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Top 3 Safety Tips For Party Animals

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No one can deny the fact that partying is fun, and to be honest, who would want to? You get to go out, let loose with friends, and ultimately have an awesome and (hopefully) memorable time. Alcohol usually plays a part in the shenanigans, but a night out on the town can be equally exciting for those who opt to stay sober. However, like all good things, partying also has its downfalls, which can lead to some pretty dangerous situations if you’re not careful.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t go out or that you should be paranoid the whole time you are out, but safety is extremely important, and you should always watch out for certain red flags. To help all you party animals out there, we’ve created a list of some must-read safety tips to keep in mind the next time you decide to get a little wild. Check them out below, and remember our mantra, “Stay safe, and party on!”

1. Fun Friends Aren’t Always Good Friends

Partying has a way of bringing people together because everyone is out for the same reason—to have a good time. Throw some alcohol in the mix, and you’re sure to be besties with your fellow party animals by the end of the night, which usually leads to more hanging out in the future. However, just because people are wild and fun to hang out with, doesn’t mean they’re friendship material.

You never know what people will push under the rug in order to hide a not-so-admirable past. To be on the safe side, you can always run a quick background check on your new friends to make sure they’re good people. Luckily, there are tons of sites like InstantCheckmate.com that make this kind of research super easy. Think about it; the last thing you want is to get mixed up with a group of criminals, no matter how fun they are!

2. Beware Folks, Roofies Are Real

You always hear horror stories about getting “roofied” at parties, bars, or nightclubs, but a lot of people dismiss the reality of the situation by thinking, “Oh that’ll never happen to me.” News flash folks, date rape drugs are 100% real, and unfortunately, they’re a lot more common than anyone would like to admit.

So, when you’re out, you have to pay close attention to your drink, and never (seriously, never) leave it unattended. It only takes two seconds for some scumbag to slip something in your drink, so don’t risk it. If you forget about your drink and you want to go back for it—don’t. Just throw it away and buy a new one. Also, don’t accept drinks from strangers, because what appears to be a nice or flattering gesture could actually be a ploy to get you to take the drugs.

3. Stick With Your Group, No Matter What

Sometimes it’s tempting to wander off on your own, especially if it’s to spend more time with that hottie you just met at the bar. As romantic as that sounds in theory, it’s actually not a great idea because the party atmosphere is not ideal for “getting to know each other.” Alcohol totally muddles your judgement anyway, so if you really want to spend time with someone from the bar, then why not schedule a real date in the near future?

Breaking off from your group can lead to some pretty disastrous situations because you may not be able to find your friends again. You could end up stranded at a bar with some random person you just met, which could easily lead to a host of other problems and sometimes even danger. Now that doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? We didn’t think so!

Do YOU have any advice for all the party enthusiasts out there? Let us know in the comments!

Gianna Hogue is a blogger from San Francisco, CA. She specializes in writing about ways to stay safe in everyday situations.

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If You Ever Want a Chance of Impressing the Ladies, It’s Time to Ditch the Posters and Turn Your Place Into a Classy Bachelor Pad

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As Elena Morgan explained in her article for The Good Life, when you bring a woman over to your home, you want it to properly convey your independence and style. What you don’t want is for your surroundings to make the woman you want to spend more time with feel an urge to run away. According to her article, the three main things a woman pays attention to when she visits a bachelor pad is its cleanliness, personality and comfort.

If you’re currently reading this post at your place, take a look around and see what you think a woman would grade you on each of those factors. Think you’d receive at least one D or F? The good news is as long as you keep reading, you’ll learn exactly what you need to change in order to transform your place from a potential hazmat zone into somewhere that you can be proud to bring a woman you’re interested in.

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But It’s My Place!

Look, if you want your pad to look like where Steve Carell’s character lived in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, more power to you. Just don’t complain when you invite a girl over for dinner and wine, only to have her leave within fifteen minutes of getting there because of an “emergency” phone call. The reality of dating is most women want to be with a man and not a boy. They also want to feel comfortable in the place where they know they’ll be spending a lot of time if the two of you get anywhere near serious.

Does this mean you have to completely strip your personality out of your place? Absolutely not! In fact, whatever collections or other things you’re into don’t necessarily have to go away. Instead, you just need to take a page out of the married guy’s handbook and create a man cave for yourself. This will allow you to fully enjoy all the stuff you like without it completely overtaking your entire house or apartment. And because your man cave will be conveniently located in a spare bedroom, it will also allow you to show your special lady that side of your personality when the time is right.

