Dating Strategies 101: Playing Hard to Get

Like preferences in food, drinks, clothing, music and just about everything else, preferences in relationship style vary widely from person to person and couple to couple. While some like a casual, non-exclusive relationship from time to time, others may thrive only in a secure, committed relationship environment. Emotional “baggage” from previous romances and our individual personalities shape our dating preferences throughout our lives, and often the direction the relationship takes is dependent on one’s significant other as well.

In any dating situation, no matter how old or new, playing a little bit hard to get can often increase the excitement and the level of desire in a relationship. Before you put your strategy into action, though, you must learn the proper balance involved. It is very important to gauge your partner’s level of interest so you don’t push him or her away. Read on for some tips in entry-level playing hard to get!

When testing the dating pool waters to see if any fish are worth reeling in, one must remember that the chase itself is nearly as important as the end result. Rushing into things sometimes puts on too much pressure, even in the perfect relationship. Taking too much of a nonchalant, lackadaisical attitude toward the relationship can also cause irreparable damage, making your mate to feel devalued and less important than he or she truly is.

In budding relationships, sometimes taking a little time to get to know each other is the perfect transition into an exclusive partnership. While mothers and friends may urge you to “play the field,” you may not immediately see the value in their words.

Consider this – if you take your time getting into a new relationship and take good care to be certain it is the best one for you, that is so much better than rushing into the first relationship that comes along without a second thought. If you think you might benefit from dragging out your singledom just a teeny bit longer, do what you can to keep your new flame interested and hungry for more! Sometimes just an ounce of resistance initially is ultimately worth a pound of perfection.

The key to playing hard to get is simple. Give your new love interest enough to keep him or her wanting more, but always preserve a little mystery about you. Express your interest in your new guy or doll, but be careful not to throw yourself at him or her. Make time to see each other, but not every day. Make plans to get together, but let some time lapse from your last date to the actual planning of your next one.


Relieving Tired Eyes… Gentle Treatments to Soothe Weary Eyes

To many, eyes are otherwise known as the “windows to the soul.” Nothing stops one’s heart like gazing into another’s eyes – connecting on such an intense, intimate level – that the world stops spinning for a moment and it seems everything is as it should be. Your eyes meet and your two alone are the only people in the room, whether you really are or not. Your worlds collide and become one for that shared instant caught in that fixed gaze.

Wearing makeup seems pointless if your eyes are bloodshot, swollen or just plain weary. By keeping your eyes in great condition, you make them look wonderful not just by putting makeup on, but also by allowing them to exude their natural energy.

Staring at a computer for hours on end can cause much strain to eyes. For this dilemma, you can invest in a polarized monitor filter for your computer that will lessen the stress put upon your eyes by reducing reflections. Excessive reading or straining to see something without your glasses or contact lenses also causes stress to the eyes.

To keep your eyes healthy, try to avoid excessive smoke, chemicals and other irritants. Take the time as needed to relax your eyes. When you have downtime, close them while you are awake and just rest for a moment. To relieve your eyes from irritation caused by a foreign particle or eyelash, apply one or two eye drops.

Especially during allergy season, a cool or cold compress may be necessary to soothe eyes and restore their vitality. Sometimes something as simple as a soft washcloth soaked in cool water, gently squeezed out, can renew tired, swollen and itchy eyes. Turn on some music, recline comfortably and place the cool cloth over your eyes for a relaxing respite from a long day.

Follow these tips to keep your peepers in the best possible condition…

Easy exercising – Get fit when you feel like it

Work out - get fit!Ah, there’s nothing quite like an early morning jog, enjoying the solace and solitude of running trails or barren roads before the a.m. rush hour clogs everything up. Now that the colder months are arriving in some parts of the country, running outside may not be as enjoyable as the fall, spring and summer months.

If running every morning and/or heading to the gym each day after work are not your idea of a good time, don’t fret just yet. You can still get in shape without breaking up your normal routine, and without becoming a fitness nazi!

1. For starters, stop abusing the elevator. Unless you have a phobia of stairwells, take the stairs whenever you can and burn those extra calories. This also applies to any shopping excursions you might make to the mall. Try taking the stairs instead of the escalators so your body can benefit from the extra muscle use.

