The Power of Smiling

Only one-third of us smile more than 20 times a day. Unbelievable. And yet smiling reduces stress and helps us live a longer, happier life – amongst other things. It’s time to get smiling people!

Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior. See more: TED.

How to Motivate Yourself

Are those tasks staring back at you from your to-do list? And yet, somehow you just can’t quite motivate yourself to do any of them…. Believe it or not, there’s one essential – and scientifically proven – step we’re all missing out. 


You make goals… but then you procrastinate. You write a to-do list… but then you don’t follow through. And this happens again and again and again. Seriously, what’s the problem? Read more: TIME.

No Time to Think

Why have we become too busy to stop and think? What’s the result of avoiding our worries, concerns and negative thoughts?


One of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore. And if there is ever a still moment for reflective thought, out comes the mobile device. Read more: New York Times.

RIH Drinks

Enjoying a cooling cocktail on a summer evening has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Nothing too complicated mind, this isn’t the time for faffing about with unusual ingredients or measuring equipment. From the Watermelon Refresher to a summery Rosé Sangria Spritz, these are the cocktails you’ll find us sipping at sundown…

summer cocktails

This summer is all about the spritz. Long drinks that aren’t too high in alcohol, and that have a few gentle bubbles to tickle the taste buds, are a refreshing way to start the evening (and slightly less precipitous than a martini). They are also good for gatherings – barbecues, school fêtes, pre-dinner drinks, watching a game of cricket – because they can be made and poured quickly en masse. Read more: The Telegraph.

The Beginner’s Guide to Sleep

Sleep. We all need it, and most of us probably aren’t getting quite enough. But how much do you actually understand sleep? Sleep debt, sleep deprivation and sleep cycles – making sense of sleep will help you sleep better.

getting better sleep

Why are you feeling so sleep deprived? Here are some practical tips for mastering your sleep and having more energy. You owe it to yourself to develop better sleep habits. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Read more: Entrepreneur.

Water Baby

THE summer holiday must-have? Once you’ve packed the factor 40 and a killer beach read, a decent waterproof mascara is your next essential. These are the ones you need to know about.

best waterproof mascaras

Long-lasting formulas, smudge-proof promises and with all the benefits you expect from your regular mascara, waterproof wands have a lot to live up to. Before you buy, consult our tried and tested reviews… Read more: ELLE.

RIH Eats

Best-selling cookery writer Anjum Anand certainly knows her stuff when it comes to Indian food; her breakthrough book (Indian Food Made Easy) actually knocked Harry Potter off the top spot! From her latest title - Anjum’s Quick and Easy Indian – this recipe for Indian stir-fried spring veg vermicelli with peanuts is a made-in-minutes supper staple. And it’s super healthy to boot!

Vermicelli and rice noodles feature on Indian menus, the former in desserts in North India as well as in quick stir-fries in many regions, the latter mostly in the South. This recipe is inspired by those northern vegetable stir-fries. If you make the recipe with fine vermicelli (available in Indian stores), you will produce a softer, more unctuous dish. Rice noodles, used here, are more textured but also more widely available. Both work well. Add edamame beans for a little protein, but you can use broad beans or peas for a burst of sweetness if you prefer.

stir-fried spring veg vermicelli with

  • 2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 14 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 15g root ginger, peeled weight, finely shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 7.5cm matchsticks
  • 12 asparagus spears, tips cut whole on the diagonal, stalks finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 handfuls of edamame beans
  • 300g packet fine rice noodles
  • 2–3 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • small handful of finely chopped mint or coriander leaves
  • small handful of roasted salted peanuts, lightly crushed



Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the chillies and mustard seeds and, once the popping dies down, the chana dal and curry leaves. Once the lentils start to colour, add the red onion, ginger and seasoning and sauté for three to four minutes before adding the turmeric. Fry for 20 seconds, stirring to mix well, then add the rest of the vegetables.

Stir-fry for two minutes, then add the rice noodles and lemon juice and continue to cook for another two minutes, or until the noodles are soft but the vegetables are still crunchy. Stir in the herbs and peanuts and serve hot or warm.

Politics and Fashion

We do get rather bored of how commentary on female politicians seems to be limited to what they’re wearing. With David Cameron’s recent reshuffle, the usual media outlets have been all aflutter with all the sartorial details of the PM’s latest posse. Yawn. Luckily the New Statesman has created a guide to the Kings of the Downing Street catwalk… And it’s brilliant.

politics and fashion

He sashayed into Downing Street, offering a daring glimpse of his hand. And his face. And just a glimpse of the bare skin on the top of his head. William Hague knew that all eyes would be on him as he stepped down from the Foreign Office, and he dressed accordingly, carefully balancing the undeniable erotic charge of his low-cut suit jacket with the businesslike light blue tie. Read more: New Statesman.

About Couture

If you’re someone not into their fashion, the endless schedule of Fashion Weeks can seem pretty baffling, bordering on bonkers. And then there’s couture: catwalk shows exhibiting prohibitively-priced, sumptuously-decorated garments that no one’s ever going to wear. What on EARTH is that all about then?


Staging an haute couture fashion show takes unimaginable time and expense, and most fashion make their profits from lower-priced accessories. So what is the point of gobsmackingly expensive couture? Read more: The Guardian.

How To Marry

Summer’s officially wedding season. Whether you’re planning on walking down the aisle for the first time, buying an appropriate frock or pondering whether to go for a hat or not, chances are you may be involved with something wedding-related this summer. And yet, as we toast the happy couple, we’re fully aware that the odds are stacked against us – the stats ain’t good, people. So why and how do we end up marrying the wrong person? The Philosophers’ Mail has some answers…

unhappy marriage

Given that marrying the wrong person is about the single easiest and also costliest mistake any of us can make (and one which places an enormous burden on the state, employers and the next generation), it is extraordinary, and almost criminal, that the issue of marrying intelligently is not more systematically addressed at a national and personal level, as road safety or smoking are. Read more: The Philosophers’ Mail.