Start with the Living Room

Since this is going to be the first place a woman sees when she comes over for the first time, as well as where the two of you may spend several hours talking and enjoying some wine, it’s the best place to start your makeover. If you’re worried about cost, keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with getting lightly used furniture from Craigslist. Additionally, if you’re in need of a nice TV or stereo, using a Best Buy coupon from GreatDeals.com will bring the price way down.

Don’t Neglect the Bedroom

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If you’ve been sleeping on the same sheets for the last few years, you should walk into your bedroom, take them off, put them in the trash and then go get new ones from somewhere like Target or a department store. And if you have clothes strewn all over your floor, it’s also worth picking up some hangers and a large laundry basket. Bonus points for grabbing some nice candles and an air freshener that plugs into the wall!

Small Touches and General Cleanliness Go a Long Way

In terms of the kitchen, bathroom and any other areas of your place, the two most important things to remember are to have some nice touches and keep everything clean. For example, make sure that your bathroom has hand soap and a towel by the sink. Also avoid letting dirty dishes pile up in the kitchen or old towels accumulate in the floor of your bathroom. While you can probably get away with only doing a full clean of your place once a week, if you’re too busy or simply know that you’ll never stick to that schedule, it’s definitely worth hiring a maid to come by once every 7 to 10 days.

Whether you’re a college student or a professional in your thirties, living on your own can be quite nice. Just be sure that you avoid crossing the line from comfortable to slobby. And although it may take a little bit of upfront work, once you follow the advice we covered and spruce up your place, you’ll be quite happy with the positive reaction you get when ladies visit it for the first time!

Rodney Tuttle is a blogger and SMB marketing consultant. Although he’s now been married for 7 years, he still remembers when he decided to put his huge model car collection safely away in storage and actually put some effort into making his bachelor pad look good.

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5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring

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Ring shopping can be nerve wracking for most men.  While you may be under a lot of pressure to choose the perfect ring for the girl of your dreams, finding a quality ring may be easier than you think.  By following a few simple steps, you can successfully select an amazing engagement ring that she won’t be able to refuse.

1. Select a Trust Worthy Jeweler

First and foremost finding a fine jewelry store that has positive reviews and great customer service is where your quest should start. While there are many jewelers out there for you to choose from, make sure that you pick one that will provide you with a quality ring and an exceptional shopping experience.

2. Know What You are Looking For

Before you set foot in a jewelry store, be sure to research the type of ring that you are looking for.  Become familiar with the terms that you’ll need to know when shopping for a ring.  Knowing the proper terminology will give you the confidence you need to buy the perfect ring for your special lady.  Make sure that you are familiar with the following terms:

  • Band:  Would your future fiancé prefer gold, platinum, white gold, or silver?
  • Setting:  Do you need an invisible setting or a bezel?
  • Gemstone:  Are you going with traditional diamonds or another gemstone. If you are going to purchase a natural diamond, make sure that you know the following 4 C’s of diamonds:
  • Carat:  The weight of the diamond ranging from ¼ to 2 carats.
  • Cut:  The cut of a diamond will affect its sparkle.  Round, princess, pear, marquise, cushion, and emerald are all popular cuts.
  • Clarity:  Imperfections of the diamond are expected.  Just how many imperfections will determine the clarity of the ring.
  • Color:  Natural stones will have differing colors.

3. Find Out Her Style

You may already know her style; however, there are sneaky ways that you can find out what she really wants.  If you are surprising her with an engagement ring, make sure that you know her ring size.  You don’t want to place the ring on her finger in the heat of the moment only to have it not fit properly.  Put one of her rings on your finger to size it. 

4. Pick the Right Grade

If you are purchasing a synthetic ring, be sure that you are aware of the various grades available.  There are cubic zirconium rings and moissanite rings to select from.  While cubic zirconium are inexpensive, moissanite rings are almost indistinguishable from real diamonds.

5. Purchase the Ring

  • To avoid losing your ring, don’t purchase it too far in advance.  You may want to inquire about insurance coverage.  Some insurance plans will offer coverage on diamond rings, while others require additional insurance to be purchased. 
  • If you are buying a natural stone, ask for the diamond’s certificate of authenticity.  This will tell you exactly where the diamond originated from.
  • Many people don’t have the cash to pay for the entire ring upfront.  Many reputable jewelry stores offer easy and affordable financing for your convenience.

