Dating // August 18, 2014

Ahhh, the one night stand. Whether they admit it or not, many people have had this casual sexual experience at least once, and usually during their 20’s. However common an occurrence in pop culture they may be, not everyone is sold on the one night stand (O.N.S) experience. Some view them as the greatest “after the party it’s the after party” night cap; in a glass half full kinda way. Others see them as the most embarrassing thing they’ve ever done after leaving the club; in a glass half empty kinda way. However you choose to look at your glass, there’s one undeniable fact: somebody quenched their thirst and got some.

One of the reasons why one night stands have become so prevalent is because the modern dating scene has become a little complicated. For some, dating has become something like the job interview process where, if you’re lucky, by the final stage of questioning you get laid. People don’t really have patience for the run around routine of dating anymore. The beauty of a one night stand is that it isn’t about checking your relationship resume. They don’t require confessing the background story on your last boyfriend or three dinner dates before you…. can show you’re qualified. The prerequisites for a one night stand are easy: as long as you have the complementary parts to get the job done, you’re hired.

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One night stands may seem like “the norm”, but trust me, they aren’t for everyone. Some are just using sex as a Band-Aid to cover up pain from past relationships, or as a tool to manipulate and hurt other people. (Payback for an ex maybe?) But O.N.S. do happen. So, when you leave the club this weekend, before for you decide to subscribe to the mantra of “YOLO” and go home with that cutie you JUST met, here are some questions to ask yourself: 


1) Can you accept responsibility for what is about to happen?

They say the first step to addiction rehabilitation is admitting you have a problem and thus accepting responsibility for it. Well, the first question of a one night stand is similar to that in that you have have to go into that experience knowing and accepting that whatever sexual encounter that is about to happen, is happening because YOU want it to. Far too often people find themselves making excuses for why they had a O.N.S because they feel embarrassed that this type of behavior may be deemed socially unacceptable. Don’t feel like you have to find fault with deciding to spend the night with someone you met hours before. So you slept with the guy from the wedding reception. Hey, it happens. We aren’t judging. But if you know you are going to end up making excuses for it after the fact by saying you were “soooooooo drunk “and blaming it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, maybe the O.N.S. isn’t for you. Be a big girl and own your mistakes with the same fervor as you would own your triumphs. If you’re confident in your decisions, there’s no reason to be ashamed. And vice versa, if you aren’t confident then don’t do it!

2) Can you Get In, Get Off and Get Out?

When you choose to have a one night stand, there’s a 90% chance that you aren’t looking at the guy you’re going to marry (that remaining 10% only happens in movies that are rarely based on a true story). As a matter of fact, a O.N.S is probably the most non-committal thing you could ever do. One night stands are strictly about sex - not love, not relationships.  Don’t expect breakfast or for your night time fun to sprawl over into a day date or some whirlwind romance. He probably won’t call you the next day (even though he said he would) and you have to be OK with that. Typically women are emotional beings and we tend to attach ourselves to situations relatively easy. If you’re the type to ask “what are we” in a relationship, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT partake in one night stand activity unless you want your feelings hurt when he says, “we aren’t anything”.  This all goes back to the #1 rule of a one night stand. If you know your reasons for sleeping with someone and you’re legitimately OK with the consequences, you won’t be shocked by the big let down that he doesn’t want to take you home to meet his mother because you don’t want to meet her anyway.

3) A One Night Stand Does Not a Whore Make

OK, so this isn’t a question but from the beginning of time, society has always classified women in two categories: the good girl and the bad girl. You’re either a virgin or a harlot. Marilyn Monroe or a Jackie O. Beyonce or Rihanna. Apparently as a woman, you can either have no sexual desires outside of the satisfaction of your marriage or you’re some wild woman out here bedding everyone with a penis. Don’t feel like you’re some skank or sexual deviant because you chose casual sex over companionship. We see it all the time with society’s double standard when it comes to sex: A man can have a wife, girlfriend and a side-chick and be considered “the man”, but let a woman sleep with people she is casually dating and she’s a ho. It’s ridiculous. I’m not encouraging you to change the way society views sex by hooking up with everyone to make a point, but I am telling you not to feel bad for getting it in a time or two. As long as you are responsible in your bed buddy choices, feel free to sleep with whoever, whenever and however you want to. Although they’ll try, nobody can really tell you what you can and cannot do with your body. Begin to own your sexuality. It’s surprising how empowered you’ll feel once you start being OK with your sexual preferences and stop comparing them to other people’s.

4) What’s Really Going On? Get Introspective...

