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.
While growing up in upstate New York made me love all four seasons, and the different things each one has to offer, there is something about spring that always seems a little special. Here are 10 things I love about this season we’ve just stepped into.
It’s acceptable to drink iced beverages again: Ok, full disclosure – I drink iced coffee all year round. Unless it’s a latte (and even then I have to be in the mood), I just don’t like hot drinks all that much. After the first bout of really nice weather hits, people finally stop giving me the side-eye for walking around with an iced coffee in my gloved hand. Thank goodness!
Open toed shoes: Though it’s always a little painful to start out after months of your feet being coddled in cashmere socks and boots, once I’ve built up the between the toe calluses and toughened those puppies up a bit, there is nothing I love more than letting my toes out in the fresh air. I can show off my pretty toe polish, and finally break out the bejeweled sandals.
There’s excitement in the air: Everyone is REALLY PUMPED that winter is finally over, and all the cold that goes along with it. People get to wear their pretty spring dresses, and are generally just a little nicer. I can officially start planning Oceanside picnics, trips to amusement parks, and outdoor happy hours for book club.
It means summer is around the corner: The author of an article I read yesterday pointed out that spring temperatures last a total of 30 seconds in NYC, and then it hits the excruciatingly hot markers of summer. But that just means that swimming, concerts in the park and outdoor movies are just.around.the.corner. Yay for that!
It’s my birthday season!: Read: I have an excuse to plan fun activities, get presents, eat cake, and buy myself fancy things. What could be wrong about that?
The prettiest flowers are in bloom: So maybe the early-blooming flowers just seem a little extra special after months of barren winter, but the blossoms popping up in April are some of my favorite all year. The little known ranunculus (a close sister to the buttercup) is at the top of my list, coming in a rainbow of colors with impossibly thin petals. I know the season is changing when they start popping up on street corners around the city. And who doesn’t love a magnolia tree?
Black turns into Rainbow: There is a generalized wardrobe shift in warmer temps from shades of black and gray to pale pinks, light greens, oranges and yellows.
Sunrise and Sunset are Earlier and Later: It’s the sweet spot in the year when it’s cool enough in the mornings, and the sun is rising JUST early enough to fit in a jog before work, AND the sun goes down just late enough that I can fit in some fun in the post-work daylight hours.
Puppies everywhere: I am that stranger in the park who will pet your dog. In the spring everyone seems to have new puppies, and is taking them out to show them off. Dog lovers who don’t own one yet (like myself) love that.
Better Fruits and Veggies: The farmer’s market has been a little drab for the past few months, and quite frankly, I’m getting a little sick of root vegetables and citrus. Now that things are starting to grow again the surrounding areas I can look forward to fresh ramps, fruits and berries!
If the answer is no, (or I don’t know), then you might be less likely to receive get-active advice at your next visit. Research presented at a recent American Heart Association conference (and reported by The Scoop) found that physicians who work out are more likely to recommend it to their patients. And, when your doctor is getting on your case to exercise more, you might be a little less likely to come up with excuses not to hit the gym. Being active is a lifestyle choice that can help prevent or lessen the effect of a whole host of diseases, and having a health care practitioner who fits exercise into their busy schedule can make them more likely to recommend it as a treatment or addition to patients’ routines. Next time you’re picking out a new a primary care doctor, keep your fitness goals in mind, and look for one who enjoys being active too.
Spring weather is finally here (in NYC at least)! We’re looking forward to unseasonably warm temperatures all week, and I have officially broken out my sundresses, sandals and toe ring for the season. Fingers crossed it stays this beautiful through summer!!
Because doesn’t a warm, sunny day just improve your whole outlook on life?
The April issue of Glamour magazine had a useful reminder from Dr. Abdi, friend of Julia Robert, physician, and humanitarian. “When you divide your pain with your friends, the pain will be less. But when you share your happiness with other people, your happiness will be more.”
Happiness – it’s what everyone seems to constantly be looking for in life- whether its found in the perfect job, perfect husband, or perfect home. Yet, in this TED talk, Dan Gilbert investigates the possibility – no, certainty- that the human brain is actually wired to create our own happiness, even though most people aren’t aware of it. He proposes that this synthetic happiness is just as authentic as that we stumble upon when we get exactly the things we want, and that people can stop searching for it, and just make their own happy. Have a listen!
I do embarrassing things all the time. Wiping out in the middle of a crosswalk? Been there (more times that I would like to admit)! Walking around with deodorant marks on my black top? Sure. Totally misunderstanding what someone is asking me? Of course! The range of snafus is wide and the list is long. But what I don’t do? Walk around feeling all ashamed and humiliated most of the time. Chalk it up to having a mother who wasn’t afraid of making a public scene every now and again, but eventually I just stopped really caring what other people thought, especially when I’ve done something clumsy or a little odd. Here are 4 things that might help you cope next time potential humiliation knocks at your door.
1. Laugh or Apologize
If you’ve done something embarrassing to yourself, laugh at it. People will feel a lot less pity and a lot more admiration for how you handled the situation when they can laugh (at what is really probably a pretty funny situation) without you getting mad at them. It diffuses the tension from the situation when they’re waiting to see how you’ll react. Laughing works best when you’ve done something silly like trip in front of a crowd or tuck your skirt into your pantyhose. If you’ve done something that embarrasses you because you embarrassed someone else, like really putting your foot in your mouth in a meeting, the best route is apologizing publicly and immediately to show people that at least you realize your blunder. Then try to take corrective steps, and at the very least, just remember never to make that same mistake again. 2. Put it in Perspective
While it might seem like a world-ending humiliation in your eyes, to most other people, it’s a minor blip in one day where they’re really more preoccupied with their stuff. It helps to remember that most people (high school girls excluded) care more about their own lives than yours. If you don’t remind them of the embarrassing incident, they will probably forget in the time it took you to forget what the person sitting across from you on the subway was wearing.
3. Move Along
If you pick up acting normally like nothing happened, other people will take it as a cue that they should go back to normal business as usual as well. Even if you’re still cringing internally about how you could ever do such an embarrassing thing, regaining your composure, and pretending like you’ve gotten over it is the best way to deal until you actually have.
4. Remember that it Won’t Matter in 5 Minutes, Hours, Days or Months
I’ve found that most times I feel really humiliated in the moment, I end up describing the whole event in great detail a few days later to my friends with lots of laughs in between. While you might have to force the laugh when it’s happening, after the initial embarrassment has passed there’s usually a funny story there. And if your friends want to joke about it before you’re ready, a simple, “Too soon,” should quiet them down until you’re ready to laugh about it down the road. And trust me, eventually you will be.
How do you cope when you’ve done something really embarrassing?