Picking out the perfect ring for your future wife is exciting.  Make sure that you choose an exceptional ring that will be as radiant as the bride-to-be.

Image: SHANECO

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Are Legends Born or Made?

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This post is sponsored by Heineken.

Are legends born or made?

Heineken® is testing what men are truly made of when dropped into the great unknown.

The Voyage: Heineken® is taking men from across the world and dropping them in remote global locations — with nothing but basic supplies and directions (because you know they’re not going to stop to ask for them. *honk*). The resulting series of adventures is called “Dropped.”

Voyage is the fifth installment of the Heineken “Legends” platform, an integrated campaign across a variety of platforms (broadcast, digital and mobile) offering consumers a truly immersive experience via the Heineken® Dropped YouTube channel. Viewers can watch each “Dropped” voyage, access documentary-style content and contribute their own video entries — following these intrepid explorers on legendary travel experience of the unknown.

Each “Dropped” travel adventure is tailored towards its main protagonist – forcing each character to test their own limits and conquer their fears. There are many challenges across four continents – tough terrain, curious locals and unusual modes of transport — and as the episodes unfold, the social experiment comes to life. Viewers will be able to follow how each traveller fares through a series of diary entries and journey updates. And then there’s the ultimate chance of partaking in your own legendary travel adventure.

Their final destination? Home. Will they make it? The answer lies within each contestant. The outcome of each encounter is completely unscripted. For all we know legends aren’t made, they’re Dropped.

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{sponsored post} Don’t be like Me: Get A Second Mobile Number From MyAKA

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Second Mobile Number From MyAKA

True Story: I was one of “those girls” who gave you the wrong number in the bar, when I didn’t really want you to call me.

That number was either: a) a quickly made-up number, b) a pizza delivery number (seriously, thanks Pizza Pan!), c) the local police station (even truer story!) or d) an old cell number (it was easy to remember!). I was also that girl who went out and purchased a second cell phone used to cheat on her boyfriend with a guy from the bar that I DID want to call me, but that’s not here-nor-there. OK, it’s there, and it was stupid and shitty and immature, but it happened, and I can’t take it back.

Before the days of social media and reverse phone lookup — and, sadly, this blog’s popularity — I could get away with these despicable acts of dating.

Awkward? Meh, not really. Or at least not until I saw you again and discovered the usefulness in that second phone. Difficult? Yes. Who is this again?! Necessary? Abso-fucking-lutely.

But having a second mobile number probably would have made dating a little bit easier back in my game-playing days.

Enter: MyAKA.

What Is MyAKA Second Mobile Number

MyAKA is a service that allows for a second number in your local area code, essentially allowing an additional phone number on the same phone. Voice and text messaging is available in the US and Canada, and there is complete cellphone privacy — with protection on all incoming and outgoing calls (unlike with forwarding). Your assigned number is NOT linked to user information in any way, and BEST OF ALL: block any number you want (and unblock when you’re ready to give that asshole a chance.). Heck, use the Do Not Disturb feature to send all calls to voicemail when you’re seriously hungover and that guy just WON’T STOP BOTHERING YOU ABOUT GOING TO SUNDAY BRUNCH. There is no app to download and no internet required; all features are controlled via text message.

For YOU!
MyAKA is giving you a 7-Day FREE Trial! Try the service for seven worry-free days of flirting (and subsequent blocking) without even entering your credit card. And when you decide to keep the service (because it is awesome!), you can upgrade your number in two easy steps at the MyAKA site. It’s as simple as that to date safely AND smartly this fall. Signup today for a fun second mobile number with no-strings-attached.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post for MyAKA. Please read my disclosure page for more information.

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How do YOU plan on getting attention this summer? Don’t say sex.

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How do YOU plan on getting attention this summer? Don’t say sex.

Dating. I’ve heard my fair share of advice. I’ve also given tons of it in return (hey, what are dating & relationship blogs for?!). I’ve rarely listened, of course — to my own, even.

But I realize that not everyone is as confident as “breaking the rules” of dating as I may be — who makes the stupid rules, really — that, and the course of dating can often change even when you’re IN a relationship. Dating doesn’t stop when you’re in a lifetime partnership. And frankly, I think remembering the reasons why we DID get the attention of our significant others is important — BECAUSE YOU MUST STAND OUT! Be memorable or be forgettable. You must keep things open, interesting, challenging, spontaneous in order to keep attention on you. Sure, the thought may be exhausting. But don’t you think that a partnership built on love is worth it?