Although it would be nice to say that all one night stands happen because you just felt the urge to get laid, there is a chance that your promiscuity is coming from someplace deeper. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to get over someone is not to get under someone else. Sex doesn’t equal love the same way a one night stand doesn’t equal commitment. A one night stand may sound like a great resolution to cure a bad breakup, but in reality it’s only masking an insecurity or self esteem issues you may have. A O.N.S works best when it is happening with purpose. Are you considering a one night stand because you want to let loose for a night or are you trying to get back at an ex by sleeping with his coworker in hopes to make him jealous? Be honest with yourself. Sex is more than just a physical act, it also warrants an emotional connection. Listen to your intuition and make sure you’re sleeping with people for the right reasons.

5) Are You Being Safe?

This isn’t just a PSA about practicing safe sex and using condoms (which is mandatory for a O.N.S by the way), but this is also about protecting your physical and emotional safety as well. Don’t sleep with someone who disrespects you or who doesn’t take your sexual boundaries seriously. Be cautious of who you give your address to and invite into your home. ALWAYS tell someone you trust (a girlfriend, a neighbor, your mom, etc.) your whereabouts and give as much detail about your partner as possible via text. Check in with your confidant if you can, so they know you’re OK. This tip may take the fun out of a casual hookup, but a huge part of owning your decision to partake in a one night stand is being responsible and protecting yourself.

So how do you know if you are capable of pulling off a O.N.S? Well for starters, make sure you aren’t just a girl looking for love. Make sure you aren’t just bed hopping in the hopes that someone will validate your worth and find you pretty or smart or funny. Don’t just succumb to the peer pressures of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” and irresponsibly sleep with people to uphold some warped self image. One night stands are for the girls who know who they are and what they have to offer outside of the bedroom. They are for the women who can look at a one night stand for exactly what it is: one night of safe, no strings attached, see ya when I see ya sex. Make sure you know who you are, what you can handle and what you are getting yourself into before you attempt to execute a O.N.S. Because while you do only live once, you don’t want to live with regrets.


Published in Dating

Weddings // July 21, 2014

Two months ago, my husband I were married in a small ceremony with friends and family on a ranch by the Carson river in Nevada. It was a balmy day filled with love, laughter and mishaps. I got stranded in a strip mall less than an hour before the ceremony (long story), one of the groomsmen forgot to pick up his tux, and the officiant came down with the flu. Despite these things we had a lovely day, because my husband and I (and everyone helping us) were prepared for things to go wrong and so took things in stride when they did.

“Savor the moment.” That’s a great way to remind ourselves to take in every detail of a special moment, trip, or occasion and file it away in our memory for future enjoyment. But what about those details that you want to forget. That you have to forget, so that the story about your trip to Ecuador is “Remember that time we stood at the equator?” instead of “Remember that time we almost froze to death in the Andean Mountains?” It’s choosing, in the moment, to asses the situation, stay positive and plan to salvage the moment. Then you can have an experience that can be savored over and over again. My new husband and I have had enough whacky moments to get good at this. We’ve also learned some great lessons and established patterns for how to make the most of an unexpected trial. Here’s how we do it.

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Stay Positive and Invent a Motto

In fact, it was looking back on another near disaster in our recent past as a couple that encouraged us to keep positive on our wedding day. It was December, 2012 in Ecuador and we had had a series of unfortunate events: a harrowing bus ride through the Andean mountains; being left on the side of the road at 3:30 AM in the middle of said mountain range; crazy guide; faulty gear; altitude sickness... and the list goes on. We took lemons (scary mountain trip) and made lemonade (impromptu trip to El Mitad Del Mundo, or “Middle of the World,” in Quito). We decided to remain positive about all the mishaps and even gave them a cutesy name “Mitad Del Mundo,” a motto to remind us to laugh in the face of trials.

Assess the Damages

While my husband, Mathias, and I were prepared to be positive during our big day, we did not prepare for all that would go wrong with our honeymoon immediately after.

My husband planned a romantic beachside getaway for us in what was advertised as a “charming” and “quaint, historical” inn. After an eight hour drive (twice as long as we’d planned for thanks to faulty navigation system) we arrive to a quirky, small, old inn miles away from the shoreline of Daytona Beach Florida. Since it was the middle of the night, we ignored the fact that it didn’t look like the post card. The friendly staff escorted us to our room and I immediately went into my habit of inspecting our room for cleanliness and proper accommodations. To my horror, I found broken glass behind the curtains, dirty towels hung in the bathroom, filthy dishes under the bed and a bottle of lube spilling out of the night stand... This was definitely the honeymoon suite, and someone had a good time in it. When we informed the staff that our suite looked like a scene out of The Hangover, we were kindly escorted to a larger suite with an ocean view. The ocean view room came with friends: cockroaches, mosquitoes and termites (oh, my!). It was too late to go anywhere else, so we built a fortress on the bed and stood watch against creepy intruders until dawn.