2. Whenever weather permits, walk to those places within a reasonable distance instead of driving. If you can walk a half-mile or so every once in a while, your body will become accustomed to greater use of muscles, tendons, ligaments and limbs. By walking to the post office, the convenience store, the coffee shop, etc., you can burn off calories and strengthen your body at the same time. By doing so on a regular basis, you can condition your body for a more regimented exercise schedule, should you choose to include one in your normal routine.

3. Consider getting into yoga, kickboxing or any group-oriented aerobic exercise. Join a YMCA and go swimming if it’s your thing. Commit yourself to following an exercise video program at least once a week, even if it is only for five minutes of an abdominal workout.

4. Find an exercise partner! Take your dog to the park and play outside a bit when winter’s bite isn’t so harsh….

5. Play outside! If enough snow covers the ground, get the gang together and dress warmly. Grab a football and some thermoses of steamy hot chocolate and play in the snow like old times.

Work it!6. Build your muscles by lifting weights. Try to set aside a small corner of your home or garage for a personal workout area. Lifting can be as intense or as simple as you make it, from actual bench presses to short reps with lightweight dumbbells.

7. Target a particular area on your body and work to improve it. Research online and in books about how you can tone or build up certain muscles properly.

8. Workout on your own time! Spend a minimum of five minutes a day, a couple days a week, doing sit-ups and crunches, pushups, pull-ups or other exercises that don’t require leaving the home.

Set your goals realistically so that you avoid becoming discouraged by biting off more than you can chew. If you start out with a small routine of five or ten minutes a day, even for only a couple of days a week, you can soon add a few additional minutes to your routine. By making a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle, you really do have control of your level of fitness.

Practicing exercise not only contributes toward a healthy lifestyle, but also serves to improve your energy levels more than you would think. Get active and start working toward a happier, healthier you!

Hot Hairstyles in Five Minutes or LESS!

We all go through it. From the yucky super-humid days when nothing we do with our hair will possibly look right to the rainy Mondays when we just don’t care, to the eve of our hot date when we go through eight hairstyles before opting to just let the hair run wild, sometimes a “bad hair day” can very easily become a “bad hair week” without fair warning. The weather may be rainy and humid all week long, the hairstylist may have chopped our locks entirely the wrong way, but despite our dismay, life does go on.

Check out the scenarios below for a quick fix on unruly hair, flat hair, whatever hair.

Scenario #1 – Business Boo-Boo Fixer Upper
It’s not even 8:30 in the morning and things couldn’t be much worse. You slept through your alarm and you’ve got a major business presentation in 35 minutes. After taking the fastest shower of your life, you’ve got five minutes to throw on your makeup and do something with your wet hair. Think fast!

Remembering back to your childhood days, think about what your mother used to do for you when you needed to look nice for school. Be it picture day or another special occasion, chances are you’ve got a special hair trick up your sleeve that you’ve completely forgotten! Mine happens to be your plain old run of the mill braid. Separate your hair into three sections, alternately pulling one over the other until you’ve created an attractive plait in no time! For a special feminine touch, leave out a tiny strand of hair at your crown, near your ear or at the nape of your neck. (To save time, turn your curling iron on prior to braiding your hair.) Create a loose curl here or there to add an elegant element to your professional-looking style.

Scenario #2 – Last-Minute Lovely Locks
Whether it’s a first date with a new hottie or a special occasion with your long-term beau, looking like the gorgeous bombshell you are is nonnegotiable! But looking fabulous doesn’t have to take an eternity… Rely on a few quick and easy hair care tips to get you going.

For a seductive look, rely on a daring hairstyle that nicely displays a bare neck. Invite sweet kisses on your soft skin by sweeping your hair up into a makeshift French twist with a set of ornate chopsticks or a delicate, pretty hairpin. Even if your hair is still wet, it should be responsive to these facile styles. And while wearing hair up can be completely tantalizing, setting free your flowing locks might just ignite some wild desire in your date. Tame your tresses with a gentle anti-frizz product that won’t sticky your hair or leave a visible residue. For naturally curly babes, rub some gel or a small amount of styling product between your hands and scrunch your curls into submission.