(Note to boyfriend: just because we’re together and you have “yard work” now, does not mean you should embrace dirty fingernails. Allow me to give you the number of my manicurist.)

So, how do you intend to stand out from every other girl and get him to notice you this Summer? Clean fingernails, for one.

But Rori Rayes, trained and recognized relationship coach, has some of her own advice:

Some of Rori’s Relationship Tips:

  • Be strong on the inside; soft on the outside: confidence with who you are meets “melty marshmallow.” Translated: don’t be afraid to let someone love you. Don’t let your fears cripple you. Don’t shut down your hearts. And don’t be angry. Mmmm… marshmallows.
  • Fall in love with YOURSELF, first. Love yourself through your mistakes. Or or despite them.
  • Don’t attempt to figure out what’s going on in a relationship after one date. No. You will wait 8 months to finally give him your number to see if he’s still interested. I kid, I kid…
  • And stop trying to analyze what a man is saying. This will never change no matter your relationship status; learn this lesson now.

She adds, her “wrong roads to love” as being: 1) physical: don’t get caught up in the “who’s the most provocative or sexy?” competition that women play with one another for company; 2) mental: the core values of honesty and caring — and that you want a relationship — are important, but likes/dislikes are not; 3) spiritual: be nice, and be kind, but stop making excuses for him. Take-away: being a “reasonable” woman is not the way to go.

The emotional road is the only right path to get a man’s attention. The key is to tap into your emotions and share them. Connect with him emotionally & be ok with him opening up with you. Don’t shit bricks if you see him emotional.

I think this is as good advice as any to follow — loving yourself, being the most important thing to remember. And stop the competition already! Ew. Not sexy. How do you feel about Rori’s ways to get his attention: honest, good advice?

Rori teaches specific things you can do to raise your self-esteem that will make you irresistible to a man. To learn more subscribe to her free relationship advice e-newsletter. You’ll learn a whole new way of relating to men that will make you feel better about yourself while you find the relationship of your dreams.

{disclaimer: this review has been sponsored and compensated as part of the Single Edition network}

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{a fitness buddy at your fingertips} Me + GaiamTV = BFF

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{a fitness buddy at your fingertips} Me + GaiamTV = BFF


This post sponsored by GaiamTV.

You know how I feel after a night of roller derby practice? Like I’ve been steam-rolled. Literally. I need some serious stretching… and probably a massage, but who wants to do that at 11 at night?! My body is especially tight and creaky in the morning (and faintly reminiscent of the smell of Icy Hot), so most mornings, my mini-workouts are so half-assed because, well, two hours of contact and endurance drills would make most of us a little slow. But in my unenthusiastic attempt at being active in the mornings, I’m more apt to get some exercise at home, rather than my gym. Let’s face it, I barely have enough energy to change out of my pajamas. I probably should have added that to my resolutions list as well.

Because of my sorry excuse for socialization, I own several Gaiam DVDs — titles from Tai Chi to ballet to yoga to meditation and something with a body ball (stretching over it is so good for my back). But being able to stream over 2,000 exercise videos from my computer or iPhone when I don’t want to deal with the “resolution crowd” at the gym is perfectly in line with my level of activity. Having access 24/7 is probably MORE important, especially so when I’m traveling, and I need my Rodney Yee! (and I have my boyfriend’s iPad). I definitely need to work out more during vacations. This online programming is invaluable for when I feel like working out at 11pm on a Saturday night (when my gym is closed). Or I’m mad… that negative energy needs to go somewhere.

Think of GaiamTV like a Netflix, but for online workout videos dealing with health, wellness and fitness (there’s even a great selection of documentaries too). You can adjust programming depending on your OWN resolutions — customized based on level, style, and time available for workouts… or your favorite instructor (ahem, Jillian Michaels… seriously, I want her!). Because c’mon, most of us have something on our 2012 list that pertains to diet and exercise, weight loss or body sculpting.

Can GaimainTV make me coffee? Sadly, no. But there are online yoga videos targeted to increasing AM energy. I need a LOT of that these days. There are also hundreds of titles for relaxation… and, oh boy, I need some of that too.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOU!
GaiamTV is offering a FREE 10-day trial to potential subscribers! Unlimited streaming videos are available for $9.95 per month after your free preview (no commitment and no strings).