Next, we assessed our losses. Romantic mood: dampened. One night’s pay at crappy inn: lost. Time: one day of our special getaway gone. We were outraged by our experience until we reminded ourselves that we’ve had worse vacation moments and started planning to make our honeymoon a trip worth remembering. In the end, we still had each other and that meant things weren’t as bad as they seemed.

Move to Plan B...or C

During our honeymoon experience, we kept positive and realized the situation could be salvaged. We didn’t want to spend the rest of our vacation at the infested inn, so we worked on plan B: Disneyworld! Until we realized that did not work for our budget or timeline… on to plan C! We quickly mapped a route to the nearest beach, Daytona, and planned to just enjoy the time with each other instead of trying to make the trip perfect. The result was, for us, near perfect. We spent one day sleeping in, eating pancakes and being beach bums. We learned to paddle board with a Hawaiian native who showed us how to go with the flow of the waves; and we enjoyed the local nature and vegan food scene. Finally, we laughed at how everything that could go wrong with our plans did. We had fun anyway.

As we age and start a family there are likely to be dozens of stories that start with “remember that time when...” We knew that this would be a story that we’d look back on and laugh at, but what turned our dud into delight was our determination to laugh now. Who cares that our bridal party wore mismatched outfits. Everyone was beautiful and I think that’s a trend now. Sure, it looked like the set of the Hangover in our honeymoon suite, but so what! At least somebody had a good time in that termite infested chateau that shall remain nameless. We managed to salvage the memories of our first landmark moments as a married couple: time spent with dearest love ones, priceless. Here’s hoping that there are many more to come.

Published in Weddings
Friday, 18 April 2014 22:27

Beauty | Easy DIY Spa Treatments

Beauty // May 5, 2014

Even though we know we need some “me time” to decompress and recharge, much like everything else in our lives, we just can’t find the time to do it all. We can’t schedule a massage at the spa - that would take an hour out of our day that we don’t have to spare. When it comes to getting our nails done, anything longer than an express manicure is out of the question. And have you seen how much a facial costs? Oh, hell no. There has to be a solution that allows us to revitalize ourselves while also accommodating our busy lifestyle (and our pockets).

Lucky for us, there’s something we can do to fix our problem - starting with forcing ourselves to make personal wellness a priority.  Just because we can’t make it to a luxury spa resort doesn’t mean we can’t pamper ourselves. DIY it and turn your place into a Burke Williams with simple ingredients from your kitchen and some fabulous at home spa treatments. Check ‘em out here:

Bubble Bath With Soothing Lavender Bath Salts

* 1 cup Epsom Salt

* 1 tbsp Baking Soda

* 3 drops of Essential Lavender Oil ( add more drops for a stronger scent)

What’s more “ahhhhhh” than a hot bubble bath? To create this bathtub oasis, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Once you’re ready to hop in the tub, scoop about a half a cup of bath salts into the water and enjoy feeling all your tension melt away.

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Avocado Face Mask for Oily Skin


* 1 small avocado, mashed

* ½ teaspoon lemon juice

* 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt

* 1 egg

Olé! The guacamole facial is perfect to boost your skin’s moisture. Combine all the ingredients together and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, smear a thin layer on your face carefully to avoid your eyes. Sit with the mask on your face for 10 - 15 min before rinsing off with lukewarm water.



Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub


* ½  cup brown sugar

* ¼ cup white sugar

* 3 tbsp vanilla extract

* ¼ cup almond oil

Get your glow on and exfoliate your skin with this yummy smelling body scrub. Mix everything together before lathering it on your skin in the shower to get rid of dead skin. Don’t be afraid to scrub hard and make sure you rinse well -  you don’t want any body parts stuck together!


Relaxing Rosemary Foot Soak


*  Rosemary

* 2 lemons

* ½ cup epsom salt

It’s important that we treat our feet! Show your tired soles some love by letting your feet soak for in this healing treatment. Boil a few branches of rosemary in water for five minutes. Find a separate container that you will use as your “foot bath” or purchase an inexpensive foot spa. Place the lemon slices, epsom salt and rosemary water in your foot bath (be careful!). Soak your feet for 15 minutes. Dry your feet a little bit and if you’d like to, attack those callused heels with a pumice stone. When you’re finished with your feet, lotion up with a creamy moisturizer (like a body butter) and slip into a pair of cotton socks to seal the deal. Hello, heaven!

