Month: July 2011

Healthy picnicking made easy

You may have worked your tush off all spring in order to look smokin’ this summer, but months of picnics and barbecues can undo all that hard work if you’re not careful. Here are some common foods to avoid, easy swaps to make, and yummy sides to look for that won’t pile on the calories. 1. Turkey burgers are often assumed to be healthier than beef, but that’s only true if you opt for the lean variety; otherwise, you’re still chowing down on extra calories and fat, and you’d be better off with lean beef. Another smart choice: swap out the regular bun for a whole-grain English muffin. 2. Skip the fried chicken and grab a grilled kebab, which has the added benefit of including a dose of veggies. 3. If you really must have the potato or pasta salad, limit yourself to a small scoop, since the mayonnaise or dressing can pack a lot of fat and calories. Fill up the rest of your plate with healthy sides like corn on the cob and fresh fruit. 4. One guilt-free picnic choice? Guacamole! Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are great for your heart, making guac a better pick than creamy dips. 5. Drinks are one of the sneakiest sources of calories, but while a can of soda or beer might seem like the most obvious culprit, lemonade...

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10 dorm room essentials you might have forgotten

It may only be July, but parents and students everywhere are already looking ahead to Back to College season. Sure, you already know you’ll need things like a shower caddy and your iPod, but there are other dorm essentials that you may not have thought to add to your list. Here are a few picks to get you started! 1. Foam mattress pad. Dorm room mattresses can be lumpy and uncomfortable, so treat yourself to this cushy extra. 2. Twin XL bedding. The standard dorm size, so don’t come with regular bedding, or you’ll have to run back to the store in the middle of move-in day. 3. Water filtration pitcher. Tap water in some areas can taste “off”, and bottled water is just too expensive! 4. Coffee pot with auto shut-off. Most dorms won’t allow appliances without this feature, due to the fire hazard. 5. Bed risers. If you don’t opt to turn your bed into a loft (a great way to gain extra space for a mini-fridge, dresser, etc.), at least bring bed risers. That extra several inches gives you space for under-the-bed totes to store extra clothes, books, etc. 6. Collapsible anything. Pop-up laundry hampers, folding papasan chairs, collapsible drying racks–all can be tucked away when not in use, as opposed to their traditional, bulkier counterparts. 7. Fabric freshener. Odors get trapped in furniture, curtains, etc.,...

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White-hot trend: little white bikinis

Little white bikinis are white-hot with celebs! Kate Middleton famously sported one during a vacation in Spain, and Elisabetta Canalis was spotted frolicking in one following her recent split from George Clooney. And a slew of other starlets, such as Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian, and Serena Williams, have been spotted living it up beachside in sizzling white bikinis. So, why opt for a white bikini over any other color? For starters, in a sea of traditional black or colored prints, it’s an attention getter! And anything white automatically makes your skin look more tan by comparison, so it’s a sneaky way to up your glow quotient! When shopping for a white bikini, there are a couple of key things to remember. First, make sure the suit is fully lined so nothing will show through once you jump in the water. Second, realize that bright white can look strange under the dressing room lights, so it’s best to take the suit home and try it on where you can model it in natural light. (Always check a store’s return policies to be sure you can return swimwear if the tags are still attached.) Want to jump on board with this trend? Here are a few cute suits to try from Victoria’s Secret (victoriassecret.com): For a basic banded halter top, try the Liya Push-Up Halter Top ($24). If you’re on the...

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Four tips for breaking it off with someone you met online

Last week Gawker.com reprinted a wordy e-mail from the user of online dating site OKCupid, in which the author broke up with a woman he had met through the site and with whom he had shared a sum total of three dates. Count ’em again: three dates. Yet somehow he spun that into 700 words worth of impolite jabs, braggadacio, and unhelpful recommendations. Ouch! So, now that this user has provided the rest of the world with this helpful example of how not to break up with someone you met online, how can you cut it off tactfully? Before you hit “send” on that e-mail, keep these tips in mind: 1. Keep it short and sweet. All you really have to say is, “I had fun, but I didn’t feel a connection.” Or, if that’s not quite true, “I don’t think we’re a good fit.” There’s no need for wordy explanations. 2. Be polite. Mr OKCupid probably thought he was doing his date a favor by pointing out her perceived flaws, and it does make for funny reading; but in real life, this is called “being rude”. Just keep your opinions to yourself. 3. Don’t overstate the relationship. Online dating tends to speed up the normal “blind date” routine; but don’t confuse all those exchanged e-mails and pictures for the months of face-to-face interaction that constitute a typical fledgling...

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Five important things to consider before getting a Tattoo

Thinking of getting inked? Before you run out to get that tattoo, there are a few things you need to consider. #1: Don’t do it on a whim. Look at how many celebrities Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Denise Richards have had their ink altered or removed after a bad breakup. Whether you’re getting an inscription or a symbol, think hard and long about whether you can really live with that artwork on your body forever. Yes, you can get laser removal, but it’s expensive and painful! #2: Placement is key. Getting a tattoo on your forearm might sound like a great idea now, but how will you feel about it ten years from now? Will it become an issue if the tattoo is visible at your wedding or another special event? It’s also important to remember that personal feelings aside, getting a highly visible tattoo can hurt your job options, since many companies won’t hire a candidate with visible ink. So while a tattoo on your arm might be easily covered with long sleeves, one on your hand or the back of your neck isn’t so easy to hide. #3: Double-check everything. Actress Hayden Panettiere is famous for her misspelled tattoo, which should read “Vivere senza rimpianti” (Italian for “to live without regrets”). Instead, “rimpianti” reads “rimipianti” (with an extra “i”). Oops! #4: Compare artists and shops. Sleuth around...

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