Disclaimer: I received access to Gaiman TV’s library of streaming videos, as well as compensation for this post. The opinions published herein are my own. See my disclosure policy for more info.

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{wetter is better} Single Ladies Love Lube Too (sung to the tune of “Naughty Girls Need Love Too”)

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{wetter is better} Single Ladies Love Lube Too (sung to the tune of “Naughty Girls Need Love Too”)


This post brought to you by Astroglide… and probably TMI.

When two people move in together (or start sleeping together), there is a MESS of randomly-sized condoms, lubes and lotions, things that make you tingle weirdly, things that are flavored (yuck)… found in one another’s sex drawers (oh c’mon, you ALL have one). Let me tell you how AWKWARD it is going through items that your now-significant other (or lover) has used with/on/in someone else. *puke* Even if I’m stealing those cute hair clips that some former “friend” left behind.

One thing I refuse to toss is my Astro Glide.

Look, I’ve been to enough sex toy parties and porn stores to realize what cheesy products are out there (who the hell wants their vag to smell like a Pina Colada anyway?! I also call total bullshit on anything that resembles the scent of MUSK in a toy shop). And, let’s be frank, spending most of my adult life as a single-something, I know what my body likes. And emphatically, what it does not. I prefer the original because it feels most natural, is water-based, and doesn’t make me smell like I need to be topped off with a salted glass, ice and a pink umbrella.

Wait… that sounds totally weird, doesn’t it? But seriously, BUY me a drink first; don’t make me taste like one!

PS: Astroglide has a new product — called Astroglide Natural, appropriately enough — that is made with botanical ingredients: aloe, chamomile extract and vitamins C & E. I haven’t experienced any side effects by the un-natural products, but it’s good to know there’s a wide range of products for those especially sensitive body parts that have the same non-sticky qualities. But please… don’t forget the penis!

Plus, Astroglide’s lube is the leading brand recommended by doctors, practitioners and OB/GYNs — so seriously, start talking honestly with your doc about sex already!

Hi, lube! Get in my sexy time drawer.

Using lubricants is not about necessity (although sometimes it just IS necessary, Mr. I-Can-Go-For-Two-Hours); it’s about FUN. Astroglide adds another element to your intimate play. And frankly, it just makes sex better.

P.P.S. I’m especially geeked to discover Astroglide’s X product, which is useable for water playtime. This premium Silicone-based personal lubricant is made with ingredients found to act as skin conditioners. Hello, let’s get moving on that hot tub install, boyfriend!

FREE SAMPLES:
Want to test the awesome-ness that is sex with lube? Sorry, I am not available. Astroglide is giving away free samples. Get on that. Then get on THAT. If you know what I mean.

P.P.S.S. Use a condom. Astroglide products are all water-based, which is condom friendly.

Disclaimer: this post brought to you by monthly sponsor, Astroglide. I received compensation in exchange for writing about this product. Please read my disclaimer page and disclosure policy for more info.

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{sponsored} ‘Tis the Season to Unleash Your Inner Vixen!

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{sponsored} ‘Tis the Season to Unleash Your Inner Vixen!

We can no longer fight it — winter and its corresponding stream of holidays are upon us. To warm up (both my body temperature and my soul), I typically turn to drinking wines this time of year. There’s something especially cozy about having a red wine when hanging out in front of a fireplace. Having a partner certainly makes the cold nights a little more intimate… and the holidays a bit more tolerable

Since I’m a fun girl, I like to bring a fun bottle of wine to my events. And a bottle by the name of Vixen — not to mention one from a place called Naked Winery — makes for an ideal (and easy) hostess gift during these seasonal get-togethers: girls night, office holiday dinners, white elephant parties — or a thoughtful gift for the single person in your life. They need all the love and alcohol in the world this time of year. I’ve been there; I know.

Vixen is a “foxy wine… coy at first, then comes on strong with elements of blackberry and some cherry.” Characterized by a very dark color, Vixen is a big Syrah, with sensual aromas, and subtle tannins that bite with a smoky earthiness and hold on with a medium-long finish of toast and coffee bean. Rawr! I like a wine (and winery) with attitude.

Perhaps, you’ll grab another bottle to save for after you’ve both settled back at home after a long day of traveling. Oh, the mileage! The snowstorms! Share a bottle of Vixen Syrah (be sure to bring your inner vixen) with that new beau to make the first of (hopefully many) New Year resolutions together.