What are some of your favorite “me time” rituals for a DIY at home spa treatment? Tell us in the comments below!


Published in Beauty
Monday, 09 September 2013 05:24

Lifestyle | Quick & Dirty Guide To Football

Lifestyle // September 9, 2013

It happens on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights all across America. A typical scene of men staring at the TV, and only coming up for air to grab another plate of hot wings or high-five someone. Expletives get thrown across the room about a bad call from the referee, while you sit quietly pretending you knew that when the the commentator mentioned the “tight end” he wasn’t talking about #54 in those cute little pants. I’ve been in this position before, but fear not, ladies, we don’t have to fake it anymore. For those of us who need a little help, here’s a basic course in football lingo and understanding the game, so maybe next time we can actually join the conversation.

First things first, we have to “tackle” exactly what football is.  The game is played on a 120-yard field divided into 10-yard increments: 100 yards of playing field, and ten yards for each end zone that the players cross into in order to score points.  Football is broken into two sides - offense and defense. OK, class dismissed...yea right, there's more.

How To Score

The way to get the most points at one time is to score a touchdown. Touchdowns are worth six points and happen when the offensive team runs the ball or catches a pass into the defensive team’s end zone. After a touchdown is scored, the team gets to choose if they want to attempt a short kick between two goal posts from the two-yard line for one point (this is called a PAT, or point after conversion) or line up at the two-yard line to run or catch the ball in the end zone, again for two points. This is called a two-point conversion. A team can also score three points by kicking a field goal. This is similar to a “PAT”, but it can be attempted from anywhere on the field. This option is often chosen when it is fourth down and scoring a touchdown is unlikely.

4th & 10, come again? What’s a “down”?

Simply put, a down is a play. The team with the ball has four chances to move the ball ten yards. Sounds easy, but apparently it’s SUPER hard. Each time an attempt to run the ball ends, it’s called a down.  If they get ten yards, they start over with a first down and get another four chances to move the ball another ten yards. Occasionally, you’ll hear phrases like “2nd and 8” or “3rd and 1”.  The first number symbolizes what down they’re on and the second number indicates the number of yards they have left to go. If the team doesn't move ten yards in four downs, the other team gets the ball. If it’s starting to look tricky on the 4th down, the team then decides to either kick a field goal (if they’re close enough) or punt the ball down the field (so it’s farther from their own end zone when the other team gets it).




The Players

Although it looks like a small village, there are only 11 guys from each team allowed on the field at a time. Here are some of them and what their position means:

Offensive Players:

Center: the guy literally in the center of the offensive line. He starts the play by “hiking” (that little squat thing where they pass the ball between their legs) to the quarterback. The passing of the ball is called a “hike” or a “snap”.
Quarterback: If nothing else, we know who this guy is. He’s the one who receives the ball from the Center. Once he has it, he decides if he wants to hand off the ball to a running back, run the ball himself, throw it to another player further down the field or pass it off to someone closer. He’s also the ringleader of the team – he interprets the coach’s plays and can even call “audibles”; a verbal on-field edit to one of the coach’s plays.
Offensive guard: The two guys on either side of the Center.
Offensive tackle: The two guys on either side of the Guards.
Tight end: Plays next to the tackle. (The guards, tackles and tight ends make up    the “Offensive Line.”) Depending on the play called, they will block/protect the QB, block on a running play, or go out for a pass.
Wide receivers: Their job is to get open to receive a pass down the field; they also block on running plays.
Fullback: Primary role is to “lead” block for the running back or protect the QB on pass plays, will occasionally run or catch passes.
Running Back: They run, they block, they receive; they do it all.

Defensive Players

Nose guard: Parallel to the other team’s Center; his job is to rush, tackle the passer or QB and stop or tackle the ball carrier.
Defensive tackle: Linemen that rush the passer or tackle the ball carrier.
Defensive ends: Stops or contains plays that go outside of the defensive line.
Linebacker: Rush the passers, cover receivers, stop the runner, basically they do whatever needs to be done to stop a play.
Cornerback: Defend the wide receivers, tackle the ball carrier.
Safety: Safety position is divided into two categories. There’s the “strong safety” that lines up according to the offensive alignment (i.e. opposite the s tight end), and then there is the “free safety” that defends running and passing plays, generally “roaming” the field, going to where he is most needed (also called “playing center field”).

