rather than differences. For example, "Mixing things up is something we know is scientifically supported as something that boosts attention," he told NPR.
For me this opened a whole new window of opportunity. My kids and I will now spend 15 minutes learning to advance ourselves in terms of math (them) or bill-paying on line (me), then 15 minutes learning hand-eye-coordination sling-shotting parrots into cargo boxes for points on Angry Birds, then spend 15 minutes picking up Legos (okay, that's not learning, but I like not slipping on a lethally slippery plastic cubes on the way to the bathroom) until, by god, we are all geniuses—or maybe just normal people, trying to pick up what they can, as best they can.
Pizza with Sausage and Whipped Cream
Nancy Silverton, co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, was so in love with the sausage and cream pizza she discovered at an Umbrian restaurant that she asked the chef to show her how he made it. When she went back to the kitchen, she saw that the heavy cream had been whipped, so it was spreadable. This is her "number-one favorite" out of all the pizzas she serves, which appears in her new book, The Mozza Cookbook. Here's the recipe.
Whether you pick your own or buy them at the greenmarket, apples are hitting their stride this month. September varieties include Gala, Paula Red, McIntosh, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Ultragold, Cortland, Jonalicious, Red Delicious and Jonagold. Find out what to do with these quintessential fall fruits--aside from eat them out of hand, that is--at OrangePippin.com, which catalogs more than 600 varietals, from Aceymac to Zuccalmaglio's Reinette.
A Concord Crush
Dark blue or purple-skinned concord grapes show up most often in wine or juice, but their tangy flavor also shines with vodka and lime juice. New York's Gramercy Tavern serves a seasonal concord grape cocktail made with whole grapes and a grape puree that's so tasty, you'll forget all about the end of summer margaritas by the pool. Beyond their lovely aromatics, concord grapes also contain a miracle nutrient: Polyphenols, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Get the recipe here.
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale today, the short story collection...
Blueprints for Building Better Girls
By Elissa Schappell
Elissa Schappell is not for the fainthearted. In this collection of eight revelatory, risky stories, we meet the girls that all mothers fear their daughter might become—or, to varying degrees, the girls we might have become ourselves. One turns to hate to cover her vulnerability, while another suffers from an eating disorder, in some part due to her mother's all-consuming embrace. The most shocking story follows a college coed through her days of binge drinking and blacking out during a relentless parade of frat house parties. Surprisingly, it's also the most moving. Schappell has the ability—and the guts—to cut straight through the "girls gone wild" images that inevitably throb to mind (ouch) and show us the tender and often hopeful human beings that live inside these women-to-be.
In one upsetting scene, a group of angry, male bar patrons chases the coed and her friends across a deserted parking lot. As she jumps into a car to escape, the coed feels her mother's treasured strand of pearls break and must leave those pearls rolling hopelessly across the asphalt—save for one, about which she wonders if she has any right to even keep. "Maybe some farm kid walking down the street would find it..." she says. "And then they'd think that maybe the world wasn't as ugly as they thought it was. Maybe there was magic in it after all."
A rule for us all: There is always magic in a gift from your mother. Always.
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. #20: Try decorating upwards.
If you're tired of cramming your stuff into tight quarters, start making the most of your square footage with a new kind of bookshelf.
Sure, bookshelves provide efficient storage, but they make reading book titles a pain in the neck—literally. Keep your head upright with the Paperback Wall System by Studio Parade, which has skinny little laminate slats for holding books horizontally.
Paperback Wall System, Studio Parade, Available at SUITE New York, suiteny.com
Check out 2 more ingenious ways to decorate small spaces
30 days of makeovers
Tame your overstuffed bookshelves in 48 hours
5 rules for decorating like a pro
6 ways to make the most of your small kitchen