And you know I can’t have wine without a cheese plate! Naked Winery suggests a reserve white cheddar or parmigiano reggiano with slices of Italian salami to pair nicely with its Vixen Syrah.

Special Discount
Want to get Naked this holiday? (put your pants back on) Ahem… Naked Winery is offering an amazing 30% discount on all purchases of Vixen Syrah to all of my readers, fans and followers. Be sure to use discount code SINGLE at purchase.

Here’s to some holiday Cheers! My Christmas card says: From Mel, with love. Yours in pervertedness, forever. *clink*

Disclosure: Naked Winery is a site sponsor and have provided me a product sample and compensation for this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.

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{sponsored} The Choose Health Challenge Sponsored By BistroMD

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{sponsored} The Choose Health Challenge Sponsored By BistroMD

I’m not big on diets. I work out FAR too much to be eating less (eating more is a happy problem to have, I suppose). But because of my insatiable hunger, I need to remind myself about my decisions as to what I put in my body. Sure, FAR too many Twix bars, but I balance that out with enjoying small, regular and HEALTHY meals throughout the day (typically every 3-4 hours — seriously, I’m HANGRY!).

Making a choice to live and eat healthy is not incredibly difficult. I don’t believe in abstaining from the things (ahem, foods) you enjoy, but most of us need a healthy dose of moderation in the diet department. Not to mention, ensuring we exercise regularly, keep our appointments for yearly check-ups and to find the right way to deal with stress. I’m the first to admit that I need the help of a nutritionist or diet guide, since I still eat like a eight-year-old boy when the boyfriend is away. And I’m terrible about having breakfast (save for my habitual black coffee).

Enter: BistroMD.

BistroMD is a delivery service that provides meals with a lighter, healthier you in mind — whether your goal is weight loss or simply eating better. Every meal is hand-prepared by personal chefs, providing the proper scientific blend of lean adequate protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat ratios to support healthy weight loss (if that’s what you need) or balance with your meals. What I like best about BistroMD, as compared to some “other” diet meal services, is that they use quality, natural ingredients without hormones, added fillers or those hard-to-pronounce and unnecessary additives or preservatives. This means no MSG and no trans fats — just healthy, delicious, well-rounded meals that are good for you.

Perfect for me, too, when I’m on my own for a little while: five days of meals start as low as $129.95 a week.

MY PERSONAL HEALTH CHALLENGE
Eat breakfast… every day.
Cut down my sugar intake.
Find better snack replacements.
Stop using so much mayo!
Get more water from my food (like, from greens and cucumbers).
Definitely eat more of the “better” veggies and fruits. Why is it every vegetable I like is from the “bad” list?
Discover better meals for practice days and before bouts. I still haven’t found anything that gives me enough energy and doesn’t make me feel like crap before/during extended workouts — aside from Energy Drinks… which, no. I really need help in this area.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT
Ready to commit to a healthier YOU? As part of this promotion, BistroMD.com is offering FREE shipping on your first week of meals to all of my readers, fans and followers. If you’d like to take advantage of this super deal (and amazing service) use discount code ChooseHealth at checkout. Feel free to pass the discount on to your readers and followers too!

CONTEST
Participate in BistroMD’s “Choose Health Challenge.”
Visit BistroMD on Facebook, and tell them how you intend to challenge yourself to living a healthier YOU. There’s a chance to win great prizes: a week of healthy weight loss meals, an iPad2, a $500 shopping spree or cash!

Disclosure: BistroMD is a sponsor of this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.

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Shave Less, Say YES: DIY Beauty GIVEAWAY WINNER!

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WE HAVE A WINNER! Reader AE Block commented:

This is a little TMI, but I absolutely hate having body hair anywhere and generally shave on a daily basis. Kinda crazy, I know, but I don’t like that prickly feeling either. Of course, with realizing how much time is wasted doing this, I looked for other methods of hair removal. Nair never worked other than giving me a headache from the smell. So I tried waxing next. This was fine when done at a salon but cost more money than I liked. I decided to try waxing at home and this is where I failed miserably. First strip on my leg, hurt like hell to get off (of course) and unfortunately, left a decent amount of hair still on my leg. I tried another strip on that same area – big mistake!! Ended up tearing off some skin in the process, still missing the dumb hair! I still have a scar to this day and am back to the daily shaving method. Would love to try the SensEpil system!

