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The fall season brings a lot of changes. The departure from summer means shorter days, colder weather, back to school and your carefree summer attitude out the window...

3 Super Cool (and Easy) Do-It-Yourself Manicures

The next time you’re propped in front of the TV with some time to kill, grab a few bottles of nail polish, a nail file and give those Internet manicure girls a run for their money.

Bedroom Essentials You Wouldn’t Have Thought To Include

There are plenty of checklists out there for furnishing your new place, making sure you don’t forget the essentials for every room in the apartment. Your bedroom is arguably the most important of those rooms...

The Other Woman: 4 Tips For Dealing With A Potential Homewrecker

It seems as if some girls have a radar that activates as soon as a guy gets a girlfriend. Instantly that newly taken guy becomes insanely attractive, and, all of a sudden...

Business Casual: Dressing Appropriately For The Work Place

Congratulations-- You’ve landed yourself that real, big-girl job! If you’re like me, one of the first things on your mind is outfitting your wardrobe for your new workplace

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pinterest: Every Man’s Key to a Girls Mind

Hands up: who goes on Pinterest? Hands up again, who, like me, is severely addicted to Pinterest? Of course you are. Where else would women plan the most extravagant (ahem, imaginary) wedding, or believe we could build our dream homes with nothing but a glue gun and a few mason jars?

Yes, we’re addicted, and guys might find it annoying that we’re constantly pinning this and that. But, what these fellas don’t realize is exactly how they can take a little gander into a girl’s mind just by checking out her Pinterest.

Think about it: it’s an inside look at her interests, hobbies and future aspirations. And for the boyfriends, take note of the Dream Wedding board, because there definitely is going to be some hints on engagement rings and the most romantic way to pop the question. So, with that being said, below are some typical boards that guys can take advantage of and learn a thing or two.

Dream Wedding: This board is every girl’s fairytale. It’s going to hold pictures of engagement rings, wedding dresses and the most delicious (and expensive) cakes. For the single girls, this is a board that isn’t too alarming to guys. But, for the girls in serious relationship, it can be a little wink wink, nudge nudge to the boyfriend.

Girls used to get shunned if they even mentioned the possibility of marriage or wanting kids. Now, though, girls have a way of expressing their dream day, without scaring the potential groom away. With this board, guys can have a much better way of knowing their girlfriend’s taste, instead of trying to secretly get it out of them or her friends.

Style: A girl’s style says a lot about who she is as a person. If a guy were to take a look at this board, he could easily get a little taste of her personality. Is she edgy? Trendy? Hippie-like? It doesn’t seem important, but in truth, it is. Also, when it comes to presents, he has a way of knowing exactly what she would love.

Inspirations: For this board, I’ll pin future goals or quotes that I want to start living my life by. If a guy were to check out this board, he could easily figure out if she lives her life by YOLO or bible passages. Obviously, it isn’t going to fully decipher her personality, but it will give the guy a little taste of morals, goals and hobbies.

So, ladies, keep pinning that same engagement ring over and over again, I think he juusst might get the hint.

By: Sarah Kester | Image: Source

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Project: Filling Out The Dating Profile

It is Sunday night, and it’s time to sign up for my new life. I’m so nervous; I imagine this is how someone would feel when they are going to break into a house. But if I want to attract a real-life Armie Hammer, I am going to need to make the best profile ever, right?

Oh, maybe not. Upon entering the sight, there is a banner that reads, “It’s free to look!” And look, I shall. After entering that I am a woman seeking a male. And that I’m 24. And that he is 25-35. And has a college degree. And taller than 6’0”. And wait a minute, I’m creating a profile. NO! What if they know I’m looking?! My fingers graze my pristine keyboard for a about a minute, wondering if I should take the plunge. I finally take a deep sigh and finish answering the questions. It’s okay, right? It’s not like there are a ton of guys lining up for me now.

I try to keep my profile info short and sweet – short enough as not to give away my life story (and scare everyone off), but sweet enough to get them hooked (and pretend that I’m kind of normal). My choice of default picture is simple; it was taken with my webcam and as much as I wanted to use Photoshop, I didn’t do it for fear of making me look… well, not like myself.

I get to the box that asks me to describe myself and what I’m looking for in a man, and I went blank. Describe myself? I think I’m cute, but not gorgeous? Smart, but not a genius? And what I want in a man?

Good grief, I just want a guy that’s taller than me when I wear heels! Is that so much to ask for? After freaking out about my lack of self-description, I casually mention that I’m “fun” and “easy-going” and apparently, super cliché. As I write a few words about how awesome I appear to be, I close my statement with “I want a guy to prove they are not all the same.” Once I finished it, I wanted to gag myself. Who do I think I am – Marilyn Monroe? But it was the truth… I just want one guy to prove that maybe I’ll have a husband, family, nice diamond ring, and above all, love. And this is why I’m single.

After giving Match the bare minimum amount of information possible, I begin searching. After the first two pages of potential matches (displaying ten per page), I took a deep breath and shook my head. Not one of these guys fit the bill – too short, a little too overweight, doesn’t have a college degree, not a Catholic, missing teeth, older than my grandpa, improper use of grammar, types with “u” instead of “you.” This is hopeless already.

