It may be time to try that group fitness class you’ve been considering. With no workout to plan, you won’t have a chance to talk yourself out of sweating. Plus, the social aspect of group exercise gives you the added accountability of your instructor and peers--again, so you don't skip your workout. And, by incorporating various class formats into your weekly fitness routine, you keep yourself cross-training (the term used for incorporating different modes of exercise in your weekly workout routine).
When you check out the local fitness center’s schedule of group classes, however, it sometimes looks like a Rosetta Stone lesson: Barre, CrossFit, Tabata, Indo-Row, HIIT, Yogilates, Zumba… Sometimes, instructors make up the names of classes using a hybrid of various foreign languages, but I’ll decipher some of the descriptions for you, and throw in a few tips:
Still confused? Here’s some advice to remember when trying out fitness classes that are new to you: 1. Read the class description to make sure it's an appropriate level and activity for you; 2. If my glossary and the class description fail to shed light on what the class is all about, call the facility and see if the group exercise director is available to answer your questions; and, 3. Go to the first class a few minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and let her/him know that you're new to class, so she can provide any necessary modifications. This will ensure that your first experience in that class is positive, and you can develop a relationship of accountability with the instructor.
Now that you know how to translate fitness class descriptions and pick your classes, try a variety of them. That’s how you’ll keep your mind and body stimulated to prevent hitting a plateau and to continue on your path to optimal fitness.
Give me a “Hell yeah!” if:
- you want to have a drama free relationship.
- you want to euthanize insecurity.
- you want to end the dating exasperation you have experienced up until now.
Good. We agree.
Let’s start with a heart-centered strategy.
Because you are SO ready to have what you want.
The strategy begins with exposing some of the relationship falsehoods we’ve been fed by society. Somewhere along the way you have been misled about what it takes to create a legendary duo. And when you’re operating with faulty facts, it’s nearly impossible to manifest the results you want.
But no more.
Let’s clear up a few of those falsehoods, douse you with raw reality (ouch), point you in the right direction for romance + set you on your smoldering, love-making way.
Juicy, right? I guarantee that by following these two essential tips, you will extinguish 98% of your frustrations in relationships and pave the way to experiencing the kind of mutually rewarding + loving partnerships you not only crave, but deserve.
How’s that for a proposal?
I love going big.
Truth 1: Men Are “As-Is” Merchandise
Have you ever found yourself on a first or 22nd date thinking he’d be perfect if only he lost a few pounds, put on a few pounds, had hair, had a more impressive career, was wealthier, more affectionate, younger, older blahblahblah?
FACT: Men don’t want to be changed or improved.
But we L-O-V-E to tweak ‘em don’t we? The truth is, if you’re a woman and have ever dated anyone, you have probably wanted to change him. What if I told you that this behavior may be one of the reasons you’re single or unhappy in your current relationship?
Let’s meditate on this.
Men want to be appreciated for who they already are and you have got to give up trying to change his original packaging. One of the biggest mistakes women make is trying to improve a man into something he’s not.How would you feel if the man you were with was constantly trying change or “tweak” you? What if he suggested you lose a little weight, earn more money, dress sexier and learn how to cook? Would you feel attracted to him?
Imagine it’s date number one. Assess how attracted you are to him, understand what he can provide in a relationship and then decide whether or not you are interested in him. You must look at WHAT IS and decide if he is a good fit for you RIGHT NOW.
If a “yes” bubbles up, then keep enjoying his company. But if a laundry list of “tweaks” begin to stream through your dolled up, date-ready self? Let. Him. Go.
So if you’re not happy about some aspect of the man you’re dating, you have two choices.This is not to say if your honey of two years has suddenly packed on 35 pounds you should just accept it. Communication is critical in any healthy relationship. However, there’s an immense difference between communicating about what works for you and what doesn’t, and trying to improve someone.