Scenario #3 – Tiresome Tresses Crave Revitalization
Sick of the same old ponytail? Tired of – yawn – everlasting straight hair? Mix things up a bit by adding some fancy accents to your inventory! Invest in some colorful hair scarves, headbands, crab claw clips, hairpins, chopsticks and other fun hair accessories. You can get a nice selection of hair goodies at the dollar store, grocery store, drugstore and countless other venues.

By spending only $10 or $15, you can completely revamp your hair without going to any great coloring or styling lengths. Pick out a few neat items and use them from time to time instead of battling your hair into submission with styling products and appliances. Don’t have time to blow dry your mane? Fret not! Merely twist your hair up and clip it to your head with one of your new fashion accessories! When all else fails, get comfy. Throw on a pair of jeans, your favorite hooded sweatshirt and a hat!

Ten-Minute Revitalization for Your Hair

Don’t let winter’s chilly bite get you down! Even though the weather can be frightful, your hair can still be quite delightful, as long as you give it the special care and attention it deserves. As the temperature drops outside, you’ll have to be extra careful not to expose your wet hair to the elements, especially when the temperature is below freezing.

If you want to beat the frizzies, you can try a number of styling products and special shampoos and conditioners to give your hair a silky sheen. To combat coarse hairs you’ll want to soften your hair, and to defend against dryness you’ll want to lock in some moisture. To accomplish all of these goals and more, try a moisturizing hair masque!

Treat your tresses to a spa-like makeover, sans scissors. Set aside some time for yourself, whether an extra two minutes in the shower for a quickie hair masque or go all out with a professional or homemade remedy out of the shower. If you opt for the latter, don’t forget to keep a shower cap or some plastic wrap and a towel handy. If you opt for the former, merely set aside between two and ten minutes for the conditioning treatment to seep into your hair.

While products typically recommend that you allow a certain span of time for the product to soak into your hair, I’ve found that keeping the product in your hair for even just a few moments still produces positive results. Many deep conditioning treatments suggest that consumers apply these treatments to their tresses a maximum of once every two weeks, so using a less potent treatment every once in a while may also benefit hair.

Even if you’ve never applied a deep conditioning masque to your hair, it’s nothing to be afraid of, and something you should try at least once. Honestly, my first time using a hair masque came about completely by accident. I thought I’d picked up a facial masque at the store and upon returning home, I learned of my folly. Too lazy to take the product back and exchange it for the one I’d wanted in the first place, I decided to give the hair masque treatment a go. Much to my delight, the potion did improve the condition of my hair – on the first try!

Many herbs and naturally occurring ingredients can positively impact hair’s condition. Try a product like John Frieda Kelp Help deep conditioning masque. The product usually sells for between five and seven dollars and it relies on the protein-rich sea kelp to renew and revitalize hair, leaving it soft, silky, shiny and smooth. This restorative hair treatment also works to repair damaged and dehydrated hair with a smart blend of algae and sea kelp. By penetrating dry, coarse or damaged hair, these components restore hair’s strength and natural glow. The directions instruct that the solution should be massaged into wet hair post-shampoo and left on for ten minutes, though other products may differ in their instructions.

To find a product that is best suited for your hair, you may have to sample a few different brands. Visit your local drugstore and check out the entire hair products aisle for the best selection, or consult your hairstylist. For less than $10, you can restore your hair’s vitality in ten minutes or fewer. Why face a costly trip to the salon? Give your hair the boost it needs with a leave-in or rinse out deep conditioning treatment that you can easily do at home while you shower or as you relax at night. Forget about imprisoning your tresses in a ponytail all day. Don’t let frizz and dryness control your hair….Take charge and let your lovely locks shine!

PG-13 and Nonalcoholic Bachelorette Party Ideas

Don’t be deceived by the title! This article may serve you well, should the appropriate situation arise. From underage bridesmaids to expectant brides, a PG-13 bachelorette party could be the perfect celebration solution!

