December 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
Have you heard of 365 projects? In our February issue we featured 8 amazing women who decided to to do something creative every day. It’s definitely a commitment, but whether it’s snapping a photo or knitting a cup cozy, the effort is totally worth it. If you’re looking to start your own 365 project in the new year (and you totally should!) here are tips for choosing your idea and sticking with it:
- Choose your project. You could go two ways: Pick something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do and get better at it day by day. Or choose something you absolutely love. Taking a photo (either with a digital camera or—even easier—a smart phone and a service like Instagram) is popular. But other women knit, illustrate or draw, write poems, write letters—we even talked to one woman who vowed to enter an online contest every day. (Hey, it’s not creative but she has a way better chance of winning some free loot than the rest of us.)
- Start today! Don’t wait for January 1, the first of the month, a Monday, or a full moon… it doesn’t matter how the 365 days shake out on the calendar, what’s important is the practice of actually doing something small every day. Taking that time for yourself—to be creative, to reflect, to capture life’s everyday magic—is what makes a 365 project so satisfying.
- But, don’t kill yourself if you goof! 365 days is a lot of days. You might get sick and skip a day, or any number of other things could pop up in your busy daily life. It’s ok. Just start again tomorrow instead of giving up completely. Or take a tip from one of the women we featured who knit a few cup cozies early if she knew she was going to be busy or away. It totally counts!
- Make it public. Start a quick Tumblr or blog to share your project with the world and keep yourself accountable. Even if you don’t want to put your project out there on the web, tell your friends and family. They can help keep you motivated, and will probably want to know what the heck you’re up to anyhow. Even better, start a 365 club and get friends and family involved. You don’t even have to do the same project to give each other support and encouragement, and at the end of the year you’ll have even more great memories.
- Check the web for inspiration, ideas, and people who’ve been successful. For instance, these specific photo-taking tips from daily photo service Photojojo are super-handy.
- Last but not least, share your project with us! If you start a 365 project and share it with us (just leave a link or info in the comments), we may feature you here!
March 8, 2012 at 11:37 am , by Amanda Wolfe
We love the show Life Dare: Host and life coach Liz Nead helps women tackle challenges big and small to—as she says—”put some life back into your life.” Amen, sister! So we knew we had to team up with her for our April story on mental flexibility, “Go With The Flow.” Our story is all about trying to relax and be less rigid about the little (and big) things in your life, so Liz found a woman who needed a little help loosening up and produced a special episode for us. Guest Lisa isn’t a big fan of foods with weird (to her) textures and flavors–slippery, raw, and spicy foods were just not her thing. But she was ready to break out of her habits—with a little help, of course.
Watch Lisa as she faces her food attitudes on camera. They explore raw foods with chef and nutritionist Sheree Clark (can you really put sweet potato with pineapple in the juicer?), slippery foods at Django in Des Moines (Lisa doesn’t want to gag on oysters in front of you!), and spicy food with Chef Brandy Lueders (spicy Indian food can be really hard on your stomach). Slippery, raw and spicy—will Lisa make it through all three food experiments and leave her old food routine behind? Watch now, above (or see it big here).
But wait, there’s more! (Because if you watched that fun episode, you probably want to tackle your own challenge, right?)
- Feeling inspired to loosen up and let go yourself? Sign up for your own 30 day Life Dare designed by Liz. You can also win a free coaching session with her (enter here!).
- Check out the recipes that Lisa tasted on the show and submit a comment about your own food phobias to win a coaching session and Life Dare kit.
- Want to know how it all came together? We’ll take you behind the scenes.
- Watch more episodes of Life Dare TV and subscribe at lifedare.tv.
- Dare to jump into the conversation! Liz will be hosting a #LHJlifedare chat on Twitter on Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET each week!
March 1, 2012 at 11:16 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Can’t make it to a local International Women’s Day event? Celebrate with us from home! Next Wednesday (March 7—mark your calendar!) we’re hosting a special online screening of the extraordinary documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell with our friends at CARE and ITVS.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing and inspiring story of a group of Liberian women who united to take on Liberia’s violent dictator and warlords during their country’s brutal civil war. It’s truly an amazing story that you don’t want to miss.
After the film stay online and participate in a live panel discussion with experts and special guests, including the film’s producer Abigail Disney, PBS President Paula Kerger, and CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle. We’ll be talking about the role that women have in changing our world, which—as you’ll see when you watch—is huge.
So go bookmark care.org/IWD now (you can also learn lots more) and don’t forget to join us on Wednesday!
November 22, 2011 at 9:51 am , by Amanda Wolfe
We’re so proud to highlight the women who won our second annual Ladies’ Home Journal We Volunteer Awards, a partnership with WE tv. Our goal was to find rockstar volunteers who are quietly making a big difference in their communities, and these three amazing ladies do not disappoint. Tessa Wehrman (left) volunteers with two groups to help disabled kids and adults, Holly McKay (center) has taught “mad scientist” lessons at her local elementary school twice a week for years, and Alison Bearman (right) volunteers 5 to 6 days a week at her local animal shelter, helping to find loving families for rescue dogs.
