Monday, January 29, 2007

Viveca Loves Herself, Too

Here's how she does it:

1. I feed myself delicious, healthy food instead of coffee for breakfast, something fast for lunch, and who-knows-what for dinner

2. I married a man who adores me, loves me, likes me, and supports me instead of ....

3. I put myself in bed by 9:00 p.m. and get a full 8 hours of sleep, instead of getting by on as little as possible

4. I surround myself with healthy friends who love, respect, support, and inspire me vs. bar room friends, or second-guessing friends, or energy vampire friends or ...

5. I make time to pray and pause during the course of my days to connect with spirit instead of getting by on self-will and trying to control everything on my own. Note: Prayer works particularly well on the golf course!

6. I exercise and “shake it up” with different activities to keep it fun and fresh. (Just added stretching every night before I go to bed.)

7. Discipline myself and set up healthy boundaries vs. constantly overextending myself personally and professionally and ending up on my last nerve (and everyone else's!)

8. I “bookend,” literally, each day with an inspirational reading and fill my mind with hope and my spirit with sweet dreams and expectations instead of "news," gossip, crime, murder & mayhem!

9. I get rid of clothes that no longer look good on me instead of trying to make what looked good in the past fit me in the present

10. Go to the dentist three times a year because it hurts less if I do. My comfort is worth the extra time and money vs. skimping and reliving that marathon man scene ...

11. I handle uncomfortable situations as quickly as possible vs. avoiding conflicts and building up resentments, debts, illnesses or self-destructive “imaginings” in my mind

12. I read the comics or tune into something funny vs. being so serious about everything, everyone, all the time

13. Make a point to doing things well instead of perfectly because I know that perfectionism is a form of self-abuse.

Why don't you pay Viveca a visit?

Self-Love and You

No, I'm not talking about the sex toy variety but, instead, the healthy affection for oneself that attracts all sorts of good things, including satisfying jobs, fun and loyal friends, and thrilling men.

(I firmly believe that if everybody loved herself or himself adequately, we would suffer no wars, corporate power plays, gossip, or addictions.)

Do you love yourself? What are the little things you do to show you care?

Here's what I do:

1. I take myself out to enjoy movies my children and husband don't care to see.

2. I fill my stomach with delicious, nourishing food. I do not allow trans fats, high fructose corn syrup or other manufactured products to enter my body.

3. I read for pleasure.

4. I visualize achieving my goals while listening to my favorite music and working out on my treadmill.

5. I surround myself with people who enjoy my successes.

6. I avoid people who gossip.

What do you do?

Viveca Stone, of Get Ready for Love, and I want to know! Post a comment here, and zip it over to Viveca, too, if you're so inclined. No need to sign your name if you'd rather not. Initials will do.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spread the Love

Lennon and McCartney said it best: "The love you take is equal to the love you make."

Please give your love to the people of Darfur. It's free, and it doesn't hurt. Here's why you should do it:

It has been almost four years since the violence started in Darfur. More than 400,000 innocent people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have been displaced.

President Bush must take immediate action to end the violence by:

Engaging world leaders to enforce the no-fly zone already approved by the United Nations Security Council;

Working with the United Nations to speed up the deployment of a civilian protection force;

Enacting tougher, targeted economic sanctions and punitive measures;

Instructing his administration to play a major diplomatic role in supporting renewed, multi-party peace efforts;

Cooperating with Congress to ensure sufficient funding for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.*

Please call President Bush at 202-456-1111. He's waiting to take your call.

*Thanks to David Rubenstein, Save Darfur Coalition

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How Much Drama Do You Need?

If you're in a relationship with someone who treats you like garbage, stop making excuses for him (or her!). Cease crabbing about him to every poor soul with the misfortune to possess a pair of ears.

Unless the guy is willing to get counseling, he's not going to get better. Talking about him, or analyzing his behavior with your friends will not ever make him a) be nicer to you, b) appreciate all you do for him, or c) love you. Admit to yourself that you have absolutely no control over anybody but yourself.

It's time to flee, Sister. Do what you have to do and get away from the guy. Stop telling yourself you "love him to death." Stop making him the air you breathe. You will never be happy until you do.

Attract a man who's worthy of you for a change..

Friday, January 12, 2007

I Love Lewis Black

I met him after his show in Levittown, Long Island a couple of years ago, and he's the most gracious man on the planet (well, after Peter, anyway). He's also one of the smartest comedians out there.

If you haven't checked him out yet, please do. If you have, give him your vote for the Comedy Central Stand-Up Showdown!

