Inspiring

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    We all know that Angelina Jolie has more on her mind than her own wedding to Brad Pitt, which we recently discovered took place in secret at Chateau Miraval in the village of Correns, France -- a home they bought and renovated a few years ago. Instead of making the publicity surrounding the wedding all about her, she took the opportunity to use it to speak out about Syria. And, as it turns out, she wasn't even thinking of herself during her actual nuptials -- she had her late mom Marcheline Bertrand on the brain.

    Angie lost her beloved mother to ovarian cancer in 2007. Before she died, the actress made her a promise that she stuck to on her wedding day. And, she wore something special and sweet over her wedding dress that paid homage to one of the most important people in her life.

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    What mom doesn't love a shortcut? And there's nothing better than one that saves you time in the kitchen! 

    While take-out is always tempting, when you're hungry and in a hurry, before you reach for those menus, let me share my secret ingredient for whipping up a delicious dinner in half the time: the rotisserie chicken

    This classic staple, most often sold in that futuristic-looking plastic bubble, has become my best friend on busy evenings. As yummy as it is versatile, a ready-to-eat roasted chicken can give you a well-deserved head start when you need it most (like when your kids are chanting, "When's dinner?").

    Another thing I love about it: minimal clean-up. But here's a tip I learned the hard way: If you want your guests to think you spent the whole afternoon in front of the stove basting your bird, be sure to dispose of its packaging before they arrive!

    Here are 8 ways to jump-start dinner using a rotisserie chicken.  

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    Talk about bravery! When Barbie Ritzco was 21, not only she was on the verge of being deployed to Afghanistan where she'd be stationed as a sergeant for the U.S. Marines Corps, she was diagnosed with Stage IIIB breast cancer. 

    The soldier underwent a double mastectomy, but rather than opt for reconstructive surgery, she adorned her chest with a bright and beautiful tattoo of an open heart bursting with flowers. 

    Unable to return to her post, Ritzco has chosen a new, equally as courageous path: sharing her story. 

    The survivor teamed up with The Scar Project, as well as co-founded the Flat & Fabulous Facebook page with Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton, to show other women they are beautiful without pursuing reconstruction. 

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    You haven't heard by now? Where you been?? Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are finally married! Yes! Finally! Everyone's waiting with bated breath for details about the rings, the dress, the flowers, the amazing location, how her kids were involved, etc., etc., etc. But leave it to Angie and her superhuman ways to help put everything into perspective.

    Instead of gushing about her nuptials, Angelina released a statement about Syria. Of all things. Syria. Doesn't get much more depressing than that, and Syria is likely the last thing on any other newlywed's mind. But that's what makes Angie Angie. Good for her for helping the rest of us realize that their wedding should mean significantly far less than what is going on in the rest of the world.

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    If you're not at all prepared for pumpkin spice coffee drinks and changing leaves, you're not alone. In fact, plenty of us plan on snagging our last ditch chance at beach time ASAP.

    An estimated 34.7 million Americans plan to travel this Labor Day weekend, according to the Auto Club AAA. Thankfully, whether you're sneaking in your last summer trip now or later in the month with the kids, extended family, friends, or just your spouse, pulling together an impromptu getaway is a lot easier than it sounds. 

    The key: Casting a wide net with your search -- and striving to be open to a variety of options.

    "Everyone is heading for the beach or the lake, but if your kids are like mine, any pool [even at a local hotel or in a country house] would also work," says Tom Gilmore, CEO of VacationHomeRentals.com.

    Whether the consolation is where you're going to sunbathe or how you'll get to your destination, Gilmore recommends expanding your search for the best deal.

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    The sweetness that is Taylor Swift comes from her incredible ability to make us all want to sing along and feel just like she feels even if we are old enough to be her mother. Okay, she's 24. She's young. Not too young. But she's wise. In her own sweet Taylor Swift way. Her wise ways, however, came from a very reputable source -- at least in my opinion. Swift credits Lena Dunham for teaching her some things, specially on women's rights.

    Can you hear the girl power roar? Taylor and Lena are both forces in their own right. (I adore the show Girls.) And this female appreciation is so welcome, so needed, so incredible that Taylor is acknowledging other women like that. See? She's so wise! Check out what she said. 

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    I have a confession to make: I am awful at doing hair. The 12-year-old girl I babysit is the one who braids my hair, not the other way around. I'm useless! For convenience, I find myself either putting it up in a ponytail or wearing it down and letting it do whatever it wants. Fancy hairdos are not in my skill set. 

    It does get a little boring, though, wearing the same two hairstyles all the time, and I like looking for quick and easy ways to change it up and look a little more sophisticated. Doing a glamorous up-do like a bun always seemed complicated to me, but it turns out that with the right technique, it can be easier than it looks. So easy that even I can do it. Shocking!

    See our step-by-step video tutorial on how to do a simple classic bun yourself without spending a fortune at the salon or a ton of time at home. And let us know how it comes out!

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    There is bad news everywhere. Sad news. Horrifying news. You cannot escape it. The state of the world seems so terrible right now that it's enough to make you believe all the good is gone. But it's not. There is good out there and here is proof.

    Yesterday, in St. Petersburg, Florida, one woman was at a Starbucks drive-through getting her morning cup when she decided to pay for the customer's drink in the car behind her. That alone makes me smile. It's a random act of kindness. A gesture, though small, that says a lot. When the customer found out his or her drink was paid for, that person decided to pay for the order of the next person in line as well. This went on and on and on and on for 11 hours. Did you just get the chills? I got the happiness chills!

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    Everyone strives to achieve some semblance of work-life balance, but thanks to the blessing/curse that are our electronic devices (er, leashes), it can be harder and harder to disconnect and focus on the world beyond your career.

    "The irony of prioritizing a work-life balance is that it's incredibly hard to do when you're in the headspace of having no balance," says life and career coach Caitlin Graham of Unapologetic Coaching. "It's almost impossible to get a clear picture of what's really important when you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed out." 

    Graham suggests making a list of activities that "are crucial to making you feel like a person and living what you consider a full, fulfilled life, on a daily basis." She says the best time to do this is when you're on vacation so you're not susceptible to feeling like everything on your to-do list is pressing. 

    Here are 5 tricks to getting that work-life balance you so desperately crave.

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    Girls actress Zosia Mamet was told she was fat for the first time when she was just 8 years old.

    In her Glamour column, the 26-year-old recounts that ever since that day, there's been a "monster" inside her brain that fuels her belief that she needs to be thinner.

    Mamet knows she's not alone. Thirty million Americans struggle with eating disorders, and the actress believes that when it comes to this disease, which she's battled in secret, keeping quiet isn't the answer. Regarding herself as "an addict in recovery," Mamet takes society to task for forcing us to believe that "skinny is beautiful." 

    "'Skinny' sells us everything, from vacations to underwear, effectively," the star writes, imploring us to redefine beauty and remind each other that it is a trait we already possess.

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