1. To communicate clearly (and with compassion) what is concerning you + then wait for his response. It’s possible that you’ll be in agreement! At which point you can discuss possible resolutions + work together as a team. However, if not...
2. Keep it moving, sister. If you feel very strongly about your concerns and it’s going to burn a hole in your stomach + he doesn’t want to comply – you’ve gotta move on. He is just not the one for you.
Ultimately, your job is to simply be there and speak your truth about what is working and what isn’t. If he wants to adjust anything, he’ll need to pull up the strength within himself to do so.
If your priorities are misaligned, be courageous enough to move on. It’s ultimately selfish to stay in something that isn’t fulfilling. You both deserve to be with someone who celebrates you just the way you are.
Truth 2: A Relationship Will Not Save You
A man will not save you. Filling the void in your heart cannot be accomplished just by having a man.
You must be the administer of your own rescue.
You’re worth it.
Operating from the mindset that a relationship will save you, complete you or usher in the success you have been yearning is a guaranteed way to remain both single + unhappy.
I, myself, have made the mistake of believing that I needed a man in order to feel whole + emotionally and/or financially secure. In a way, it is woven into our genetics. Our DNA has a sharp memory + for longer than not, women have needed men for survival.
But! We’re living in a time when women have the choice of being with a man because we LIKE him – not because we need someone to pay the rent. However, our cultural morals haven’t necessarily caught up to reality and women are conditioned to believe we’re somehow incomplete without a committed relationship.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you’re looking for a sustainable sense of security and wholeness it cannot be found in any outside resource. A relationship will not rid you of the feelings of loneliness, fear or insecurity that are inherent in the human condition. There is no man, no job, no home or amount of wealth that can ever generate an ongoing, uninterrupted sense of fulfillment in you. You are already SAFE.
FACT: Holding back in your life is what’s keeping him away.
Stop waiting for Prince Charming to come along and make it all better.
Stop putting off your dreams.
Stop delaying taking action on the things you know you want most for yourself.
Invest, now, in your career.
Invest, now, in your education.
Invest, now, in your finances + health.
When you invest in yourself first and stop holding back all the neediness that drives men bonkers, it will evaporate because you have made the executive choice to stop using a relationship to fix yourself.
Instead of secretly waiting for things to get better once you meet “the one,” you begin living your life with authenticity + spunk. Understanding and acting on this knowledge will instantly make you more relaxed, sexy, and genuine to men.
Now. Go get him + keep him, honey!
The first day of work is like the first day of school. Both usually involve new clothes and lots of nerves. Take it from someone who just landed a new job a year after hardcore searching, first impressions mean everything. I worked my ass off to hunt for jobs, prepare a cover letter, research the company and complete a few interviews. After lots of intense waiting, one company made me an offer that was oh-so-sweet. I couldn’t refuse, and my first day was quickly upon me. Here are my tips for getting through the big first day with grace and a bit of style:
Early Bird Catches The Boss’ Eye
When my big day came, I woke up bright and early at 6:00 a.m, well-rested from my week-and-a-half break between jobs. On your first day it is more important than ever to get enough sleep and show up on time. Especially if you are driving somewhere new or through traffic, make sure you leave enough cushion to arrive a few minutes early and show up looking perky.
Dress for Success
On my first day I spent a little extra time on clothes and makeup. I even made sure I got a haircut. I skipped buying new business formal clothes as my new employer had a more casual dress code. Despite this, I wanted to look professional on my first day. I needed to prove to these people that they hired the right woman for the job.
Make sure you know the dress code of your new place of employment and plan ahead the day before. Once at work, take notice of what everyone else is wearing to get ideas of what is acceptable for future outfit planning and buying. Although my company does allow us to wear jeans every day if we so desire, I noticed that those higher up in the business dress formally. And you should always dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
The first day is often filled with information, orientation and tours. I am glad I chose the basic heels to wear, as some of my 3-4 inch high wedges wouldn’t have cut it with all the walking. When selecting a bag, you might want to consider a large tote for carting around all your first day items.