So there you have it; a girl’s guide to understanding the ins and outs (or x's and o's) of football. There’s always more to learn about the game, like statistics, penalties and play strategies, but that knowledge comes with years of following the game. For our basic understanding for the 2013-2014 football season, just know that the quarterback is the one most girls fawn over and nobody likes The Dallas Cowboys.

Published in Lifestyle

Entertainment // August 12, 2013

Twitter is great for a lot of things besides talking to yourself publicly – it’s also good for staying up-to-date on the latest craziness celebrities are putting out into the universe, seeing what topics are trending in different cities around the world, networking with contacts in your industry (or at least trying to), etc. My personal favorite use for Twitter, though, is getting a few laughs every day. I’ve made it my personal mission to seek out the funniest people on Twitter, because let’s face it: every last one of us could use a little more comedy in our lives. I started by following stand-up comedians and comedy writers, and then I took a look at the people they found funny enough to retweet and follow. Benefit from my extensive research, and make sure you follow these consistently hilarious people.

1. @robdelaney

There’s a reason Rob Delaney tops basically every “best of” list for Twitter. Rob is a stand-up comedian and writer who managed to get famous through Twitter.  

2. @michaelianblack

Michael Ian Black is an actor and comedian. You might recognize him from Wet Hot American Summer or his semi-recent stand-up special on Comedy Central.


3. @alisonagosti

Alison Agosti is a comedy writer and sketch performer at Upright Citizens Brigade in LA.  But I only know of her from her ridiculous Twitter feed.


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4. @chrissyteigen

Chrissy Teigen is a model who loves to eat (yes, apparently they exist). She’s also engaged to John Legend, smart, and goddamn funny.





5. @charstarlene

Charlene de Guzman frequently composes her tweets as if she’s writing a story. She’s a master of dark, wry humor.






6. @mrsrupertpupkin

Lauren Caltagirone is Twitter verified, but I can’t figure out what her claim to fame is.  My research shows she works in TV and writes....?  Whatever it is, she’s a riot. She takes the personality of a crazy cat lady desperate for a boyfriend, and she is a master.




7. @juliussharpe

Julius Sharpe is a writer for Family Guy. I can pretty much end my description there.






8. @bazecraze

Alex Baze is a head writer for SNL’s Weekend Update. The end.



Published in Entertainment

Dating // July 15, 2013

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com

So what is it about the woman that always gets the guy?  You know who I’m talking about.

Every guy you know thinks she’s cool/smart/funny.  Men get giddy around her.  Conversations stall when she walks into a room.
What does she know that the rest of us don’t?

Girl, it’s not about what she has – so much as what she doesn’t have.  It’s pretty likely that men are attracted to her not only because of the things that she does, but because of the things that she doesn’t do.

And I can guarantee you that our Girl Wonder does not exhibit any of these three traits:

Neediness:


Ahh. The mother of all un-sexiness.

Sometimes (and this has probably happened to the best of us) we might feel a bit incomplete without a man or believe a relationship will solve our problems.  The man in your life will smell this desperation a mile away. And desperation?  It’s not a good look on anyone.

When you’re carrying around the (totally false) idea that you need a man to be complete, you’re giving away your power.

Pause right there.

Think about it – when you place your contentment + happiness in the hands of another individual, you’re at their mercy.  Are you willing to gamble your well-being on his actions or in-actions?

Besides, consider all the unnecessary pressure it puts on him! The pressure to live-up to your expectations of the perfect mate will be exhausting + a sure-fire way to incite disinterest.

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Want to reclaim your power?  Brilliant.  Start by putting the kabosh on these actions:

1. Needing his approval of how you look
2. Incessant emailing, texting and phone calling.  (not to mention obsessive checking of your own email or vmail–mmmhmm….we’ve all done it…)
3. Insisting you know where he is, was + will be 24-7
4. Too many whiny “I miss you’s” in that little girl voice

Insecurity:

The number 2 way to send your man running for the hills.

It sounds like this:

“Do you still love me as much as before?”
“Do you think I look fat in this?”
“Am I pretty enough for you?”

Insecurity is rooted in another false idea – the idea that you are somehow not adequate. You’re only human and self-doubt is a very real emotion that we all feel from time to time. Totally normal.

However, staying stuck and investing in the idea that you are “less than” is a slippery slope. The key to being desirable is to allow yourself to have the feelings of insecurity but not indulge in them! (Easier said than done.  I know.  But practice makes perfect- so give ‘er a shot.)