What if your best friend is unexpectedly pregnant and she asks you to be her maid of honor? You know you can’t plan an alcohol-laden bachelorette party with a little one on the way.

What if your younger sister – not 21 yet – decides to get married on a whim? You’d best have some ideas on how she can celebrate her final days of freedom…legally!

Here are a few ideas for fun, alcohol-free, low-key bachelorette parties:

Plan a spa weekend. From soft, plush robes to pedicures, massages, facials and more wonderful pampering, what’s not to love? You can get all your girlies together for a fun day of facials and body wraps. Next day, get your manicure, pedicure, and a massage. You’ll all be on cloud nine!

Hit up a karaoke night. You don’t have to drink to have fun! You can still go out to the bar and play along with the traditional bachelorette party, but keep a leash on things and require ahead of time that all the attendees avoid ordering alcohol so the bride doesn’t feel left out.

Make it a milkshakes and smoothies night. Gather up your favorite snacks and some delish toppings and make milkshake masterpieces. Add items like fresh fruit – I highly recommend raspberries, strawberries, and bananas – or follow the temptation and opt for candy – peppermint patties, peanut butter cups – or even cookie pieces, especially Oreo cookies. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.

Book a room at a posh resort for the weekend and gather up all the girls. Play the games you used to play in high school, have a movie marathon and watch Patrick Swayze over and over again – in slow motion – in Dirty Dancing.

Rock out at a concert. Who needs alcohol when you’ve got hot, sexy – sometimes shirtless – sweaty men singing to you from above?! Who cares if they’re taken…the eye candy is prime, grade A quality!

Wind down at the beach. You can relax, catch some rays, take a nap, ride the waves, and check out the hotties, all in the same place. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

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If all else fails, discuss some ideas with the bride and see where her interest seems to lie. You may want to keep the party a secret, but that’s what bridal showers are for! Whatever you do, be sure you have some fun activities and party favors for your best friend or sister, the bride-to-be.

Creative Wedding Gifts to Give, Favors to Receive

Every time I turn around it seems as if someone else I know is getting married! My original plan — to handcraft a blanket for each couple — is fast becoming a ridiculous impossibility as I learn of more and more friends on the road to marriage.

Cousins, best friends, classmates, colleagues, and teammates — what type of gift is appropriate when it comes down to your own relationship with the bride and/or groom getting married?

Handmade gifts carry a special meaning and significance while also bearing personal sentiment. If time is not an issue in determining your gift for the couple, consider your talents. Are you an exceptional woodworker? Create and stain a curio cabinet, shadowbox, bench, small stool or another useful item that the couple could enjoy in their new home together. Etch a personal message or their names and wedding date somewhere in the wood, along with your initials or signature as a reminder of how much you care!

If your handicraft lies more on the domestic side, consider crocheting, knitting or cross stitching a blanket/throw or a set of matching pillows. Another clever idea: Embroider a set of bath towels, hand towels and wash clothes with their initials or last name to produce a useful and meaningful gift.

If crafts aren’t exactly up your alley, use your creative mind to put together a themed gift basket… a “relaxation” basket could include some aromatherapy candles, bubble bath, musical selections, a bottle of wine, etc. You could do the same for a romantic dinner theme, a vacation get-away theme, and countless other specially-tailored gifts. Your imagination is your only limitation!

Unforgettable Wedding Trinkets and Treasures…

How to Best Capture Wedding Memories

Whether you’ve been dreaming about your wedding for as long as you can remember, or its advent has taken you completely by surprise, it is an extraordinary day that you will remember for a lifetime! Celebrate your special union with memories of your past, promises of the present and dreams of your future together.
Half the fun of your wedding day is capturing the wonderful memories of the priceless moment in time, but the other half involves reliving the cherished memories times you and your spouse-to-be have shared.

Share Your Blissful Memories

Showcase your love for each other by decorating a table with photos, albums and memorabilia from the various unforgettable times you have spent together. Vacations you have taken, special events and outings you have attended, and basically any fun times and activities you have shared could be displayed in the form of sporting or musical event tickets, a stuffed animal, or countless other small tokens of your lives together. (Reception halls will be very happy to help you set up such a display table.)