Brown Bag or Box It
There are a few essentials you should arm yourself with on the first day. If you don’t have time or are too nervous for a first day breakfast, you can always bring a smoothie to drink on the road or pack a protein bar in your purse. I made sure to bring a Skinny Water with me because I didn’t eat breakfast, and didn’t want my stomach grumbling while meeting people.
Luckily, my boss not only graciously offered to take me to lunch on the first day, but she also showed me around town. I used this rare one-on-one time with her to try and get to know her better. When your boss asks you about your old job, remember to take the high road in answering those questions. As much as I would have loved to share all the horror stories about my previous boss and co-workers over rounds of chips and salsa, I didn’t want to give off the wrong impression. I’m not a complainer. I’m not a gossip. And lunch is only an hour long. Answer as diplomatically as you can and save those stories for later. Like maybe the Christmas party … in three years.
Setting Up Shop
It’s always a happy surprise to see your name already on your cubicle/desk area (bonus points if it’s spelled correctly, too.) If you don’t know the size of your desk area in advance, I would recommend leaving the box of decor and office supplies in your trunk. You don’t want to be lugging a large box around while looking for your cubicle and have it mess up that outfit you worked so hard to iron out.
I don’t think anyone remembers the names of everyone they meet on a first day. Especially in a big company. It is really important to try and nail down your teammates, supervisors, and cubicle mates names first. Try and look at the details of people’s outfits, hair, or offices when meeting them to help them stand out in your mind. And always remember your H.R. person’s name and location. They will be your biggest ally in getting settled in. Give a firm handshake and try to ask questions that will help you make a connection. A smile and eye contact go a long way. You needn’t bombard your boss with questions either. Asking your coworkers questions too will not only help you figure things out, but it will help you break the ice with them as well.
It is a brave endeavor to start the job cycle all over again. Giving up your place high on the totem pole and no longer having a list of trusty contacts who can help at a moment’s need can be scary. Back at my desk all that awaited me was a computer screen with no saved mail folder keeping all the good work related jokes; no familiar screen saver. For a second I missed the familiar comforts of my old office. But then I realized that this was the blank canvas I had been dreaming of for a year. Try not to dwell on the comforts you left behind at your former job. Look forward with enthusiasm at what is waiting for you.
You may think you need gym equipment to help you get in your best shape. Think again... Things that you have around your home can make some unlikely devices that double as fitness equipment. You’re not alone if you have an aversion to gyms. Some people prefer working out alone, outdoors, or (let’s say it…) for free. Some social circles may not accept you if you don’t have the local gym’s membership card attached to your keys, but there are other ways to incorporate exercise into your weekly routine:
Want legs that stay firm and look good without the aid of jeggings? A heavy and solid (read: unbreakable) wooden coffee table or ottoman can help. Put some felt pads under the table legs. Lie on the floor with feet against the top edge of the table and press away. Be sure small pets and children are not within squishing distance.
Don’t want to use the table? That’s OK. This exercise will work those same leg muscles, and some others (abs, lower back, and butt). Stand with your back against a sturdy wall and walk your feet forward about 2-3 feet (depending on your height). Start sitting down as if you had a chair underneath you, and slide your back down the wall. Hold for as long as you can, in the position where you feel challenged—progress to the point where your hips and knees form 90 degree angles. (Tip: make sure your feet are right under your knees at the lowest point of your squat.)
Use a sturdy chair or table (again, one that is unbreakable) that can’t slide away to do this exercise. Lie down on your back with your feet and ankles resting on the table or chair top, with your knees slightly bent. Squeeze your butt cheeks together, flatten your lower back (imagine tucking your tail between your legs and point your tailbone toward the ceiling), and press your hips up toward the ceiling. Slowly lower and repeat. This will firm the back of your legs (including your bum), abs, and lower back.