Simply notice when those feeling come up and reflect…. "Hmph.  There is that thought again. Interesting”…and then redirect your attention to what you’re doing at the moment.  Imagine sitting by a babbling brook and noticing how the leaves glide across the surface of the water past you.  Think of your insecure thoughts as those leaves.

You always have a choice.
You can either invest in your insecurity or your sexy.
You decide.

Overly critical of others. Especially of other women:

Let’s get straight to the point, shall we?  It is flat-out ugly when you
are outwardly critical, especially of other women.   Imagine this:  A beautiful woman walks into the room + your perfectly pleasant conversation with your sweetie quickly spirals into a sarcastic, snarkfest of gnarly criticism.

Why is it that women find it so difficult to compliment another gorgeous, accomplished woman? (Especially, in the presence of their honey?)

Answer: Yup, you guessed it–False ideas.

Somewhere we believe that by tearing other women down our man will not notice their attractiveness.

Reality Check: He probably noticed her 10 seconds before you did so it’s a waste of time.  Not to mention that being critical paints you as jealous, insecure + really, kinda mean.  And who wants to be That Girl?

Take notice of your energy level after such a barrage…does it feel heavy or light + airy?  Eventually you will recognize that the ill-will is draining.  On you + your man.

Personally whenever I see a hot, sassy mama I say to myself “You go, girl.”  I’ve even been known to call my boyfriends attention to her killer shoes, stylish dress or confident ways.  This way we both get to enjoy her shine + it fosters open dialogue between us. (Never a bad thing)

I will often stop a woman and tell her she looks great in her dress, or that her hair looks awesome and ask where she gets it cut.  The appreciation + gratitude bestowed on me are rewarding and she walks away feeling just a little more shiny than before.  Win-Win.

Let’s talk about how to amp up your sexy instead!

1. Take stock of how often you check your text/email out of a sense of desperation. This is your one and only life – slide back into the driver’s seat and reevaluate a better use of your energy.  What is an action you can take right now that will focus your attention on your overall well-being + happiness? Yoga at lunch?  Manicure with a girlfriend after work? Perhaps making that long put off phone call to your local graduate school or headhunter.

2.  Feeling insecure cause you don’t fit in your skinny jeans from 11 years ago? Get-rid-of-them!
Honestly, how realistic is it that you’ll be that size again…have you considered that it’s cruel to keep them in your closet?  That you are dismissing your present-day deliciousness? I am not suggesting that you pack on the lbs and ignore your health.  I’m encouraging you to honor + dare I say…celebrate your womanly figure.

Toss the jeans.
Seriously.

3. When you see a stunning women, immediately catch INSECURITY + CRITICISM, and silently take notice of what you admire about her. Say “good for her.” And if you’re feeling real bold + saucy get her attention and give her the gift of a compliment.

The universe loves that stuff!  I bet a compliment is already on its way to you.

Published in Love + Dating

Entertainment // April 8, 2013 

I often consider myself the queen of procrastination. Deadlines and due dates motivate me best when anticipation of their looming approach stimulates my adrenaline. It’s better than an espresso.We all know the internet provides countless opportunities to waste time -- from stalking obscure friends on Facebook to watching a video compilation of adorable kittens on YouTube. But if you want to do some serious damage to your schedule, check out this list of top five ultimate time-killer websites.  

WARNING: The sites mentioned may seriously compromise your work efficiency and productivity, drawing you away from boring tasks and entertaining you with silly photos and GIFs.


1. Pinterest

Get out your glue guns, oven mitts and wallets! Catalogued by image, Pinterest is the motherload of everything you never knew you could be so interested in. Making gourmet cupcakes decorated with gold? Check. DIY glitter (anything) project? Check. Homemade organic face mask with eggs and lemon juice? Check, Check. Pinterest is deceivingly addictive because you can browse lots of different categories at once. From fashion to health, food to humor; once you're in, you may never get out. But hey, you will look fabulous and know how to make some great food!

2. Buzzfeed

Offering a daily dose of pop culture and just plain ridiculousness, Buzzfeed is by far one of the best sites to waste time. It capitalizes on packaging viral content, usually in list form, and sharing it with the masses. With plenty of entertainment news, hilarious GIF compilations and a touch of real news sprinkled in, Buzzfeed keeps our attention with features like “30 Reasons Why You Love To Hate Pete Campbell” and “20 Funny Cat GIFs.”

