The holiday season is right around the corner. That means cocktail parties, cocktail dresses, and of course, the classic LBD. What that also means is you’ll need to gain the will power to "just say no" to your pants with the elastic waistband this Thanksgiving and in the weeks that follow. Here are few simple, easy-to-follow tips to enjoy your holiday eating and imbibing without the guilt.
Exercise in the morning
Plan a hike with your family and/or visiting guests, join a local group bike ride, or check out local fitness facilities that offer special Thanksgiving or other morning classes. On Turkey Day, check to see if your hometown holds a Turkey Trot or another fun 5k or 10k race on Thanksgiving morning. Many of these races exist around the country and most of the proceeds benefit food banks and local charities trying to feed the hungry.
Including physical activity on the mornings of the most gluttonous season of the year means you will be able to increase your metabolism for the day and will likely make better food choices when at the dinner table. If you decide to indulge in an extra slice of pie or glass of wine, at least you’ve burned a few calories first!
Maintain your workout schedule
Company, club, and family parties may interfere with your regular workout schedule. Checking your weekly schedule at the beginning of each week is a good practice to keep, and even more so during this time of holiday commitments. When holiday parties interfere with your workouts, reschedule your workout at a different time. Don't skip your workouts, even if it means abbreviating them. Squeezing in 15-20 minutes will still provide you more benefits than not doing anything at all.
Don’t skip breakfast
In order to prevent guilt-ridden overeating and letting out the waistband on your trousers, eat breakfast. Do not skip meals earlier in the day. Prepare healthy meals or snacks before your dinner to avoid feeling famished, which can result in overeating.
Use smaller plates
I know... you are already dreaming about plates laden with Thanksgiving goodies. But if you want to keep your summer shape, you will have to serve yourself smaller portions all winter long. Serve yourself 1/3-1/2 of what you would normally put on your plate. If you opt for a second serving you should still serve yourself a smaller portion. With this approach you will consume at least half the calories of holidays-past.
Practice conscious consumption
Rather than eating mindlessly while deep in conversation, look at what you stick your fork into before putting it in your mouth. Enjoy the flavors while savoring the food as you chew slowly. You will be less likely to eat the food that is not as satisfying to you, become satiated faster, eat more slowly (which means you will have less time to go up for seconds), and enjoy the taste of your meal at the first plate.
Enjoy this holiday season! And if you follow these tips, you'll be able to do it while staying the same size into the New Year's Eve party. Read: you won't be one of those frantic weight loss fanatics fighting over the treadmill at the gym, madly trying to lose the nine pounds gained over the course of the five weeks of winter holiday festivities. Instead, you’ll look stunning and chic as you ring in 2013.
Long distance relationships are not for the fearful; they’re for the audacious.
The brassy, bold + brave.
You exchange massive time alone for fleeting doses of joy with your beloved.
Critics say the long-distance relationship is doomed.
“You can’t go on that way forever,” they tout.
But you insist you can.
And as long as you do, you’ll be required to practice the qualities of faith + fortitude
Independence + imagination...
It’s for those who find possibility in the improbable.
It can be a shelter for the non-committers, for, the less-than-motivated.
Yet, to be enamored with someone’s absence is to be a quintessential romantic.
And who can thwart the benefits?
The urgency of every second together. Because they all count.
Elation rushes in as each kiss is savored, every touch cherished.
Reality is divinely air-brushed + memories pristinely sealed—set aside to be deliciously revisited later.
On the phone your makeup is perfect, your legs are always shaved + your sweatpants and decal tee shirt become silk shorts and a lace bra.You never have to pick up his laundry, wash the dinner dishes or ask him to finally for-the-love-of-god-turn the TV off. How many times can you watch Transformers, the movie, anyway?
Yet, love + doubt aren’t mutually exclusive.
And in the case of long distance relationships bliss can certainly require sweat.