Want firmer arms? Lots of women are mavens of multi-tasking, so while you are waiting for your soup to simmer, rock some push-ups against that counter. Safety tip: stay a safe distance away from pot handles, hot stove surfaces, and open flames. You can also try some single arm push-ups against the bathroom counter while brushing your hair.
Most of us have running water at home, or gallon containers of liquid in the fridge or cupboard. If you lift them enough times, they’ll feel pretty damn heavy. Grab that heavy container, or fill a bucket with water (don’t waste it; water the plants with it after you’re done), or bags of sugar and/or flour, potatoes, or anything weighty. Then, lift, arm curl, or carry around the weight while you go up stairs or lunge across a room. Doing so will tone your shoulders, core, and your limbs as well.
This exercise will help strengthen all of the muscles in your mid-section. Hold push-up position (butt in the air is not a modification...it’s not the precise way to do it—not even close—just wrong) with your tailbone tucked under, stomach held in tight, and shoulders drawn back. If your shoulders, hips, knees, and toes form a straight line, you are doing it right. To modify this exercise, keep your knees on the floor.
These are just a few exercises that you can do at home, besides the old standbys—jump rope and stairs. Skip the gym and get your workout on at home. Be safe, and be creative. You may notice your clothes will fit better, and you will have some money to spare.
Whether it’s a girls’ get together, a poolside soiree, or a group of close friends coming over for game night, most of us find ourselves racking our brains for the perfect party appetizers when it’s our turn to host. And while most of us love to impress, we don’t want to spend hours agonizing over food preparation. I’ve come to rely on a few easy snack staples that always seem to please a crowd and allow me to have some fun, too.
Crostini – I love crostini because it is so simple: Just slice up and lightly toast a baguette, then top each piece with almost anything you can imagine. Try any of these combos:
The options can go on and on. Remember this go-to party snack the next time your girlfriends pick your place for wine night.
Cheese board – This is my favorite party platter because it doesn’t require cooking and most people like to sample different cheeses. Pick at least 3 or 4 good cheeses, and go with a variety. The cheese counter at your local grocer may have some suggestions, but typically it’s best to go with a mix of hard (like cheddar or asiago) and soft cheeses (like brie or bleu). Pair with some dried cranberries or apricots and fresh grapes, along with almonds or crackers for some crunch.
“Sausage en croute” – My husband had one simple request at our wedding: Pigs in a blanket. To class it up, the caterer called it “sausage en croute.” Grab a pack of Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies and a pack of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Cut the crescent roll in half, roll the sausage into it and bake according to Pillsbury package instructions. Serve with a tasty arrangement of dipping sauces, such as spicy mustard or chipotle ketchup. It may not be the healthiest or fanciest snack ever, but it will certainly win over the crowd!
Frozen Baby Quiche – I am not a huge fan of frozen foods, but it’s nice to have small bites on hand that don’t have to be made from scratch. I know quite a few ladies who throw a package of frozen baby quiche into the oven and serve them to guests, and they get snatched right up. Try a few brands, pick your favorite, and be sure to always have your freezer stocked. Easy!
Roasted chickpeas – Have you ever tried this!? If not, just trust me.
Roasted chickpeas are a unique, easy munchie for a party, and bonus -- they are a relatively healthy option. Toss a can of chickpeas in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Then roast at about 425 degrees (adjust according to how hot your oven runs) until crispy -- usually around 30 minutes. The result? A savory bite -- a bit crispy and a bit creamy -- that packs a flavorful, satisfying punch. People don’t expect this snack, but they usually love it, so go with this if you’re looking for a twist on classic party snacks.
Pulling together food for a party doesn’t have to cut into half your paycheck or cause a day’s worth of stress. Just select a few easy appetizers that will look good, taste great and appeal to your guests. The easier the food, the more fun you will have as a host. Isn’t that the point of a party, anyway?