Attract a man who's worthy of you for a change.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Meet Men Part 3

The last of a 3-part series detailing the considerable social benefits of becoming the Hostess With the Mostess. More answers about entertaining to meet men follow:

I’ve been to so many parties where people just sit around with plates in their laps. How do I avoid hosting one of those?

My mother, a fantastic hostess with a gift for facilitating merriment, had a rule: Fewer chairs than guests. If you have six chairs in your living room, get rid of two of them. If you’ve invited 20 people, don’t fret about having 12 chairs. Your goal is for people to circulate. I can’t tell you how many hostesses have killed a good time by offering too many chairs. The result is a coffee klatch, not a party.

Serving food buffet-style will also encourage your guests to mingle. Let them use your kitchen counter and the top of your bookcase for tables. Trust me, they won’t complain about it.

If you notice a cluster of boredom brewing, break it up immediately. For example, if you overhear some married couple droning on about their children’s accomplishments, call the husband away and enlist him to lift something heavy. Or get his wife to lift something heavy. Just shut them up.

After all the preparation for this party, I’m going to be wiped out. How can I look and feel my best?

Keep things simple, and you'll look rested and gorgeous. Think quick food, clutter-free house, festive drinks, and music (or football). That’s it. If your house isn’t beautiful, trust me, nobody worthwhile is going to give a damn. They’re just looking for a day out of the house, and you’ve given it to them. So take the pressure off. Now.

A week before the party, start reading food labels. If a package lists MSG, drop it. MSG makes you look old and puffy. Rev up your water intake. If you can't take it straight, squeeze a little lemon into it. Nobody likes going to the bathroom 90 times a day, but when you wake up on party day looking younger than springtime, you'll be glad you did.

That morning, apply cool green tea bags to your face and eyes for 20 minutes. Please lie down first. Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties eliminate puffiness and clarify pores. Try it after you wash your face and before you slide on the moisturizer .

I dread the morning-after cleanup. I’m not sure this is all worth it.

It is worth it. Ask my husband’s friend (the guy who’s now happily married to the woman he met at his own party), and he’ll tell you. Look, I hate cleaning up, too, so wait until morning. Ask a good friend to help you. Let happy memories of the night before get you through it, as well as the knowledge that you’ve established yourself as a fun, welcoming person other people would do well to get to know.

The bonus? At least one of your guests is bound to reciprocate, opening the way for you to meet even more people—and even more men.

You met a great guy. Should you call him?.

Meet Men Part 2

Part Two of a 3-part series detailing the considerable social benefits of becoming the Hostess With the Mostess. More answers about entertaining to meet men follow:

I’d really prefer not to throw a party around the holidays. I have enough to do already.

Throw a party during a dead spot on the calendar, like February. After the holiday crush, many people like to hibernate. By February, they're ready to have fun again. Unfortunately, February is difficult for people who don't like Valentine's Day, or who have no one to celebrate it with.

Come to the rescue by throwing a Winter Blues party. Invite lively singles and couples and be sure to tell 'em to bring a friend. Serve blue drinks. Stock your CD player with upbeat music and sprinkle in a couple of blues selections from Billie Holiday or B.B. King. Buy frozen mini quiches and dim sum in bulk at Costco. Heat and serve.

I’m such a slob. I’m embarrassed to invite people over.

I’m a reformed slob, so I can relate. Scour the Internet for a quick guide to de-cluttering and get cracking. It's easier than you think, and it’s absolutely worth it. An orderly home will free you in too many ways to list here, but you’ll be able invite people into your house without freaking out about it.

Even better, you can establish yourself as a hostess (banish June Cleaver from your mind; think fun, warm, party person everybody wants to know). Trust me, if you show people a good time, they’ll talk about you ---favorably. They'll want to introduce you around.

Another thing: If you want to attract a great guy, you need to make room for him. Get rid of the clutter.

How do I invite people? By phone or by email?

Neither. Email and phone invitations work well for last-minute events, but you’re better off sending a homemade or hip store-bought invitation that conveys fun and excitement three weeks before yours. The typical guest will stick it on his fridge. He’ll look forward to your party every time he gets a glass of milk.

Homemade invitations are cheap and especially effective. I had great success with one I’d put together from photos of my friends from various times, places, and events and photocopied them, along with party details. I also drew on a crude head-and-shoulders silhouette with the caption, “Picture your smiling face here.” The result? An apartment packed to the rafters.

When designing your invitation, play around with typefaces to get your message across. Certain fonts indicate a more formal event, while others tell your guests to feel free to wear a pair of jeans.

This all sounds very exciting, but I can’t afford to throw a party right now.

