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O's 101 Best Pieces of Advice

All the wisdom you need to do almost everything better...and while you're at it, feel happier, healthier, more chic, less stressed, and ready to take on the world.

How to Make Yourself Heard


I had just graduated college, my loans were coming due, I was working two jobs and counting every penny. Five dollars wasn't a ton of money, but it was enough to piss me off. Having signed petitions on change.org before, I knew it was a good platform. Then I went on Twitter to direct people to my petition. Maybe they weren't concerned about the fee for themselves, but when they saw me, they saw their granddaughter or niece. It's important to connect with people on a visceral level. If there's an issue you care about, start locally: Write a letter to your newspaper or talk about it with your friends and neighbors. Then find others who share your beliefs. As cheesy as it sounds, working together is the only way to achieve anything.

—Molly Katchpole, creator of an online petition that received more than 300,000 signatures and pressured Bank of America to drop a proposed $5 debit card fee

3 Books That Deserve the Hype


The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Great American Novel? It's at least very, very good.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
This early Oprah book club pick still changes lives.

Personal History by Katharine Graham
A revealing autobiography that never feels like TMI.

—Sara Nelson, editorial director of Amazon Books and former O books editor

Decor Secrets of Very Happy Couples


Get a coffee table you won't worry about damaging. And make sure it's big enough for both of you to put your feet up on at once—there's no domestic harmony when you're fighting for foot space.

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—Jonathan Adler, home furnishings designer and author of the forthcoming 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life, and his husband, Simon Doonan, creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York

How to Drop Five Pounds in a Week


Assuming you're already exercising every day, the other secret is to ditch the foods that can make you bloated: alcohol, carbs (like white flour and pasta), diet soda, and frozen diet foods (which are usually full of sodium). Instead, go with lean protein, berries, and fresh veggies like spinach and asparagus. And though it seems counterintuitive, drink eight to ten cups of water a day. Your body holds on to water when it's dehydrated, so drinking more actually reduces bloating.

—Valerie Waters, trainer who developed the Red Carpet Ready fitness program

How to Ask a Nosy Question


My mother used to say that the worst thing you could do to people is embarrass them. So if it's not 100 percent essential that you ask the question, don't. I have to—and it's the hardest part of my job. I start by asking the impersonal stuff to establish a level of comfort. You have to pace yourself. And know you're going to suffer. Your stomach will be in knots, but you have to march yourself through the pain.

—Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes correspondent

How to Look Hot in 20 Minutes Flat


Start by taking a three-minute shower to wash the day away. Spend three minutes throwing on a dress that shows off your legs (spend one minute moisturizing them), or a pair of jeans with a white tee, blazer, and sandals. Take five minutes to pull your hair into a slicked-back bun or ponytail, then spend seven minutes on makeup: tinted moisturizer, lip gloss, and lots of mascara. (You talk with your eyes!) That leaves one minute to spritz yourself with perfume—something spicy—and throw on a big statement necklace, chunky ring, or stack of bangles.

—Heidi Klum, supermodel and host of Project Runway

How to Survive Your 14-Year-Old Daughter


Be sensitive to the fact that she's sensitive to everything. Teasing, even if it's meant well, can really upset her—especially if it's focused on her changing body.

Don't say, "As long as you live under my roof, your room is my room." Her room is her escape and comfort. You take that away by claiming ownership of it.

Pick your battles. If she wants blue hair and a 2 A.M. curfew, deny the curfew request; her hair will grow out. The fights worth fighting are the ones that affect her safety.

If you want her to call you from a party when her ride has been drinking, you need to tell her in advance that you won't judge her on the way home (even if she's been drinking, too).

When she's rude, it's because she wants you to take the bait. The best thing you can do is calmly walk away and let her know you're available to talk when she's ready to act like an adult.

You wouldn't interrupt your boss when she's doing something important. To your daughter, TV is important. Don't interrupt her favorite show just to chat.

—Lara Fox and Hilary Frankel, authors of Breaking the Code: Two Teens Reveal the Secrets to Better Parent-Child Communication

How to Give Great Gifts


The ultimate gift is an experience. I love sending a masseuse or a chef to someone's house, or taking them to a surf lesson or to the opera. Of course, you can't go wrong with a thoughtful note and flowers, especially from your own garden; a unique piece of jewelry; an exceptional scented candle; or, for a man, a beautiful silk tie.

—Carmen Busquets, founder of personal-shopping Web site giftlab.com

How to Keep a Knife Sharp


Run both sides of the knife's edge along the honing steel—the metal rod in your knife set—a few times, at about a 14 degree angle, before every use. Have it sharpened twice a year. Don't use a hard cutting board, like those made of glass or plastic. Store knives in a block with horizontal slits (in vertical slits, the blades push against the wood). And wash by hand—dishwashers can get rough.

—Mike Garaghty, executive chef, Wüsthof knives

The One Thing to Do If You're Having Surgery


Ask for a video of your operation; research indicates that doctors perform better when they know they're being observed. The more accountability, the greater the quality of care. You should absolutely find a surgeon who's open to having a procedure filmed. I mean, what's to hide?

—Marty Makary, MD, general surgeon at Johns Hopkins
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