I was about to close the window when I accidentally clicked on the next page and saw a familiar face: another high school boyfriend. NO WAY! You mean to tell me that since we broke up years ago, we have dated every person between Texas and New York, only to come full circle and turn to a dating service to find us a match? Oh NO! I didn’t even like him that much the first time, and this is all that my choices have been diluted to. GREAT.

A part of me fears that once he finds my profile, he might think I’m pathetic. But that’s like the teapot calling the kettle black, so who knows? Maybe this is worth giving a shot and even though it’s unlikely I’ll end up back with Mr. Salutatorian 2005, there is a chance for friendship renewal. Of course, the other part of me is saying that my ex-boyfriend-slash-college-sweetheart-slash-love-of-my-life was right about the whole idea and thinks I should stick to meeting people the old fashioned way: awkward first encounters.

Or maybe… just maybe, this new venture may light a fire under someone’s butt to snatch me up before I become Ms. Popularity on Match.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next article coming soon in The Project.

Image: Source

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Should You Keep Your Distance When Dating?

Instead of the song, “teach me how to dougie,” there should be a song for girls everywhere called, “teach me how to distance.” Ta-ta teach me how to distance – catchy, right? It’s true that when you first begin dating a guy, the whole ‘chase,’ ‘hard-to-get’ factor comes in. But, when you’re in a committed relationship, this can seem like a game.

Yet, if you truly feel like your guy has been pulling away a bit, then girl, it’s time to bring out the big guns. If you want your man willing to run through hoops for you again, like he did in the beginning, then read this article and implement these tips in your relationship, now.

Do your own thing: If you find yourself caring a little more than your boo, it’s definitely time to stop obsessing over it and actually do something. I don’t mean do something drastic about it, unless it’s really serious. What I mean is that you need to go out and live your life. Yes, you have a boyfriend, but who says you can’t take time for yourself, too? One day, turn your phone off and go on a little adventure downtown and shop with your girlfriends. When he asks what you’ve been up to, give a little smirk and move on to other things. The trick is to keep his mind guessing.

Don’t get mad at stupid stuff: If you are constantly obsessing over the little things, you’ll find that you and your boyfriend are fighting a lot. Guys don’t like this. Chill it on the neediness, jealousy and conflict. But most importantly, make him come to you. If you get mad; first, address if it is worth getting mad over it. If it isn’t, drop it and let it go. If it is, then approach it in a way that isn’t defensive or a potential fight-starter.

Limit the calls, texts, and social media: Yes, we all love our blackberries, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter and yadda, yadda, yadda. But constant contact with your boyfriend can be a bit too much. Take time to respond to his texts and give you both room to breathe. Your boyfriend doesn’t have to be in complete and total contact with you every second of the day.

The biggest realization that may help you curb the need to be a little too much with your boyfriend, is to remember what it was like before you dated. You, hopefully, weren’t clingy, jealous or irritated all of the time. It’s nice to be comfortable with a boyfriend but don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable because that’s when those nasty flaws come out.

By: Sarah Kester | Image: Source

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Washing Up: How To Stretch Your Good Hair Day

We all do it ladies – wash our hair once every two (or three, or four) days because a) we need to save time, b) we need to save money on hair products, or c) we are too dang lazy to keep up with it on a daily basis. During my internship in a first grade classroom with Hitler for a supervisor, I spent 110% of my time trying to keep up with school, work and studying for state exams which left me with the decision of either washing and styling my hair or using that time to complete another task.

Needless to say, I found ways to make a hair-washing last for five days. It’s no big deal; in fact, it may just save you that extra 30-45 minutes in the day and a few new shampoo bottles a year!

Day 1: Monday
Wake up early with the mentality that you will tackle all your tasks this week and make it look easy. Begin the week with your hair down and in loose curls. Why curls? First of all, they look pretty no matter what the occasion. They will make you look instantly like a bombshell, giving everyone the “Don’t stand in my way!” attitude. Work it girl.

Day 2: Tuesday
Today, straighten your hair. It is easier to straighten curly hair than to curl hair that has been straightened. Your roots may be a bit oily if you have fine hair like me, so sprinkle some dry shampoo on those roots. A personal favorite of mine is Tresemme Dry Shampoo ($4). Baby powder works well, too! Throw your hair forward, apply your dryer on low heat for one minute, coming through your roots. Toss your hair back, sprinkle on your dry shampoo, tousle it through with your fingers and comb for a soft shine.

Day 3: Wednesday
 It has been two days and you may be itching to cave in and wash your hair. If you are worried about having enough time in the day to actually wash and dry your hair, you know what you need to do! At this point, your hair might start to feel oilier than usual and may be a bit lifeless. The solution? Pick it up with a high, bouncy ponytail. Great tip: tease the pony up to get a sexy Bridgette Bardot effect. Rawr.