Capture the Memories of the Moment

On the individual tables where your guests will be seated, put disposable cameras so you will receive plenty of photographs of your guests and their dates. You can also be a little more original and distribute a special decorative notebook for your guests to sign, to leave personal messages, inside jokes, old memories and best wishes. Better yet, get a “his” and a “hers” notebook, and one for the both of you together. Going through the pages and reading each message will be something for you and your other half to do together one relaxing day after your honeymoon, or whenever!

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

For a more sentimental approach (or in addition to the previous ideas), compose a slideshow containing pictures of you and your sweetheart growing up until you get to the present. (If you would rather be surprised with the outcome, perhaps your mom or your bridesmaids would compile it.)

Group pictures of you both growing up separately on the same slides – for example, try to put corresponding photos together-your baby photos, first days of school, and so forth – whatever you can get your hands on! The more similarities, the better, but be careful as you grow into your teenage years. This is your day as bride and groom, so avoid including former flames if you comprise prom photos and so forth.

As the slides progress through the baby photos, young childhood, middle childhood, teenage years, and so forth, coordinate appropriate music to fit with those themed slides. You can easily do this through Microsoft PowerPoint’s slideshow functions, or custom create a CD with proper timing to your slides.

Finally, conclude with your grand finale of photos when the two of you met, and progress through the present. This sentimental display will serve as an adorable and emotional keepsake for years to come. Doubtless you will need a few boxes of tissues for your moms and very dear friends!

Tips to Plan the Ultimate Girls’ Night

Escape. Relaxation. Renewal. What’s on your menu for the evening?

Whether you’re hoping to evade the latest emotional roller coasters or simply looking to reunite with old pals, a classic “Girls’ Night” can serve as an entertaining and relaxing conclusion to an endless day or week. Forget the movie-style pillow fights in bras and panties and get ready for some serious pampering and story swapping!

Having a girls’ night can bring stress relief and relaxation, or it can call for a wild and crazy time with your best ladies. Having a grown up girls’ slumber party or a females-only trip to the bar makes the perfect excuse to get your closest friends together at a moment’s notice. Just make sure you keep your group’s preferences in order as you plan lots of fun activities or a low key night of relaxing, watching movies, and enjoying each others’ company.

Some suggestions to make your chosen venue into a home-spa extraordinaire…

  • Facials
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • New Hairstyles
  • Makeovers

Set the perfect atmosphere for your Femmes Only Shindig….

  • Grab some great chick flicks… Dirty Dancing or Ghost—Patrick Swayze is a great actor and doubles as eye candy!
  • Any Girl-Gets-Guy movie that strikes your fancy…
  • Or for those guy-less nights, go for the classic Thelma and Louise!
  • Share stories and jokes while flipping through photos—relive old times and catch up on new times!
  • Experience your youth all over again with Truth-or-Dare and other games you’ve played in your younger years.
  • Ogle the hot men in magazines, or take fun quizzes and read humorous articles…

Offer a scrumptious menu for your gal-pals but don’t overindulge…

A tummy-ache the next morning is not optimal! (Trust me—after fast food, cookies, potato chips, candy, ice cream and donuts all in one night—I’ve been there!)

  • Sweets—and LOTS and LOTS of them… Chocolate as far as the eye can see…
  • Salty delights—chips and French fries and popcorn and…
  • Wine, if you please, or cocktails make a very nice addition to any get-together.
  • If you’re on a health kick—try a fresh veggie tray, some fruit salad, crackers and cheese, etc.

Give Your Face a Lift!

Want a truly revitalizing experience to start off your night? Facials do many wonderful things to refresh and rejuvenate your skin—so grab some great beauty products and get ready to give your tired skin a soft, smooth revolution!

Typical routine for facial cleansing, done twice daily (morning and night), includes washing, then toning (use astringent or a toner to maintain the proper pH balance), and finally moisturizing. Weekly routine is an enhanced process, with the following steps: steaming (fill a sink with hot water, drape a towel over your head and the sink, and relax for about 10 minutes), deep cleaning (exfoliate or use a powerful cream cleanser, like Noxzema), apply mask, toning, and finally moisturizing (apply moisturizer to only the dry or tight areas of your face).