Thirty. The big 3-0. Dirty 30. What exactly is it about this number that makes it synonymous the word “married” when mentioned in relation to a woman’s age? Who decided that the minute a girl is no longer a twenty-something, she must be, better be, should be married? It’s as if a secret memo was sent out to everyone in America stating:
Since most women are no longer getting married in their early 20’s, we’ve decided to increase the female marriage ceiling to age 30. Please make this information known throughout the land—from advertisements and word-of-mouth marketing to incessant Facebook posts from happy newlyweds—we need all ladies under 30 to be aware of this expectation so they can find Mr. Right prior to leaving their 20’s. So, if you happen to know a girl who is 27-29 years old, do pressure them to think about getting hitched for life ASAP.
The Powers that Be (Creators of social norms and customs that are rarely updated to reflect changes and growth within society. While some of these “rules” might not feel right or make sense, just go with the flow until otherwise notified.)
I live in LA, a city where both men and woman tend to marry a bit later in life, and yet I still spent the last years of my 20‘s feeling that somehow, I’d messed up. I had followed the wrong trail and thus, my “important-life-moments” timeline was off. It began slowly at first, when I was 27 ... an engagement post on Facebook, an invite to a wedding—it was happening. People I knew were beginning the next stage of life and saying “I do.”
For a minute, I too was part of the engaged-before-30-crowd. Nearing 28, I pushed the issue of marriage with my then-boyfriend of two years and he gave in, asked my parents for my hand and ... we waited. A year later when no date had been set and more importantly, I’d realized he was not my Mr. Forever, we broke up. Now, at 31, I look back and realize that while I was heartbroken, I was equally distraught thinking that I had just lost my chance to get married before I was 30.
But my 31-year-old self, still unmarried, knows something that my 27-year-old self did not. I am worth waiting for. My genuine happiness is worth waiting for. As fabulous MADE women, we deserve to get married when, and only when, we find the man who makes us glow from the inside and fits the detailed description of what we want in a life partner ... and then some. I’ve seen too many friends settle for Mr. Right-Before-30 and frankly, they are either not that happy, or worse—divorced.
Today, I believe I have found my Mr. Forever. We’ve been together for three years and because I am over 30 the pressure to get married is SUPER intense—my parents, my friends, my Facebook page now booming with babies and the little voice in my head asking, “When will it be my turn?” And let’s face it ladies—if we want to have babies, there is a real timeline—but, that should not change the fact that your dream life will never become your real life if you settle. So to the twenty-somethings who are panicking because there is no ring on the horizon and to the thirty-somethings who have yet to walk down the aisle, remember this:
1. MARRY BECAUSE YOU BOTH WANT TO - not because you’re about to be 30 and you force an ultimatum. Come on. We’ve all been there, girls! A nudge is fine, a subtle hint, sure. BUT DON’T BE THAT GIRL. If he doesn’t want to marry you, you DESERVE TO FIND A MAN WHO DOES.
2. MARRY WHEN YOU FIND MR. FOREVER - not because you’re turning 30 next year.
3. NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS THAN YOU WANT - in love, in work, in health, in life.
When you finally say “I do,” if you ever do, there is a good chance that you’ll only say it once. And you’ll be saying it to the right person, not just the person you found right before you turned 30.
If you’ve decided to try your hand at running a start-up, you’re brave. It takes a lot of guts to make a go of it on your own. But you’re not alone. Over seven million people make the leap and start their own business each year. That’s a lot of new businesses!
One of the fastest growing sectors of new companies are tech start-ups, where we’re seeing more and more women in charge. While the numbers right now aren‘t great – currently fewer than five percent of tech start-ups are run by women – that number is climbing rapidly.
If you’re a woman thinking of becoming one of these pioneering tech bosses, kudos to you! But that doesn’t mean you can go out there without knowing what needs to be done. Once you decide to get into entrepreneurship, you need to assemble a Start-Up Checklist.