Check your inbox, AE! And congrats on winning your own Silk’n SensEpil personal hair removal system!

The Silk’n SenEpil: Not life (or habit) changing, but a really good, easy and inexpensive product for women interested in at-home hair removal. The system definitely worked best in locations with darker, coarser hair.

While I’m noticing less hair growing back in, it’s not completely gone or thinner. But I’m hoping with consistent future treatments, this trend continues. Note: I got in three treatment cycles on both legs and armpits before this post. I still haven’t prepared mentally to use it in… ahem, “other places.”

As much as I attempt to be some high-maintenance person, this product did not make me so. I’m still much too impatient (nor can I ever find the right time) to sit and waste 45 minutes just to do one leg. I mean, I don’t even like spending that long in the shower, let alone sitting in a closed bathroom with the boyfriend wondering “what the hell is that sound?!” Also: the constant waiting for the lamp to “be ready” again can be annoying.

I know, I’m the WORST.

Something else I learned: DO NOT USE ON/AROUND TATTOOS. Holy crap. Even around the area of an ankle tattoo — not even directly ON — that I’ve had for over 15 years beared the brunt of painful treatments (pain is relative, of course; the “zapping” hurt more as I moved toward my ankles anyway) and prolonged sensitivity for a few days. The tattoo, while still immature in nature, was not damaged in this experiment.

That said, the Silk’n SensEpil is probably the best for armpit hair, probably because of its inherent thicker and darker characteristics (much like that “other” area of female bodies). I think that my leg hair is just too fine and light for this sort of removal treatment. But this system is quick, relatively painless and SIGNIFICANTLY less hair — not to mention, inexpensive when compared to professional treatments — it’s actually kind of impressive. Overall, the snapping is no worse than tweezing in most places.

But truth be told, it’s still much easier to dry shave before leaving the house.

Special Discount Code for my readers: Interested in Silk’n SensEpil products? Receive 20% OFF all Silk’n SensEpil Products using promo code Beauty20 at checkout.
Offer is only valid September 1st – December 31st, 2011, and a $200 minimum purchase is required.

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Silk’n SensEpil.

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What Inspires You to Live a Legendary Life?

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What Inspires You to Live a Legendary Life?

Life: Live More Legendary


What inspires me: Adventure, spontaneity, creativity, individuality & roller derby
If you know me, you know these selections are obvious. I find inspiration and stimulation often in my surroundings — mostly in the unexpected and unplanned adventures — and regularly by the strong and independent ladies I skate with each week. With the latter, I find motivation, strength, camaraderie and a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. You’d be surprised how much that trickles into my attitude about what I can/can’t do in every other aspect of my life.

As women, we all need to inspire one another, don’t you think? (OK, men too)
So, what inspires YOU? Is it travel, a good book, an extreme activity, exercise, cooking, writing… or maybe even a little alone time?
Is it other people — famous or otherwise — or do you find inspiration in yourself?

And would you consider your life legendary?
If so, good on you.

Do you have an Inspiration Board?
How do you “keep track” or tell others about what or who you aspire to be? C’mon, no need to keep that personal. I have one hanging in my closet, but that’s obviously related to finding inspiration in fashion and accessorizing appropriately. But I created another online for my words listed above. I encourage you to start and share your own Inspiration Board — through this fun forum provided from AOL and Jeep — to help you express your own passions (and share with your friends on Facebook too, if you like). Select from the provided stock images or upload your own pictures to create your profile, and tell us how your life is less than ordinary. Then, stick around and read about the motivations from others on how they’re living a legendary life.

Bonus: As part of expressing your own individuality online and telling others what motivates you to live your life to the fullest, there is a CONTEST from AOL and Jeep. By creating your own Inspiration Board and profile on the site — and thoughtfully encouraging others with your life’s passions — you will be entered to win a weekly $50 gift card (selected at random). Also, all users are entered for a chance to win the GRAND PRIZE of a $4,500 gift card.

Now, go on, and discover what inspires you.

Disclaimer: I was compensated to write about and promote this contest for AOL and Jeep. Live a Legendary Life: Create your own Inspiration Board.