We honored these amazing women at our annual awards luncheon (with fabulous presenters Andie MacDowell, Sara Gore and Diann Valentine) and it was a seriously inspiring—and tear-inducing—day. Learn more about our second place and people’s choice award winners below, and read about grand prize winner, Tessa, in her magazine feature.
November 18, 2011 at 9:18 am , by Amanda Wolfe
I’ve always been intrigued by Kiva, the microfinance site that connects you with women entrepreneurs around the world to help them provide for themselves and their families by lending them money. It’s such a great way to make a big impact with at a fairly small cost to you—and your loan will eventually be repaid so you can reinvest in another worthy woman. Win-win! But I never actually took the plunge (I know, shame on me). That’s why I was so excited when our friends at Kiva offered an amazing opportunity: The first 3000 LHJ readers to go to Kiva.org/LHJ and sign up can give a FREE $25 loan. It’s the perfect way to try Kiva at no cost to you.
So I was excited to finally give it a try and let me tell you — it was hard to choose. I wanted to help every woman that I clicked on! When their loans are funded, Ana Cecilia in El Salvador will buy tires for her auto repair shop, Naimajon in Tajikistan will purchase fabrics and gold embroidery thread for her sewing business, and Sama in Togo will buy groceries for her small market. I eventually decided to give my free $25 loan to Flaviana (picture above) to buy supplies for her beauty salon in the Philippines. She has four school-aged children and her goal is to use her income to pay for their education.
It was so rewarding to know who I was helping (and why) that I am definitely going to give another loan — this time on my own dime. What can I say, I’m hooked. So what are you waiting for? It’s free, people! Go to Kiva.org/LHJ now to give your free $25 loan. It only takes a few minutes (unless you just can’t decide like me) and I promise you it’s worth it.
September 8, 2011 at 9:51 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Congratulations to Lisa Scott, winner of our LHJ trendspotter blogger contest! Her blog about wood jewelry was selected to be featured here as a guest post on our Ladies’ Lounge blog, and she won a $1,000 shopping spree at General Growth Properties malls.
I love to accessorize my wardrobe with some bold jewelry pieces. There is nothing more fun than choosing one or two unique items to dress up a T-shirt and jeans or amplify a dressier look. In the summer however, I tend to shy away from my favorite metal bracelets because in the heat they feel sweaty and uncomfortable. This year I have become totally smitten with wood, cork and simulated wood bangles. They are lighter and more pleasant to wear in the humid weather—and talk about style versatility!
You can find them in tons of shapes, colors and sizes and many of the designs can easily transition from casual to evening ensemble. The price points—especially for the basic simulated wood pieces—are very affordable and they work well on all ages. My daughter loves her animal print bangle, I love my cork cuff bracelet and my mother adores her stacked wooden bead set but we frequently swap! — Lisa Scott
Even though summer’s almost over, we like that these cute wood bracelet picks can transition into fall, too. Thanks for sharing your favorite trend, Lisa! And congrats also to our runners’ up, Angela Rodgers, Faith Heimbrodt, Dawn Moore and Carrie Clogston who won LHJ swag bags for spotting (and blogging) some of summer’s cutest looks.
Even if you didn’t win, you still have a chance to score great prizes for your trendspotting skills–check our Trendspotters site soon for a brand-new contest for fall!
August 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
To throw a grown-up Halloween cocktail party, ditch the kiddie games—but by all means keep the candy!—and whip up some creepy cocktails. Our favorite is the crowd-pleasing (and easy make-ahead) Wizard’s Blood, a classic spiced cider with red wine. (You could also add 1.5 cups of spiced rum instead of the wine, if you prefer.)
6 cups apple cider
4 cups red wine
3 cups cranberry juice cocktail
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 whole cloves
Sliced Lady apple, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks for garnish
1. In a large pot, combine cider, wine, cranberry juice, ground cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Pour into mugs and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired. Serve hot. Makes 8 cups.
Looking for some more variety? Here are our favorite Halloween cocktail recipes from around the web:
Satan’s Whiskers - A classic drink with a festive twist, this recipe has gin and vermouth plus OJ and orange peels for flare.
Vampire’s Blood – It’s red (of course) but the homemade hibiscus syrup in this tequila cocktail is much tastier (and a lot more chic) than food coloring.
Candy Corn Cocktail – There are tons of fun, creative cocktails in this roundup from Hostess With The Mostess but the layered candy corn version looks surprisingly good. (Although who could resist some Pina Gouladas?)
Eyeball Highball - Looking for a little more of the gross-out-factor? The Eyeball Highball delivers. It’s easy too: A classic martini with “eyeballs” instead of plain old olives.
Devil’s Handshake – It’s fruity enough to appeal to most (especially those of us who can’t quite do a straight-up martini) but the ginger puree adds some grown-up spiciness.