November 20, 2012 at 11:00 am , by Julie Bain
To kick off the holiday season, we asked Journal staffers to share what they love most about Thanksgiving, that wonderful holiday that’s all about good food, friends, family and feeling grateful (with a little football thrown in). We know you’ll relate to these!
• My girls love to bake (that’s Lily and Sophia in action, right). Since I learned all my baking skills from my mom, they always like to whip up a sweet treat with their “Mimi.” This year they’ll be making my mom’s famous “spice cake” (don’t call it fruitcake!), which I was honored to write about for our December issue. The recipe is on page 106 if you’d like to try it too.
Sue Erneta, fashion editor
• Now that my sister, my cousins and I are in our twenties and living across the country, Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year that we’re all together again, and my life feels about as simple as it did back when I was a kid.
Lauren Piro, assistant editor
• I love that I don’t have to travel on Thanksgiving. Family and friends come to us. It’s a great excuse to stay at home, eat and drink, and sit on the couch. What could be better?
Jeffrey Saks, creative director
• One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories happened last year. My family and I were sitting at the dining table. My mother was in the kitchen, and I heard her in say in a calm voice, “Gab, can you come in here?” I walked in and there was the turkey on the kitchen floor with its juices and grease splattered everywhere. My mom gave me a look that conveyed, “Help but don’t say a word!” (I was called in instead of my sisters because one of them would have fallen to the floor the laughing and the other would’ve shrieked; I’m the least dramatic of the three.) We picked up the turkey, quietly holding in our laughter, and scrubbed the grease off the floor. My mom fixed it up, carved it and served it. It was delicious. We didn’t tell anyone until later. Please note: My mother keeps her floors so clean you can literally eat off them!
Gabrielle Porcaro, associate fashion editor Read more
October 31, 2012 at 11:23 am , by Julie Bain
The photo above is from yesterday on Third Avenue in my neighborhood where the power is out. Lines were out the door at the one bodega open—lit by candles! The only traffic was a convoy of National Guard vehicles.
Hello from New York in the wake of Sandy! It’s been a stressful few days, but as usual, New Yorkers are tough and resourceful. A handful of us who could walk are here at the LHJ office today. Others who couldn’t get in are working from home, if they have power.
I live downtown where the power went off Monday night about 8 pm and I’ve been playing Pioneer Woman since then. It was fascinating to walk north this morning from No-Man’s-Land to the Promised Land—the land of milk and honey and hot coffee. And heat and internet access and cell service and toilets that flush. It does remind me how delicate and vulnerable our infrastructure is, and that we cannot take it for granted. That’s my deep thought for the day.
Meanwhile, I need to find a hair salon since it’s been awhile since I had a shower. (I had smart advice from a Gulf Coast relative experienced at hurricanes: buy organic baby wipes for basic cleaning while the shower is not an option.) I’ve been asked to fill in on the Today Show tomorrow, so good hair is important. I’ll be taping a segment on Germs that will run on Friday in the always fun and wacky Hoda and Kathie Lee hour. Tune in if you can!
October 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm , by Julie Bain
Does going to a hospital scare you? Then just imagine what having surgery was like a century ago! It was a different world, with crude tools, scant blood supplies and high rates of infection. The year 1913 was key to a lot of changes in the practice of surgery, though, as it marked the founding of the organization now known as the American College of Surgeons. The ACS has helped improve the quality of care ever since, and today it has 78,000 members.
To celebrate its centennial, the ACS just debuted a cool interactive timeline of milestones in surgery. (A book is coming out, too.) And guess what? Ladies’ Home Journal played a key early role. In 1913, the ACS began an effort to inform the public about the importance of early detection and treatment of cancer, and its chairman collaborated with LHJ on a major article (above). Called “What Can We Do About Cancer? The Most Vital and Insistent Question in the Medical World,” it was a thorough, detailed and candid piece that busted many of the myths of the time and was written to “educate the people to save themselves.” (Click here to see the year 1913 on the timeline. The LHJ story is the 5th milestone in that year.)
Here’s a bit from the article’s section on breast cancer: “More generally than any other organ, the breast is the point of attack in women. Here the outlook is most encouraging…. As soon as the lump is noticed, unless its non-tumorous nature is definitely determined, the proper procedure is to have a competent surgeon (preferably at a well-equipped hospital) remove it—a safe and simple operation. Then, while the patient is still under the anesthetic, a microscopical examination is made, which should determine pretty accurately whether the growth is carcinoma. If so, the whole breast must be removed at once. It is the only chance, and a very favorable one.”
The article also tells how vital it is not to delay as soon as a lump is found. Believe me, women were not getting that kind of clear info in those days. The ACS timeline says that the LHJ article “helped to revolutionize the public’s understanding of the disease.”
We’re proud of our long history of working closely with physicians and top medical organizations to provide cutting-edge health information that is accurate, authoritative—and even lifesaving. (Compelling and award-winning doesn’t hurt, either!) Millions of women still count on Ladies’ Home Journal to help them make their most important health decisions, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
December 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm , by Julie Bain
Our staff here at Ladies’ Home Journal is not just incredibly talented, hard-working and yes, nice (hear that, Santa?), but they’re also a sentimental bunch. So we’ve shared some of our favorite rituals, memories and traditions below—just for fun.