Day 4: Thursday
We are on day four and weare pushing the envelope. But you know that this is the day you will be rushing through just about everything to meet your deadlines. Quick and easy fix? Braid it! Braids are both stylish and sleek and make you look uber-trendy as braids have adorned all the runways and photo shoots this season. Quick tip: mess your braid up a little to take your look from Helga to Hell-yeah.

Day 5: Friday
TGIF. The start of the weekend and the easiest hairstyle of the week: a classic bun. Kim Kardashian has set the trend of a sleek, high bun using a donut (such as the ones found at H&M) to give the bun both bulk and definition. You can also pull that bun down to the nape of your neck, using a messy side or center part to give a careless “I’m ready for the weekend, yet still a professional” look.

Beware: this weekly project is not for the faint of heart (or finicky girls obsessed with hygiene). You can certainly cut this down to a two or three-day project, but if you anticipate being crunched for time next week, maybe this time-saving trick might be your saving grace! It is Friday night, honey. Wash your hair… God knows you deserve it!

By: Kristina Kniest | Image: Source

Monday, June 11, 2012

Get Your Bake On: Summer Cupcakes for Any Event

Move over, every other dessert, cupcakes are clearly king.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, I’ll fill you in. Cupcake-only bakeries have cropped up all over the place and the craze shows no sign of letting up. From TV shows like Cupcake Wars and DC Cupcakes to the new trend of cupcake trees as wedding cakes, these adorable desserts are the clear winner when it comes to sugary and sweet confections.

They’re the perfect size to take or taste anywhere – no plates, forks, or cake knives needed! – and because they’re so small, you don’t need to feel guilty about going for seconds.

Cupcakes are great to bring to any function, from an office party to a backyard holiday barbeque to a birthday party to a dinner party. They’re easy to make if you can follow a recipe, fun to decorate, and you can mix and match tons of icings and cakes to create a fun, themed treat. Here, thanks to my trusty Big Book of Cupcakes (by Betty Crocker), are two super-sweet cupcake and homemade frosting recipes that will be the perfect complement to any spring or summer function.

Orange Soda Cupcakes
Pre-heat oven to 350 and line 12-space cupcake pan with paper sleeves.

In a medium bowl, combine:
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         ¾ cup sugar
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ½ teaspoon grated orange peel (use a cheese grater or zester!)
·         1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened (let it sit out at room temperature for a while, don’t melt in the microwave!)
·         1 cup orange soda
·         2 eggs

First, mix with an electric mixer for about thirty seconds on low speed. Scrape and mix again for about two minutes on medium speed. Don’t over-beat! This will toughen the batter and your cakes won’t rise. Divide batter evenly into cupcake tin; they should fill up the cups about 2/3-3/4 of the way.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool for five minutes before removing from pan; let them cool all the way before frosting. (If you’re in a hurry, you can stick them in the fridge or freezer.)

Using either a spatula or a pastry bag and frosting tip (you can pick that up at the grocery store; kits come with directions if you’re a first-time froster), top off your treats with this delicious, crowd-pleasing icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
In a large bowl, combine:
·         6 cups powdered sugar
·         2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

Mix on low speed. As you go, stir in:
·         1 tablespoon vanilla
·         3 tablespoons milk

Gradually beat mixture until it comes to a spreadable consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more milk.

To dress up your cupcakes a little more, try:
·         Adding food coloring to frosting and/or batter.
·         Topping cakes with candy or sprinkles in keeping with your theme.
·         Lining cupcake tin with themed or colored paper shells. You can find ones with all sorts of decorative touches!
·         Getting fancy with your icing. Try a cupcake-decorating class or teach yourself with YouTube videos or DIY guides found with frosting kits.

Happy baking!

By: Alyssa Ammirato | Image: Source

Saturday, June 9, 2012

How To Throw A Fabulous Housewarming Party

Recently I happened to finally get my own place – meaning, my own rent, food bills, and oh, my own sweet freedom to throw some killer parties! But, one party that is essential after just moving into your own place, is a housewarming party. With this, you want to show off your new pad in all the right ways (we’re not talking a Project X way). And luckily, here’s exactly how to do it.

Provide some of the booze: It is just courtesy. This doesn’t mean that you’re buying all of it. What you can do instead is have a few cute drinks, like this cocktail recipe. To achieve this drink here, you’ll need to mix:
·         2 oz. strawberry infused Svedka vodka
·         2 oz. simple syrup
·         2 oz. fresh lemon juice
·          Top with sparkling wine
·          Garnish with strawberries and mint

Then, as gifts, ask your friend if they could bring a bottle of wine or a case of beer.

Clean, clean clean: Just as you’re going to be sparkling in pride, you want the place to shine, too. So before guests come over, clean the place up, and make it look the best it can be. Also, design the room to be your taste and style. You want your family and friends to come over, and be like wow.

Enjoy the night: Yes, it is your place, so you will be responsible for cleaning up the next day. But this doesn’t mean that you have to be one of those crazy hosts, who run around screaming “coaster! Use a coaster!” Instead, relax, and have a good time. Provide nice drinks, food, and a beautiful place that you now call home sweet home.

By: Sarah Kester | Image: Source