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{pursuit of love} How About We…

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{pursuit of love} How About We…

HowAboutWe.com PromoFlyer
In Cleveland, the city was on a lot of “worst of” lists — one of which, I distinctly remember referring to the city being a horrible place to be single. At the time, amidst several dating attempts and subsequent disasters, I had to agree. I wonder how Pittsburgh compares…

You’re doing it wrong!
Regardless, I think if you haven’t figured out WHAT it is you hope to glean from dating, it can be a fruitless, tiring and disappointing journey. And that, I think, was my biggest struggle. Too often, I changed myself, my views, my personality to fit someone else’s — which obviously will NOT place you into a good, let alone healthy, relationship. Which is why I always like the idea of online dating. In being extremely specific — and dare I say it, inflexible in those requirements, you are bound to find the person that YOU want (and not who your friends, mom or great aunt Edna think is your “perfect” match). Whatever, go ahead and be picky — it’s YOUR life. Of course, when I used an online site-which-shall-not-be-named, I didn’t know WHAT I wanted from life, let alone from a partner. And come to think of it, I was wholly negative going into the experience, and as such, writing my profile was taxing, fake and, well, NO WONDER nobody wanted to date me.

As an aside, why do couples want to dismiss the fact that they met online? We’re living in a totally social media-driven world, so I can’t see why dating should be looked upon as anything different. Yet, you get the disengaged eye contact and shy, awkward answers when asked “how did you meet?” Own that shit. I think it’s awesome AND there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proactive about your love life.

Online dating should be fun!
Don’t you agree? Dating in general, should be fun. I remember when attempting to break into the online dating scene, there was a sea of lame “I like my job; I love my car; I workout” types of responses. *yawn* SO BORING, right? And not surprisingly, I never was interested in anyone. Dates were always: coffee shop, couple drinks or dinner. Wash, Rinse & Repeat: BORING. First dates that always stand out were adventurous — creative, even. I don’t think it’s any accident that I met AB while on a white water rafting/camping trip (even though it was not initially set up as a “date,” the outdoorsy-adventurer part of his personality was appealing to me). That’s why I like HowAboutWe.com.

HowAboutWe.com offers a brilliant approach to online dating, by connecting people who want to share an adventurous, fun, romantic or unique experience. I like to think that this platform weeds out the boring. In Pittsburgh, for example, I would ask:

How about we climb the stairs in the Cathedral of Learning?
Seriously, I love workout dates… so hot. The end.

How about we do a morning kayak before work?
OK, it might not be kayak weather YET, but for morning people, it’s so refreshing to go on a.m. dates, rather than after work, when everyone is feeling blah and unmotivated to socialize. Keep this in your bag o’ tricks for spring.

How about we take a glass blowing class together?
Making art goes straight to my heart. And Pittsburgh has a few places that you can check out to make this happen.

I think you get the point… What would you suggest as a creative date in Pittsburgh (or your city, if you’re reading from abroad)?

Because I Approve This Message: HowAboutWe.com is offering all of my readers a Special 33% OFF their service for Valentine’s Day! Use the promo code VDAYFUN to receive the discount.

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Can you even see with those things?

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Can you even see with those things?
Mel in glasses

Smarty AND Sassy!

Aside from my womanly-business appointment, I’m pretty bad at keeping regular medical appointments. I’m terrified of the dentist. I can’t seem to find a regular doctor that isn’t a curmudgeonly old… well, dick. And my glasses? Those babies were at least as old as my 21st birthday.

I vaguely remember going to one of those mall stores for an appointment… maybe, six years ago? I was engaged, if that tells you anything (besides, holy crap old woman, can you even see?!). Regardless, I didn’t order glasses. And yes, I can see. I’m not blind, but road signs are hard to read in the dark, and the placement of the couch makes it difficult to watch/read the TV from so far away.

One of my resolutions — or intended things to do in 2011 — was to find all the necessary physicians, family prevention practitioners, (mad scientist scary) dentists and (sexy glasses) eye doctors now that we’re settled in Pittsburgh. I’ve got two out of four as of publishing of this post…

Now that I have finally saved my sight by having my annual eye appointment, I am able to take my perscription online to GlassesUSA.com to find designer glasses, which my doctor’s office didn’t seem to carry, or sunglasses. While my “freebies” (courtesy of my insurance plan) will work out just fine for watching/reading Jeopardy and preventing major headlight reflection while driving, it’s nice to have a broader selection, order glasses online AND get a great pair of eye glasses without breaking the bank. Because I’m bound to break or lose these things (I think the only reason I didn’t lose the others is because they never left my car).

AND because GlassesUSA.com is uber-awesome, they are offering my readers a 10% discount on their next order of glasses! Just use the code: Blog10 at the checkout.

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