:: giving too much + getting too little in return
:: wanting to close the distance gap but repressing the need to express it for fear of “rocking the boat” + risking a breakup.
:: tired of living a double life. one with their partner + generally, a bigger one without their partner
:: being crushed by anxiety + jealousy.
And oh, those phone bills! Distance can work for friends + relatives but when it comes to romantic love, the long distance relationship will always fall short.
Short on satisfaction.
There is a rare population of couples that can pull it off–and the only reason it works is that it genuinely works for them. Both feel they are getting their needs met + do not secretly wish for an alternative situation.
If that’s you, congratulations. Ignore everything I said + keep on keepin’ on.
But the chances are that it’s not you, because the only way to make a long distance relationship work is to close the separation gap—eventually.
Short-term long distance relationships: not usually a problem. Long term, open-ended distances are the stuff hell is made of. With the imperfections + benefits of long distance relationships glaringly clear—-
Do you stay or go?
Roll the dice or walk away now?
The answer begins + ends with the truth.
Always with the truth.
How deep do the roots of this relationship go?
Deep enough to sustain your spirit during the days + weeks of separation?
What do you need from your partner on a daily basis?
Witness what comes up for you. Write it down. Articulate it.
First to yourself + then to him or her.
Can he or she provide it?
Will your situation allow it?
You know the answer.
Even when you deny that you do.
Your heart + gut want to educate you on limitations, expectations + salutations.
When to go harder.
When it’s been enough.
When to very lovingly, calmly say:
I loved you while I could. As best as I could. With all I could.
Thank you for you. When I had you.
And love pulses along in spite of it all.
You really don’t want to be that person at the gym who gets a wrinkled nose pointed at her because her clothes might not look or smell so fresh. You might be thinking, “I’m just gonna work out. What does it matter what I wear?” But I say, “You’re a put-together woman and your clothes—gym, work, or otherwise—ought to always convey that message.”
Spending a little extra cash on high quality and durable workout clothes is worth it because they’re designed specifically to stand up to all that you’re going to put them through -- sweat, those awkward yoga positions, etc. Since they are a bit more expensive than your old ratty tee and sweats, you’re going to want to take extra care of them to make sure they last you as long as possible. What’s the best way to do that? Try this:
Those are the fab five tips to keeping your workout gear lasting long and staying funk-free. It’ll keep you looking fresh at your workouts too, so everybody will know that you are that girl—the Made Woman.
If you had invited me to a party a couple years ago, I’d have told you I had to wash my hair. Or my stomach hurt. Or my head exploded into a migraine. Or my face melted off. You name it, I’d use it as an excuse. Unless I knew everyone at said party, I wanted nothing to do with it. People I don’t know well make me…squirmy. I grew up in a tiny town and graduated high school with a whopping 20 other people – I never learned how to meet new friends because I never HAD to.
My lack of outgoing-ness doesn’t mean that I don’t have friends or that I don’t like to go out and have a good time (I can find a few bartenders to vouch for that), but the situation has to be “just so” before I’m down to do it. The problem with that, obviously, is that it’s not exactly conducive to making new friends or starting new relationships.
If any of this sounds sort of like you, and you want to do something about it, I have some good news for you: you can change. I made the decision to start pushing myself outside of my comfort zone a while ago; and while yes, it can still be pretty uncomfortable, the situations you force yourself into are usually nowhere near as bad as you imagine. So how can you put yourself out there more and start acting like a functioning, normal member of society? I’ll let you know how I did it.
Just Say Yes
Seriously, stop with the excuses. If someone invites you somewhere and you feel yourself fumbling for a way to say no--quit it. Say yes, dammit! If you have no other plans, there’s NO reason for you to not go to that party, networking event, girls' night out with some people you’ve never met, etc. You are not going to find a date or a new friend by sitting on your couch stuffing take-out pizza into your face. The more people you know, the stronger your social network is…and that can lead to all sorts of potential benefits. Force yourself to say yes, and follow through. It may feel weird and it may produce a little anxiety, but you can do it and you’ll most likely be glad you did.