It’s every minor thing a woman must do if she is thinking of starting her own company. It’s easy to remember the Big Stuff: get an idea, get an office, get a loan. (Well, maybe not so easy. )
But what about the intangibles that aren’t required by law? Those are the ones that entrepreneurs sadly overlook quite often. And it’s easy to do because you don’t often read about them.
Unless they’re on your checklist!
So what are these things that need to go on this list?
One of the most important decisions an entity can make is deciding how their company will be structured. Will you be an LLC? A corporation? Perhaps a partnership? Whichever one you pick, it will have serious consequences, both for how your business runs and how it is taxed.
Once it’s decided, then you need to draw up your governing document. For an LLC, this is called an OA. For a corporation, it’s called your bylaws. They’re essentially the laws of your company. And they are a necessity if you want to protect yourself.
Picking the best structure for your needs can be the difference between glory and ignominy. Once you organize, you need to get everything down in writing. Especially from your employees.
A non-disclosure agreement, colloquially known as an NDA, is possibly the most overlooked document that every start-up needs and so few have. It can save your company from losing what is often its most important aspects: that is, its ideas.
An NDA assures that employees can’t spill the beans concerning trade secrets and other sensitive information. But more than just making sure everyone keeps their trap shut, NDAs ensure that in the event that your intellectual property does get out there, you can be compensated for the damages. Otherwise, you might be left with a super unique, money making idea that everyone else has now too.
Employee handbooks don’t just tell employees what the policy is for replacing the yogurt in the company fridge. Employee handbooks act as a way of ensuring there is zero confusion over what employees are allowed to do and what they are not. It clears the air concerning the rules and regulations in the business. And this can be invaluable if an employee ever sues you.
The shift to using independent contractors is a trend that’s been sweeping the tech world for some time now. But the line between an employee and an independent contractor is often a thin one indeed. It’s not uncommon for workers classified as independent contractors to sue for the rights normally given to employees. If you haven’t had a worker sign something detailing what the arrangement is, you could be on the hook for providing all the perks to a contractor that an employee gets.
If you haven’t noticed, a lot of these tasks are in place to protect an entrepreneur from going into the courtroom. It’s because that’s the one thing start-ups never dream could happen but often does: legal trouble. Protecting yourself starts with getting it in writing. Of course there are a million things that a new entrepreneur needs to do before they reach success. But this checklist should help you have a smoother ride on the way there.
It may be fun to get those bottles popping right before a party – but have your friends been telling you that you might be overdoing it?
Alcohol addiction is a very serious and common condition that affects more people than one would imagine. Some people drink to ease themselves into social situations, but oftentimes they may not recognize that this consistent trend can make them alcohol-dependent, causing them to drink whenever they go through problems, big or small. What is even scarier is that many people do not realize they have a problem until it is too late. So, here are seven telltale signs that will help you recognize if you or your friend is falling into alcoholism:
1. You drink when you first wake up. When the first thought is on alcohol that means it has already consumed your body and mind, which leads into the next sign…
2. Your body has developed a physical dependency on the alcohol so much that your body cannot function without it. You have consumed so much liquor that now it is functioning as a part of your body.
3. You feel guilty after you drink. If you are always regretting something you have done while you’re drinking (fighting, cursing, yelling, etc.)
4. You feel so uncomfortable in social situations you feel you need to drink in order to “loosen up.” Your personality has adapted and you feel drinking makes you better.
5. You drink alone. You can feel comfortable by yourself thinking and drinking away your problems.
6. Your drinking is messing up relationships with friends and/or family. You have displayed so much destructive behavior that now it is starting to affect the people closest to you.
7. You are reading this trying to figure out if you have a drinking problem. If you have to question being an alcoholic or even think that you have a problem, you probably do. Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
If you do have a drinking problem, it is not the end of the world. There are so many ways to get help overcoming your problem and with the help of friends and family, the journey could be a lot less rocky. You should talk it over with your family or someone you trust so that it will be an open issue and they can help you and hold you accountable too. You are going to need the support.