Ever since I got my French bulldog, Smuckers, two years ago, my obsession is designing holiday cards featuring him in festive garb. (I use tinyprints.com.) Last year he was an elf (a pretty angry-looking one); this year he’s dressed as Peeved (left), one of Santa’s lesser-known reindeer. Lest you feel too sorry for him, note that he was paid handsomely in cheese cubes for enduring the three-minute photo shoot. And if you think this makes me a little bit crazy, well…you might be right. But with a face like that, how can I resist? —Jessica Brown, features editor
When my son, Oliver, was 3 we gave him his first Duplo blocks. He loved them so much it started a holiday tradition, and we still give him a Lego set each year. He’s 19 now! —Jeffrey Saks, creative director
When I was little, my parents had one Christmas record that we played over and over: The Andy Williams Christmas Album. Now I have it on CD, and I love listening to it (no matter how uncool) because it brings back good memories of opening presents with my brothers. —Kate Lawler, executive editor
What I love most about the holidays is that my 85-year-old mom is vibrant, happy and healthy and is still around to share this special season with us. —Sally Lee, editor-in-chief
I always feel grateful at Christmastime (when I’m not cursing the crazy crowds, that is) that I live in New York City. This time of year is pure magic in the Big Apple! —Lorraine Glennon, senior books & articles editor
Ever since I’ve outgrown toys, I’m all about the cookies this time of year. Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Las Posadas. Whatever. I’m totally interfaith and multicultural in the month of December. Whoever/whatever you celebrate, I will eat your cookies. And, no matter how Grinchy I get in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the Charlie Brown Christmas album by Vince Guaraldi always brings a smile to my face. (And gets me dancing like a Peanut.) —Ron Kelly, managing editor
For me, it’s decorating the house. This year I’ve tapped into my inner Martha Stewart by putting a Christmas tree in every major room. My big helper is my 3-year-old, who likes to hang all the ornaments on the same branch. Sigh. —Susan Pocharski, entertainment director Read more
March 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Hollywood lost a true legend today with the passing of Elizabeth Taylor. The 79-year-old Academy Award winner wasn’t just an actress—known for her roles in numerous films including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—but also a dedicated philanthropist. A tireless advocate for AIDS awareness, she created the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation in 1991 and ten years later she was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for her activism.
Taylor also graced the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal 12 times, beginning in 1954. When asked about her philosophy on life in a 1973 interview she said, “I try to live and enjoy every moment as it exists. Think about tomorrow but don’t worry about it…I enjoy now!” When asked what she would say if she had to write her own epitaph, she said, “Here lies Elizabeth Taylor Burton. Thank you for every moment, good and bad. I’ve enjoyed it all!” Looking back, we believe she really did.
January 13, 2010 at 9:44 am , by Julie Bain
Happy New Year, fellow health nuts! I’m Julie Bain, and I’m honored to be back for a return gig as your health director of Ladies’ Home Journal.
Here’s my journey: After 9/11, I was writing health articles for The New York Times and pondering going to medical school. But I changed my mind when Myrna Blyth, then editor-in-chief of Ladies’ Home Journal, part of Meredith Corporation, offered me a job as health director of the magazine.
I was tickled to be working for Meredith, because back in the 1950s my mom worked in the Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters as food editor of Successful Farming magazine. She was in the Meredith junior executive training program with John Mack Carter, who would go on to a legendary career in New York as editor-in-chief of Ladies’ Home Journal and Good Housekeeping. (Myrna Blyth followed eight years behind Carter at LHJ.)
Mom always spoke fondly of her years at Meredith. Her training program was progressive for women and taught her every aspect of the business, “from the ink room to the press shop,” she recalls, always decked out, of course, in fabulous dresses, stockings and heels, and usually wielding a cigarette, as “everyone smoked in their offices back then.” (Yes, that’s Mom, right, looking very Mad Men with her unhealthy ciggie.)
Luckily she quit smoking and I committed to health journalism, despite an occasional pang of longing to become a doctor. When I met Mehmet Oz, M.D. (below), one of the top heart surgeons in New York (and now best-selling author and TV celeb), he told me I could make more of an impact as a journalist than as a clinician. He inspired me when I was lucky enough to stand on a stool in his OR and watch him perform open-heart surgery on a young woman. It was a revelation: When I saw that beautiful beating heart up close, I decided to dedicate my life to communicating health info to others.
Yes, I went to another magazine for a while, but now, as fate would have it, Meredith has drawn me back. My mom and I are both thrilled. OK, so I’m not a physician; sometimes I just think I know more than they do! But seriously, I’ve spent a lot of time with folks on the front lines of medicine, and I’m really passionate about bringing you the information you need to live a healthier and happier life. So I’ll start now, with this:
GET YOUR FLU SHOTS!
It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, and while the H1N1 vaccine wasn’t widely available in the early part of flu season, it is now (even drugstores like CVS and Walgreens are offering it). I got my regular flu shot back in October. And I just got my swine flu shot from my surgeon brother-in-law in Dallas over Christmas. It didn’t even make my arm sore. It’s safe, will boost your immunity and could even save your life, so do it now!
And stay tuned for lots more health news and advice to come, both here and in the pages of the magazine. Cheers!