Organize a chic potluck. Miss Manners would disagree, but there’s absolutely wrong with it. Pick a theme and get going. If you're squeamish about asking people to bring food to a party, I assure you that most people really like to help out. They like to show off their cooking. They enjoy getting compliments. They also just want to get out of the house and have a good time. Make it your job to help them.

Get the step-by-step program to attract the man of your dreams.

Meet Men Without Leaving Home

If you're looking to meet new men, you can do it without ever leaving your home. How? By throwing a party. You don't have to be Martha Stewart to do an event people will talk about for months; hey, you don't even have to be Rachael Ray. You just have to be you.

In this 3-part series, I'll answer a few of your questions about why you should entertain. I’ll also show you how easy it can be.

How the heck can I meet guys by throwing a party? Am I supposed to hand out invitations on a street corner?

Please don't. Instead, invite people you know and like and ask them to bring along somebody they know and like (the bring-along doesn't need to be single or male, but he or she may introduce you later to somebody else who is).

My husband's good friend, B., met both a long-term girlfriend and, later, his wife at his own parties. And then there's L., a habitual hostess, who once opened her door in Queens and found actor Matt Dillon standing on her doorstep. He showed up at one of her soirees after being invited by another guest. While I can't guarantee that Matt Dillon will make an appearance at your party, I can't guarantee he won't, either.

I can't cook.

Well, you do eat, don't you? If you like to take out, check out the restaurant's catering menu. Whether you want Chinese, Indian, Italian, or a Bloomin' Onion from The Outback, you can get it for your party. Pick up the phone, order, and set out some colorful paper plates and flatware. You're good to go.

I'm freakishly shy.

Hey, I've been there. Sometimes I'm still there. If you're terrified being forced to carry a conversation, arrange the party around an event like a football game. Turn on the TV. The background noise will fill in gaps in the conversation, and you can always talk about the game.

Here's a bonus: Football games call for casual food and drink. Pop a few trays of frozen potato skins in the oven, cut up a 6-foot sub, and pour some beers into a cooler full of ice. You’re set.

I hate football. In fact, I detest sports.

Then put together a holiday event. It's easy. Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and The Fourth of July. Hit the party store and buy a few appropriate decorations.

Music is key. At Christmas, alternate traditional favorites with tunes from your guests' high school and college years. Nothing gets a party off the ground faster. If most of your crowd graduated around 1993, spin Nirvana, 10,000 Maniacs, and Pearl Jam. For the 1985 generation, try Simple Minds, early U2, and Jefferson Starship (particularly their ultra-cheesy, "We Built this City"). You get the idea.

For other holidays, return Bing Crosby to his CD case and change decorations accordingly. But, by all means, keep the music turned up.

Before you pick up the phone to talk to a guy, read this.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The First Thing You Must Know About Men

The first thing you need to know about men is this: You don't need one. If you're thinking, "Hey, I want one," you're probably on the right track.

Wanting is one thing. Needing is another. When you need a man, you come off as needy. Needy people are unattractive. What's more, they often accept less than they deserve, whether it's in a man, a job, or a friend. They attract it. They might as well stick "kick me" signs on their backs.

When you feel good about yourself, you tend to want love and companionship. You don't necessarily need it. Emotionally healthy women tend to choose --and attract-- men who make them happy, instead of some guy who leaves them wondering if he'll call, whether or not he's coming home, or if he's getting a little on the side on his lunch hour.

Are you needy? Definitely you are:

-if you hate to be by yourself.

-if you believe that your life will be a failure if you don't marry and have children.

-if you think getting boob implants is the best way to get male attention (you'll get attention, all right, but not necessarily the kind that lasts).

An emotionally healthy woman enjoys her own company. She doesn't need a man--or even her friends-- around to have fun. As a result, people want to be around her. She's attractive. She knows how to have a good time.

If you're in the needy category and want to move out, decide to fall in love with yourself. Nobody is ever going to love you until you love yourself first.

Start by making a list of your good qualities and your talents. Stop taking them for granted. Not everybody has them, you know. Keep the list where you can see it, perhaps on your bathroom mirror. Buy yourself little treats. You shouldn't go into credit card debt, but do resolve to do small, lovely things for yourself.

Turn off the TV chatter and spend time listening to beautiful music over a glass of your favorite wine. Be daring and take yourself out to the movies once in a while (and if you get weird looks from people, realize that they don't have the confidence to do the things they want unless they have a willing partner in tow).

Stop hanging around people who gossip, particularly women who gossip about how other women raise their children, decorate their houses, and keep screwing up their relationships. Replace them with women who like other women. By all means, avoid any individual who implies that you're defective because you don't have a man in your life.