Do Something New
A cooking class was offered to employees at my new job not too long ago. The old me would have thought, “I don’t really know many of my coworkers yet, I can’t even cook a Hot Pocket, who am I going to talk to? Will I end up standing in a corner alone hiding behind a skillet?”, etc. etc. The new me pushed those thoughts out of my head and focused on the fact that I’d be getting free food and wine--at the very least--and at the most, making some new connections. If your work offers group activities, sign up for a couple. If there’s a gym in your neighborhood, go take a class. If you’ve always been interested in sailing, take a lesson. Do not let that little voice in your head telling you to avoid new, potentially uncomfortable situations, win. This is about taking control of your fear/anxiety and forcing yourself to think about social situations differently. You have to put yourself out there or nothing is ever going to happen to you!
Let Down Your Guard.
When I go out with my girlfriends, at least one of them usually ends up talking to a guy. Me? Not so much. I’m the girl who’d rather go off and dance by myself than have some random dude in my face asking me what my sign is. I’m instantly on guard with guys and it only starts coming down when I’m familiar with someone. But how do you get familiar with a new person unless you…ya know, talk to him? So now I at least exchange a few sentences before I make an exit. You never know who you might meet unless you give them a chance, and if they’re a creep, there’s always that emergency, “Excuse me, I have to go to the restroom!” excuse.
When I was younger, I was told several times by people that when they first met me, they thought I didn’t like them. Or that I was probably a bitch. I would always feel a little stunned by this, but then it dawned on me. I never really smiled, I pretty much would just give short hellos at work and go about my business, I didn’t make a ton of eye contact; or if I did catch a glance, I’d usually look away. These things all communicate disinterest. It wasn’t because I was a mean person – I was just unsure of myself and let’s be honest, was a bit socially retarded. Once I was aware of how I was coming off, I made a conscious effort to look people in the eye and smile when I walked by them, to say hello to that random stranger in the elevator, to not walk around with my head down and to ask coworkers questions just to make conversation (anything involving weekend plans, i.e .“how was your weekend?” on Monday and “any plans for the weekend?” on Friday is a good start). Everyone is more attracted to a person who has a smile and a friendly “hello” ready.
Listen, if you’ve never been extroverted and it feels completely unnatural to you to chat up strangers all the time, you may never be considered a social butterfly… but you don’t need to be! Everyone is different. I still have my days where I revert to my more withdrawn self, but the important thing is that I put forth the effort to make little changes here and there. I’ve definitely made more friends and connections in the process, and people who’ve only known me for a year or two are always surprised when I tell them how painfully shy I used to be. It’s an ongoing work in progress, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
You get up in the morning and proceed to have an hour long prep session before you even start your day. You use enhancers, creams, and miracles on yourself before you feel ready to face the world. But what about when the day is over and you come home? Do you just crash? If your answer is yes then sister, we have a problem. We are all guilty of it; even me, I confess. But we can’t neglect ourselves at night and then look for a quick fix to combat our laziness (yes, I said laziness). I have learned that if I spend a little extra time simply practicing some self-love with my pre-bed beauty regimen, then I really have little need for extra products. Here are a few beauty tips for right before bed; I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 1: Always wash up.
I’m guilty of skipping this step -- and I’ve got to stop! Sweat, dirt, makeup, the day’s grime … all of that sits on our face at night, clogging our pores and aging our skin. So use a gentle facial cleanser and lukewarm water before going to bed, and follow up with a mild toner. And the last and most important step, don’t forget to moisturize your body and skin before bed. (I will too. Pinky promise.)
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 2: Never sleep with your hair in a ponytail.
No matter how exhausted you are, it’s important not to leave your hair elastics in, because they can cause breakage. If you want to avoid morning tangles, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. It’s easier on both your hair and your face.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 3: Brush and floss every night.