If things are really serious, consider attending your local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Another option would be to go to a rehabilitation center. Many of them help you alter your emotional habits and relationship towards drinking, which can help you rebuild your life. You may think that drinking is okay, but it can lead to worse problems like substance abuse, which often triggers a mental health issue. Don’t be afraid to identify your struggles or to reach out to a friend. With the right help and support, you can overcome it.
One of the biggest compliments a woman can ever receive is being asked to be someone’s maid of honor. It means that you are the one they trust to make sure their wedding day is the happiest day of their lives. It means that (minus the groom of course!) you are the one they want standing beside them during all of the festivities. It also may mean that you will need to roll up your sleeves and help out your best friend for the next few months. I recently had the pleasure of being my sister’s maid of honor and a couple months later she was mine. Here are some of the things we feel makes a “MOH” truly exceptional.
Weddings don’t magically come together. It takes a lot of time, money and DIY projects to get everything how the bride envisions it. As a maid of honor you should be the one offering to help to get things done. Trust me, helping out with the 500 paper cranes needed for wedding favors will take a load off of a busy bride and make her feel like she doesn’t have to do everything alone.
Bridesmaids dresses can be good, bad or just plain ugly. I have never met a bridesmaid who absolutely loved her dress. I have heard numerous stories about people throwing fits because they hated the color or fit. It’s fine to voice your opinion but it’s really not up to anyone besides the bride and groom what the bridal party wears. As maid of honor its your job to encourage an accepting attitude among the rest of the wedding party. When it’s your turn you can make everyone wear lime green taffeta. It’s only right.
Bachelorette parties don’t have to equate to a Vegas trips. You are the one who knows the bride the best so you should know how this party should be thrown. If the bride is more conservative, a stripper and jello shots probably won’t be her idea of fun. It’s up to you to plan a night that’s all about her and get everyone involved. Ask for a list of her friends and their contact info and plan something special!
In a perfect wedding the bride should never know if something is going wrong. This means no vendor should talk to the bride or groom on their wedding day. If questions need to be asked or checks handed out it’s up to you to take care of it. Make sure all the vendors have your phone number so they can call you with any problems. It’s also helpful for a MOH to call these people a week before the wedding to confirm all plans. It may be a lot of work but your best friend/blushing bride will thank you.
A bride looks forward to hearing the toasts at her wedding. It’s a time for her to hear the people she loves wish her well as she starts her new life and family. Please don’t get on the mic and bring up embarrassing stories. Make it something for her to remember. Something that shows thought and adds personal touches is a given tearjerker. She will always remember what you said and how you made her feel, make sure you put in the effort!
A couple of weeks ago during California’s cold snap, I was looking for a lunch recipe for the week. The winter temperatures had me craving something warm and filling. I like to make a large batch of something healthy yet tasty and bring it to work with me – it makes it easier to have a week’s worth of lunch ready instead of throwing it together every morning when I am inevitably running 15 minutes late. I love chili, but I didn’t think meat would store well for more than a couple of days, so I decided to make a vegetarian version of my own chili recipe. Enjoy!
1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney or pinto beans (your choice), drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
¾ cup vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth if you don’t have the veggie on hand)
1 tsp. cider vinegar
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Be sure to lower the heat if the onions are browning – they should just soften. Add garlic, stir for one minute. Add bell pepper and squash to the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
Once veggies are cooked, add chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic salt and pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly,then add both cans of beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, cider vinegar and Worcestershire. Stir well. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes (I let mine simmer for about 40 to bring out the flavor). Adjust seasonings to taste.
This is a pretty quick way to make a healthy chili, and it will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Feel free to play with the recipe – add mushrooms or carrots or another favorite veggie, add or substitute the spices according to what you like, and swap your favorite can of beans.
Bring along a whole wheat roll or some corn tortilla chips to help fill you up. If you like chili you are sure to enjoy this recipe – coworkers were telling me all week how good it looked and smelled!