Products that will be especially valuable to you include: Face Scrub (exfoliating face wash), Toner or Astringent, and a mud or clay-based masque. Gather as many girlies in the bathroom sink area as you can fit and get to work—Steam treatment is a great relaxant after a stressful day. Next, use the face scrub to fully exfoliate and remove dull skin gently but effectively, or simply deep clean your face with a cream cleanser such as Noxzema.

Rinse your face and proceed to the next step: apply a generous layer of the mud masque to your face, paying special attention to your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) as well as any other trouble areas. Mud masques are my savior the night before a big event, a date or a special occasion…the wonder of this treatment is that the masque will lift the oils from your skin and transform your face into a beautifully smooth and soft rendition of its former self! No more worries about red blemishes or oily patches…usually within two days of applying the mask. Finally, toner or astringent can be used, followed by moisturizer, both of which should be applied to the face and the neck with middle and ring fingers in circular motion. As you complete this routine on a regular basis, your skin should become flawless and radiant!

Spoiling Yourselves after a Long Day… Manicures and Pedicures
Manicures and pedicures have been extensively known as treatments to pamper and beautify the body. Time involved varies on the detailing involved, but with a group of friends, teamwork can produce great results! Gather your favorite polish colors, grab a tub and some towels, some foot soak and scrub products and treat yourselves to a most relaxing evening with a lot to show for it! Something as simple as a pedicure on your poor, tired feet may cause you to feel just a bit stress-free as you enjoy your painted toes and soft feet for days and weeks to come.

Adventuring into New Makeovers and Hairstyles
If you are spending the evening in, great opportunity awaits to experiment with new hairstyles and makeup choices. When you don’t have time before work or school to try new styles, test your appearance with a group of your best friends during a Girls-Night-In. Your pals will be happy to give you pointers and honest advice about your chosen makeup’s color scheme and your new approaches to styling your hair, and you can do the same to help them. Worst case scenario: You let each other go wild with the colors and styles, take some pictures, and you’ve got loads of memories to laugh off forever!

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No matter what you decide to do, your girls’ night in or girls’ night out can create countless memories to last for a lifetime. If everyone has a great time, consider making it a regular girls’ event!


Secrets to smooth, sexy legs

Many men can’t resist a sleek and sexy set of legs. From short and sassy miniskirts boasting miles of gorgeous legs to long, silky skirts subtly showing off beautiful legs through tasteful slits – fashion is your friend when it comes to accentuating your wheels. To emphasize your legs with very minor adaptations to your normal cleansing and beauty routines, read on for a few quick tips to bring out and maintain a sexy look for your legs.
Don’t rush when you shave. Nothing ruins a super-close shave like nicks from a hurried shave. Hastily shaving your legs may cause the razor to snag your skin and remove tiny chunks at a time, especially around your knees, ankles and the thin areas of flesh on your shins. To combat nicks from shaving too quickly, rinse away the blood before exiting the shower, blot with a tissue or toilet paper and apply a tiny corner of tissue to your wound. Allow it to dry the blood and decide whether the cut necessitates a bandage.

Moisturize! Shine adds a whole new dimension to smooth legs. A fragrant lotion creates softness and newly applied lotion creates a nice glow that draws attention to your silky legs.

Use a loofah pad to exfoliate and buff out imperfections. Sometimes tiny blemishes caused by ingrown hairs or minor skin conditions render legs to be not as smooth as they once were. By gently exfoliating at least once or twice a week, your legs can be healthy, soft and blemish-free with very little effort. If you aren’t sure what a loofah pad looks like, visit the beauty aisle of your local drugstore, supermarket or superstore. They typically have a beige-colored surface on one side and a terrycloth type surface on the other. These items usually only cost a dollar or two, and they’re well worth the investment!

Try a vitamin-rich body scrub. While exfoliating with the loofah pad provides a great scrubbing motion, indulging in a luxurious body scrub is as good for the senses and the spirit as it is for the body. The nutrients contained in the scrub potion nourish the skin and welcome healthier cells to replace the dead skin cells shed through exfoliation. Don’t just scrub away old cells – promote new ones!