If you skip the dental care at night, you’re not just in for a huge lecture at your next dental cleaning; you might actually be making yourself look older too. Brushing removes stains between and around your teeth, and for healthy gums you’ve got to floss too. Poor gum care can cause your gums to recede, making your teeth look longer -- and you older!
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 4: Let your feet breathe.
Keeping your feet in socks may keep them feeling toasty, but it also creates a moist environment where foot fungus can breed. Yikes!
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 5: Keep a glass of water by your bedside. Not only will this help if you wake up in the middle of the night dying of thirst, but also you are supposed to have a glass of water pre-breakfast to dull hunger and rehydrate. Remember, glowing skin comes from water.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 6: Don’t eat right before bed.
It is so important to eat within a reasonable time of your bedtime. When you eat right before bed, you don’t have a chance to burn off the calories. Certain foods and eating too much right before bed can lead to a restless night of sleep.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 7: Get your beauty sleep.
I know you really want to stay up late to watch your favorite show, talk on the phone, or peruse the internet, but beauty sleep is no myth. Your skin needs time to heal and restore. Plus, who wants under eye bags?
I hope you use these tips to re-energize your bedtime regimen. Instead of just crashing and waking up looking like a wreck, put in a little extra effort at the end of the day and stay looking young and healthy. Sweet dreams!
I’ve always lived my life on the run. As a former collegiate athlete, I would run from class to class and then to practice and back. Everything was go, go, go. When I finished school, I still hustled, but I noticed the people around me were so busy working and networking that they didn’t take time for themselves. After starting full-time work, many of them gained upwards of 20 pounds, felt sluggish or were faced with health concerns they never expected.
Some things in college tend to stay with you. For me, maintaining a balance between staying busy and staying fit has remained a priority. Others may struggle to find time to workout between an 11-hour workday, lunches, drinks and endless networking functions. Despite these constraints, there is a way to set and achieve manageable health and fitness goals. And, even if you don’t think finding time is necessary right now, consider this upstream prevention. You’re far less likely to face health concerns, like Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, if you take small steps now.
Here are a few suggestions to consider when setting and following through with your health and fitness goals.
It’s great to have lofty goals (i.e., losing 20 pounds, finishing a triathlon etc.). But sometimes these goals are too far off and can become overwhelming. Create benchmarks for yourself. If you note your progress along the way, it will make your end goal seem more achievable. The concept of dropping two sizes won’t feel so overwhelming and you can bask in the success of your positive day-to-day decisions. Plus, you’ll be more aware of what is and isn’t working in your routine. This will allow you to make changes.
Remember the ‘Why’
Make sure that you’re invested in your goals; you’ve created them for a reason. Maybe you wanted to lose weight, train for a half marathon or simply lead a healthier lifestyle. There’s an emotional weight behind accomplishing each of those tasks. No one wants to run a half marathon just to do it; they’re proving something about their physical and emotional capacity. Remembering why you picked this goal will help when your “self-motivation” starts to wane - that moment when don’t know why you’re waking up at 5 a.m. or why you’re passing on that slice of strawberry cheesecake. Having a goal that you’re connected to will help you answer the why. And, before long, your choices will become habit.
I work out 6 days a week. Some of my friends claim that they can’t find the time. Curiously, they find time to watch The Good Wife or Game of Thrones. Let’s be honest, we make time for what we want to make time for. When it comes to creating health/fitness goals, time management is a must. I find time to watch my favorite shows but I’m never just watching TV. While I watch, I’m doing abs, push-ups or an interval workout on the treadmill. No one says that you have to workout for 4 hours every day. If you take a serious look at how you spend your time and what those activities add to the essentials in your life, I promise you’ll find time for your health.