3. Suri’s Burn Book

Boasting some biting (yet often truthful) commentary on A-list celebrity families and their kids, Suri’s Burn Book is a must read. Written from the POV of Suri Cruise, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s daughter, no one is spared from her commentary -- including her parents. Some of the best posts include her take on baby and kid fashion, and a hilarious rivalry with fellow A-list kid, Violet Affleck.

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4. Imgur

If you operate on a more visual level, and have finally logged off Pinterest, Imgur is the perfect place to waste the next 3 hours. With the best of viral photos from around the web, Imgur operates like Reddit. Users upload photo posts and the community comments, captions, and promotes photos to the front page.

5. Lifehacker


If you love finding cool tricks for completing tasks more easily (since you wasted all that time everywhere else), Lifehacker is a great site for how-tos and “hacks” for complicated processes. We especially love the laundry hacks and tips on how to deal with annoying people.

Honorable mentions:

We couldn’t end our list without mentioning these other great websites to waste some time. Animals Being Dicks has hilarious GIFs of animals, well, being dicks. The Oatmeal is a great site full of comics and quizzes that we can’t get enough of. Fail Blog has posts and images about pretty much anything that is a “fail.” And Cracked keeps us endlessly entertained with posts like The 7 Least Sexy Songs about Sex and 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person.


What are your favorite sites to waste time on? Tweet us at @MadeWomanMag, tell us on Facebook, or leave a comment below!


Published in Entertainment

Lifestyle // March 25, 2013 

It’s been 10 years since you have seen your high school classmates. It seems like another lifetime ago. You may find yourself curious every now and again about ex-boyfriends and the “popular” crowd, but is that enough to motivate you to revisit the high school days? Plus, the five social networks you actively use have made it impossible to lose touch with anyone since 2004. I admit, I am a bit torn about attending my own high school reunion. So I did what any other 28-year-old professional woman would do and made a list:

1. The Facebook Factor

Con:

One of the main arguments I’ve heard for not attending these reunions is that you can already catch up with those you care about (and some you don’t) via Facebook. The pictures, status updates and timelines already clue us in as to whether or not our ex is fat and lonely and if the “it” couple ever got married. And when you are looking on Facebook, it saves you the awkwardness of those face to face encounters (you know you don’t remember the names of half your graduating class).

Pro:

While social media does allow us to connect and share, the experiences we have connecting in the real world far outweigh that virtual high. While most of the people I do want to be reunited with are my Facebook friends, I still would like to see them in person, give them a hug and meet their spouses. I would like to hear about their travels firsthand rather than just browse a photo album. Plus, Facebook is a great tool for warming up for a reunion. If you are looking to make business connections or are struggling to remember a face, use “the book” to look it up pre-event and save yourself time and potential embarrassment.

2. Romy & Michelle in Real Life

Con:

We all think of Romy and Michelle pretending to invent Post-Its and we laugh, but the truth is, we can relate. The thing about these reunions is that they can drive us to examine ourselves under a harsh microscope. We can begin to compare ourselves to other people who we feel have accomplished more. It also forces us to be harder on ourselves in terms of getting our butts into gear for starting that business, leaving that job, or writing that book. Not being where you thought you’d be professionally is a lot more depressing when you find out that the guy voted least likely to succeed is making $100k a year.

Pro:

While it is always tempting to compare ourselves to others, we should definitely refrain. Use this gathering as an opportunity to be proud of what you have done in the 10 years since you donned that cap and gown. I guarantee that when you compare yourself to how you were at 18 you will definitely feel like you have come a long way. This can also be an excellent eye-opening experience. Maybe a conversation will inspire you to move forward. This reunion might be the extra motivation you need, and you may find that your high school buddies are still some of your biggest cheerleaders. Remember, success is defined differently by everyone. You may have all been competing for the same guy, top spot in the class or prom queen, but you all know now that life is about so much more than all that.

3. Bad Memories

Con:

You don’t want to drudge up past drama. Let’s admit it: high school is full of as many feuds, fails and awkward moments as it is fun times.  There will always be those people you just don’t want to see and those things you just don’t want to remember... like your sophomore yearbook picture.

Pro:

True, there will always be that time you fell and ate it bad outside of French class (true story) or the girl who made fun of you for what you wore, but are these things worth missing one of life’s milestones? No matter how hard it is to be the bigger person or come back from an absolute embarrassment, it is always worse to not show up at all. Besides, everyone probably forgot about your fall (here’s hoping), and that girl who made your life miserable may want to apologize. Let’s all remember, there have been way more trying times since high school (college, anyone?), and those are great equalizers.

4. Serving Your Interests

Con:

Reunions can be costly. I’ve heard of some that seem like prom (formal dress, exotic venue) 10 years later.

