Some choices are easy, and not wrought with self-doubt, pro’s and con’s lists, and endless waffling back and forth. I’m thinking of the decisions in life like, “Do I marry Ryan Gosling or Leonardo DiCaprio?” (a win-win obviously), or “Do I avoid the middle airplane seat?” (you know that’s a guaranteed lose). Some situations are easy because both options are wonderful, or there is a clear cut definition where one is much much worse. It’s those decisions where both are OK, or there are too many variations on the outcome that leave most of us spinning. Think about how difficult it can be to pick out an outfit when you are confronted with a hundred tops, lots of bottoms, and nearly infinite combinations of the two. But new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research (and blogged about by Women’s Health The Scoop) found that even when making the decision may be hard, there are simple tricks people can use to feel satisfied with the choice they have made.
The short answer is to give the decision a physical act of closure. If you’re between two items on the menu, shut if after you have picked. If you selected a dress from your clset, close the door. If you’ve decided you don’t need to eat any more chips, zip up the bag and put it in the cabinet. After struggling with an email, and sending it-close your laptop. Scientists think that this triggers your mind to believe that the item is final, checked off of your to-do list, and now it’s time to move on. Then it shifts its focus to the item you picked, rather than all of the other options you’ve recently given up by making that choice. (Which sounds a lot like how your mind creates synthetic happiness to me!)
How do you stick with your decisions, after they’re made?
It just might make you live longer. A study I read about on The Huffington Post found that women who drank 6 or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of dying young by 15% when compared to people who abstained completely from the glorious beverage. The benefit goes up the more coffee you drink. Scientists credit the caffeine and antioxidants as having a protective effect on health similar to small doses of aspirin. Your morning cup of joe can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, diabetes, and infections. So stop feeling guilty about that mid-afternoon Starbucks run (as long as you’re not buying sugary frappacinos and pastries), after all, it’s good for your health!
So you need a gift for the animal lover who has everything. Check out Zoo Portraits! It’s an entire website by Yago Partal dedicated to selling cards, framed prints, canvases or posters of your favorite zoo animal all dressed up like a human. Hilarious (and adorable)! My favorite is the Lemur sticking his tongue out. You?
Your mother always told you if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Now, new research from Ohio State University (that I read in Self Magazine’s April Issue) indicates that you should stop thinking those not-so-nice things while you’re at it.
Previous studies have found that writing down negative thoughts and throwing them out can clear the undesirable things from your brain. But this one discovered that simply shaking your head no when you catch a negative thought passing through can squash the downbeat mood before it has a chance to take hold. Put on Florence and the Machine’s, “Shake it Out,” and just say no to negativity with a nod of your head.
So you love the colors of Chanel’s spring polish line, but you just can’t get yourself to spring for the $27 a bottle color annnnd your $20 mani-pedi spot probably doesn’t use nail lacquer this swanky. What’s a girl to do? Lacquerous has come to the thrifty, nail-art-loving gal’s rescue with a nail polish rental system. Think Rent the Runway for your fingers. You have the opportunity to “borrow” a luxury product for a certain amount of time for a certain fee. Basically, you pay $18 a month to try 3 luxury nail polishes of your choosing. They have Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabanna, MAC, NARS, Butter and more. When you receive your package, you can use each bottle for three manicures (yes, they can tell how much you’ve used), either at the salon or on your own. Then after 30 days -you pack it all up, ship it back using a pre-paid label, and choose your shades for next time. The bottles are shared between everyone in the nail polish club, but the site promises to never ship a bottle without enough polish for your three applications, or in bad condition.
While changing my pillow cases to drop off my laundry the other day, I was horrified to realize that it had been a very long time since I purchased some new filler pillows. I tend to have a lot of pillows (to the tune of 8) on my bed. Three I actually sleep on, while the rest are props for better pillow positioning. For the props, or the filler pillows, I buy cheap ones. I repaired straight to TJ Maxx, and picked up a couple packs of 2 for $12 Laura Ashley pillows, and while this tip may take you a little more than 10 minutes if you’re indecisive once you hit the pillow aisle, friends – it’s amazing how happy a set of fresh pillows can make a gal.
But for my down pillows, those are more of an investment piece. I mean, how inviting does that bed above look?? And when you think about how much time you actually spend in bed, its really worth dropping some cash for comfort. My choice is Charter Club Vail 100% Down Pillows. I could not recommend the medium firmness queen highly enough. While they go for just over $150 a pop, they often go on sale a Macy’s, and with a couple coupons you can bring them down to a much more reasonable price.
Luxurious? Yes. Worth it? 1000X over. It is like laying your head on a fluffy cloud.
I have had a long standing problem with people wearing leggings as pants (check it out here and here). I always give my friends a hard time about it, so they really enjoyed making fun of me when I made one teeny tiny exception this year for the awesome sweater leggings I found at Target because they were thick like pants and I loved them. Sorry I’m not sorry.
But most of the time? Leggings are too sheer, and should paired with a long tee or dress that covers the majority of the butt area. They are designed to be worn under things because they’re just a bit too revealing otherwise. Now a Vermont school agrees with me, as the newscaster reports, “Leggings, those stretchy pants also known as spandex, are banned.” But it’s not just any leggings, a local agreed that leggings underneath something else may be passable, but without a cover up, they show too much. It’s not the leggings they have a problem with, just leggings as pants.