Woman's Day

Woman's Day takes as its motto: "live well every day." I agree, though I'd like "well" spelled out. In a world of crashing stocks and mega-layoffs, "well" is relative. Unlike Congress, or Kubrick, the rest of us operate with eyes wide open. These days, I'm just happy if the Chinese takeout remembers all the entrees and the TiVo grabs a Bette Davis flick. Davis knew something about grit. She's best known for "Now, Voyager" and "All About Eve," but when her star faded, she took out an ad in "Variety" asking for work. Hollywood was shocked by her temerity, but I applaud her practicality. Survival is everything.

In my book, that covers health, money, work, family and food, and according to an expert source -- my mother -- Woman's Day fills the bill. She is a huge fan of its clean cover, concise tips and wide appeal, insisting it speaks to young careerists and grandmothers alike. How would she sum it up? "Trustworthy." And I concur.

WD is more versatile than Martha Stewart Living, which focuses on the home, and is a bit more sophisticated than Family Circle. Also, it's not as gooey as the stories in Ladies' Home Journal, which fill people like Martha and Cindy McCain with class dread. If you watched Ms. McCain at a recent Nascar race, you know what I mean. Her husband may love politics; she faces the crowds with a queasier gaze.

The "One Minute to Calm" story may help.

It asks the question: What can you do to chill out right now? I ask myself that 50 times a day. But some of the tips -- count down from 60 or pop a prune -- strike me as overly simplistic. One prune does not release enough "feel-good serotonin" to transform the highly stressed into the Dalai Lama. The article also says "write it down." Usually, sound advice -- until you visit the blogsphere and see ordinary scribblers morph into lunatics. I'd rather slap someone silly or relax with a glass of wine, the advice of an Albany, N.Y., wine educator. And if you buy domestic, you've done your bit for the local economy. Cheers!

In fact, the cut line "living well" is explored in myriad ways, starting with getting a library card -- though why does the photo show two diet books? Looking fit is a laudable goal, but one title is ample. Frankly, I'd like to see women as conversant in Jane Austen and Colette as they are in complex carbs.

Since it's the September issue, there is a terrific "Real Life 101" kids' guide, which includes useful tips on saving the planet. There's also a back-to-school one, which lists three essentials to boosting grades: organizational skills (a completion date for assignments), an inquiring mind (ask piercing questions) and praise (recognize effort). Pentagon, are you listening? Points 1 and 2 are a must on any pre- or post-war to-do list.

The section also suggests getting your child involved in the presidential election. If Paris Hilton can rebut McCain's ad -- "I'm just hot!" -- probably her energy policy, your kids can plug in, too. In the 9-12 age category, WD invites them to visit and play "If You Were President," an interactive game that balances an imaginary budget. If only Washington would balance the real one! I suspect the average Woman's Day reader is more adept and less wasteful than the Feds. What woman in her right mind would pay $450 for a wrench or $42 for a can of Coke? Those figures come courtesy of the General Accounting Office. You can't make this stuff up.

That's why I enjoyed perusing the pub. It offers helpful info presented in a friendly layout. Who wouldn't love "Fake 'n' Bake," the secret shortcuts to impressive desserts? Living well is also about time management. Best of all: the health section recommends red wine, which has been linked to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of osteoporosis and dementia. Say what you will about sleep, eating fish and socializing, when it comes to living la vida loca, color me red.


Published by: Hachette Filipacchi Media

Frequency: 17 issues/year

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