Pro:

If money is a factor for you, and you truly can’t justify a steep cost (especially if you have to travel to get back to your hometown) then don’t go. However, if you have advance notice and can find some other classmates who are willing to go with you and maybe carpool (think those who rode in and helped pay for the prom limo) then try and make it work. A great way to find out how much this will cost you and offer suggestions for savings would be to track down members of the organizing committee on Facebook and inquire. Ask them if they’ve planned yet and what they are thinking about doing so you can get an idea.

5. Show Off

OK, I’m just gonna say it. A really great reason to go to your reunion is to flaunt what you’ve got. I was never the valedictorian or the homecoming queen or a star athlete, but at least I have some great clothes, a great job and a wonderful man to take as my date. I am really looking forward to showing all that off at the reunion. I don’t mean that to be snobby, I really want my high school mates to meet my guy and for everyone to know that if you work your ass off, you can have everything you want. That’s a message I love sharing with everyone.  If you have three kids, go to your reunion with their pictures to show off proudly. If you have a blog, go with business cards ready to show off your space. Brag about those things that make you, you. And of course, network galore.

6. Missing Persons

The last reason I have for going back to school is one of pure hope. There is always that one person who has gotten away. They don’t seem to be on Facebook and no one has heard from them. Sure, there is always a chance they won’t show, but if they were truly your friend years ago, you go in hopes that they do.

You don’t have to take my advice on all this. I am considering this as someone who has never been to a reunion before and still keeps in touch with a lot of the people I was friends with back then (case in point, Made Woman Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson). Do I need a reunion with everyone? No, not necessarily. I could just as easily set up coffee dates and lunches via Facebook or send emails. But if my school is going to go through the trouble, I figure, why not? While we can’t go back and change the past, we can stare it in the face with new found confidence and relive those moments that made us the person we are today. The decision is yours, but whatever it is, make sure you are making it based on who you are today and not who you think you were then. Bring someone you know you will have a good time with and devote your evening to speaking with those who you truly miss or would like to reconnect with.

Published in Lifestyle
Monday, 25 February 2013 05:51

Dating | Almost 30 And Unmarried

Dating // February 25, 2012

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:

Dear Americans,

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.

Many thanks,

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.

Published in Dating
Monday, 31 December 2012 05:20

Opinion | 30 Things Men Should Know By 30

Best of 2012 // December 31, 2012

You may have seen Huffington Post's list of "30 Things A Woman Should Know by 30" getting a lot of buzz on the internet. Or maybe it was the Thought Catalog version... Either way. Men have shared what they think we need to know ASAP. Now it's our turn....


1.     How to do simple fixes on your car and around the house (i.e. change a tire, fix a faucet). Playing the handyman is extremely sexy, and saves money over the years.

2.     Your Own Strength.

3.     That you should have a nice dopp kit and decent luggage--sports bags don't count.

4.     When you unbutton your shirt past the second button you look like a douche.

5.     Being the loudest person doesn't make you right.

6.     Guys get mani/pedis too.

7.     All the money in your bank account won't help you if you're morally bankrupt.

8.     If she marries you for your money she won't stay with you when it's gone.

9.     When, where and how to make a dinner (or lunch, or brunch…) reservation.

10.   You can care about someone without controlling them.

11.   There are other movie genres besides action.

12.   “Bros before hos” doesn't work if you want to get married.

13.   How to keep your room as clean as your car.

14.   How to love your mom without being a momma's boy.

15.   That emotional intelligence is just as important as cognitive intelligence. 

16.   On what occasions to give a woman flowers.

17.   Not to underestimate the power of a tailored suit.

18.   You can be a good dad even though you didn't have one or didn’t get along with yours.

19.    Start planning for the future.  If you haven't invested in a retirement plan, do it yesterday. “The future” will be here before you know it.

20.   It's OK to cry.

21.   Always be working towards something. Continuing to set goals keeps you from falling into a rut, and will help you better yourself, too.

22.   It's OK to not have it all figured out.  As long as you keep trying new things, what's right for you will present itself.

23.   These things about women.

24.   Sometimes you don't always have to wait until the cards line up right. Sometimes you have to step out on a leap of faith.

25.   How to cook at least one meal really well.

26.   How to prove a point without being condescending.

27.   The importance of having a mentor--and how to be one.

28.   That making a living is not the same as making a life.

29.   The point in a relationship when “your plans” become “our plans.”

30.   How to tie a tie. 

So, what do you think? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments section below! 



Published in Lifestyle
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