Exercise! While the aesthetic elements mentioned above will truly lend themselves to the overall condition of your legs, these products and practices won’t do a thing for your muscle tone and body mass. To keep your legs in swimsuit shape all year long, consider engaging in regular exercise several times a week. Get into a good habit of running, walking or jogging, bike riding, stair climbing or doing simple exercises like leg-lifts. Even the smallest amount of exercise can be beneficial to your body as you build your way up to longer routines.

Tips to Keep Your Nails Strong and Sexy

When you write down your shopping list, as you punch a phone number into your cell, while you wash dishes, do the ironing, clean the windows, or do one hundred other things that women do on any given day – do you take notice of the condition of your nails?

Our hands are such an integral part of our daily lives, and constantly, we risk their health and strength, often without even noticing, because of the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day activities. Take a few moments each day, or at least a few times a week, to monitor the condition of your nails – the color, the texture, the appearance of ridges or white marks.

Make a greater effort to take good care of your nails, and you will be thrilled with the way they complement your wardrobe and your own personal style. Consider the following tips as a way to enhance the health and quality of your nails.

Great, Healthy Nails

Apply speed-dry nail polish when time is of the essence.

Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated everyday to maintain healthy nails.

Fortify your diet with FDA approved vitamins or supplements. Your fingernails count on you to be responsible with your health and your diet. Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, increase your daily doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc.

Touch up your manicure on a daily basis to prevent chips and cracks.

Your nails depend on you to maintain a healthy diet. Take in lots of healthy foods – especially those mentioned in our article: Diet and Care Tips for Healthy Nails.

Nail polish tips:

Finish with a clear topcoat to add gloss and sheen.

Start with a base coat to strengthen and protect the nails.

Store nail polish in the refrigerator to maintain a smooth consistency.

Try not to store nail polish in a room that becomes cold. The nail polish bottles may break without warning, leaving you with a big mess.

To avoid breaking nails or brittle nails:

Avoid using your nails as tools. This means no picking, scratching, digging, pinching, etc. You know who you are!

Increase the amount of calcium in your diet.

Use products containing alcohol, especially perfumed lotions, sparingly. These items can make nails prone to breaking.

Wear rubber gloves when you do chores that involve continual submersion in water or contact with harsh detergents or chemicals.

Awesome abs – Tone your tummy with ease

Tightening the stomach muscles is the continual focus of a number of women, but accomplishing such a feat isn’t always easy. With dedication and discipline, though, you should be able to achieve noticeable improvements in your midsection. Read on for some helpful tips!

Curb your cravings. Don’t run over to the cookie jar or candy dish every time your sweet tooth begs for something delightful. Make sweets a special treat and do what you can to avoid eating them all the time.

Avoid eating after “X” o’clock. Set a deadline for all your snacks and stick to it. An occasional miss due to a special event, party or unexpected late dinner is all right, but don’t make a habit of it.

Work out. Odds are that your abs won’t surprise you on their own. You’ve got to put a little muscle into it, whether that means engaging in a routine of crunches or trying yoga on for size. Experiment with different methods and discover what works for you – even if it is some cheesy Abs of Steel video from a decade or two ago!

Get your heart rate up. Aerobic exercise contributes greatly to toning muscles and improving body appearance and functioning. Jog, power walk, run, swim, jump rope, do sets of jumping jacks, bike, roller-blade – do something active!

Drink lots of water. Sometimes your stomach feels a pang and immediately you decide you want food. Instead, try pouring yourself a glass of ice water and see if you’re still hungry after drinking that. To stay healthy and replenish all the fluids your body uses, you should be drinking a good amount of water each day. To determine the amount specific to your body, divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water per day. (At least!)

Now that you know how to jumpstart a campaign to a trimmer, tighter stomach, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to start working your abs into swimsuit shape. Follow the steps as outlined above and add your own special touches. Try healthier snacks like raw veggies and fresh fruit. Find an exercise buddy and challenge each other to work out to the best of your ability. Stay positive, stay motivated and you’ll notice great changes in no time!