After you start loving yourself, you'll notice a shift in the circumstances--and people--you attract. Be warned: Those who don't have your best interests at heart will become annoyed with you and eventually drift away. You'll find yourself surrounded by more supportive people. Before long, you'll find yourself in the company of a man you want.

Lo and behold, he'll want you, too.

The step-by-step plan to attract a man who'll curl your toes.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Don't Audition to Be a Guy's Wife

Three dates into a relationship, some women figure they've got a big fish on the hook, and they'd better reel him in fast. They start doing all sorts of wacky things, desperately hoping to make themselves indespensible to the guy.

This kind of woman wants him to see her potential as primo wife material right away, so she:

-Offers to pick up his dry cleaning

-"Makes up a plate" for him at barbecues and buffets, instead of letting him get it himself

-Cooks for him instead of going out for dinner

-Makes his bed

-Slowly but steadfastly moves her belongings into his house and takes over the housework

-Offers to babysit his nieces and nephews (or his children), so he can see what a spectacular mother she'd make.

Females who choose this route usually get taken for granted. They're eventually discarded. Sure, certain guys may jump to marry such women, but they tend to be those who stay out all night with their buddies and refuse to change diapers.

A man who likes a challenge and enjoys the company of an intellectual equal will quickly grow bored. Challenging women are sexy. Women who chase after men with paper plates dripping with cole slaw are not.

Once a relationship is established (and what relationship is established after three dates? How long did it take you to get to know your best friend, for example?), it's fine to offer to pick up a guy's dry cleaning. But he should also offer to pick up yours every now and then.

Don't be quick to jump into sex roles. If the man likes to cook, congratulations. By all means, let him. If you like to fix flat tires, don't suppress the urge. Be yourself. Let him be himself. Allow your relationship to develop organically. Discover who a man really is before deciding he's "the one."

Take your time. The worst thing that can happen is that you won't wrangle yourself into a bad marriage. Remember: This is your life we're talking about.

Attract a man who's worthy of you for a change.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Britney Spears Gets Too Much Press...

...and the people being massacred in Darfur are forgotten.

You can help them by signing this petition.

If the paparazzi were to catch Britney and Paris Hilton putting their pens to it (no underwear required), lives would be saved.

After the Disastrous New Year's Eve Party

You had your nails done, wore a smashing outfit, and gave your makeup a bit of sparkle. Even your hair looked like it came out of a shampoo commercial. You arrived at the party, nervous to meet new people but confident you'd loosen up and have a great time.

You didn't.

The host snapped up the stuffed mushrooms you slaved over with a quick thank-you and turned away. Your polite attempts at small talk with other guests fell flat. Nobody made you feel particularly welcome.

You began to feel like an bug in a jar. You itched to flee, but you promised yourself you'd get out of the house more often. You know you'll never meet a decent man if you're not at least willing to get out of the house more often!

So you beat your way to the drink table, making conversation with the person standing next to you, only to be rebuffed. You retreated to a corner of the room, sipping away in a desperate attempt to look casual (while ignoring the ever-tightening knot in your stomach), and fought off a fantasy about going home, getting into your pajamas, and pulling out your Bridget Jones DVDs.

Instead, you forced yourself to stick it out a bit longer, only to end up thinking, "I'm useless. All these people are having a great time, and I'm standing around like a giant pimple. What's wrong with me?"

There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all. You merely accepted an invitation to a bad party.

"But," you say. "If it was such a bad party, why was everyone else having such a great time?"

The thing is, sometimes you'll end up at an event where other people have a good time because they know each other, and they don't have the manners or the inclination to include a new face in the merriment. (There will be other times, though, when you'll find yourself at an event where people know each other but gladly welcome you into the fold.)

And, remember, just because an individual hosts a party doesn't mean he or she knows the first thing about being a good host (which would be making sure that that no guest is propped in a corner feeling like a skin condition). Hosting a party is a responsibility. It's fun, but it's definitely a responsibility.

Bad hosts throw parties that are all about them. If you end up at one of these jerk fests, stick around for an hour. If things don't improve, say thanks (that is, if you can get the attention of the jerk to thank) and get out of there.

Then, instead of reliving the miserable time you endured, pat yourself on the back for getting out in the first place. Believe it or not, you've taken a step toward changing your life.

The next time you're offered an invitation, be bold and accept it. Better yet, show 'em how it's done and throw a party of your own. Super Bowl Sunday will soon be upon us. Make the most of it.

Get your house party-ready in no time!.