Birds of a Feather…
Flock together, yes. Look, it’s much easier to maintain goals if you are surrounded by people with the same values. I’m not saying to totally switch out your friends, but I am saying that it could be helpful to join a gym, a recreational league or bribe a friend to join you on your health quest. Your support system will help you stay accountable. If you’re already having a hard time staying motivated, there’s nothing worse than being surrounded by people who encourage you to veer off track. The little devil on your shoulder will give you plenty of reasons ‘why not’ to work out or skip McDonalds.
Don’t forget who you’re kickboxing or cutting back on milkshakes for. It’s YOU. You are the most important element in setting your fitness goals. Don’t set goals or hold back pursuing this change based on what others think, want or need. Invest in yourself! YOU are important, YOUR health is important and YOU are in control of your body.
Good health is essential to a happy life. If you want to increase your chances at functioning longevity, you’ll need to make your health a priority. This means eating healthy and staying active despite the pressures and time constraints of life. You can do it! Step by step you will reach your goals.
With neon as the hottest trend for the Spring/Summer 2012 season, fashion these days has become blindingly bright. This look from the 80’s has been revitalized in 2012. While everyone has taken on this look--on television, at fashion week, celebrities and maybe even on the office fashionista—it’s not always the easiest to rock. What goes with neon purple?? No need to worry, here are a few ideas to have you looking fabulous in neon...without looking like a box of crayons.
The easiest way to wear neon is to add a bright accent piece to your outfit. Try adding a neon belt, bag, shoes or jewelry to spruce up your look. When adding neon accents, your outfit should stay pretty neutral in color to allow the eye-catching color to take center stage. Adding a pop of neon to a simple silhouette can take you from average to over the top, effortlessly.
Mix and Match
If you’re not a fashion risk-taker and don’t feel comfortable wearing an outfit of head-to-toe neon, pick top or bottom. You can wear a pair of neon jeans with a neutral top or rock a classic blazer in bold neon to add some pizazz to your look. With only one key piece in your outfit being bold, it will stand out in a good way.
Going All In!
If you’re a fashionista that likes to take risks, try wearing a neon top and bottom. You can wear neon in a solid color as a dress or jumper, or you can try color blocking. Keep your silhouette and pieces simple because you are wearing all neon--you don’t want to overdo it with over thetop pieces. The important thing to remember when wearing a full neon outfit is that you need to add neutral pieces to tone down your bright look. Try adding neutral, classic pieces for your jewelry and bag with natural makeup and nails to finish your look.
Color Overload: Oh, No!
Bold neon colors were hot in the 80’s but you don’t want to look you stepped back in time. Remember: don’t overdo it with clashing neon from head to toe. Avoid looking like a fashion disaster by add a few more muted pieces to your look to balance out the vibrant neon colors. Here are some examples of when neon goes wrong:
When wearing neon, don’t be afraid to play with different looks and styles. For example, you can be masculine, casual or ultra-feminine. Remember when wearing neon is it very easy to look shall we say...cray, so moderation and balance are key elements when trying out this trend.
Even professional writers occasionally struggle with writing press releases. That’s because they’re not like anything else we write. A press release may seem similar to a blog article, but it’s really in a category of its own. It has its own set of rules. Don’t get discouraged if you’re tasked with writing one, though. These 10 guidelines should get you started, and everything beyond that just comes with practice.
Press releases are typically a tool to send to media professionals to generate publicity.
If you’re still struggling, a good place to start is to browse some examples on PRWeb. You’ll quickly realize getting the word out is not as complicated as it seems. Good luck!
So you just graduated! Yay! You have your cap and gown...and a mountain of student loan debt!! Wait. OK, so there is more to this whole graduating thing than you expected. But you can simplify your loans and pay them off more rapidly. Here’s how:
When dealing with debt, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about your options. Do your research and then work on paying your student loans down step by step. Soon you’ll be able to pay them off and focus on the bright future ahead of you.
Brittney Castro is not affiliated with MadeWomenMag.com. Brittney A. Castro is a registered representative with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. California Insurance License #0F33895. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.