Y’all know I’m lazy. But I also love to live the beautiful life! That’s what the Lazy Girl’s Guide column is all about. Let’s start here.
So, if you’re connected to me in any major social media network, you probably already know this–but for those who don’t already know me, I moved into (what I consider) my dream home back in May of last year, and I’ve been all about decorating and organizing and all of the fun that goes along with (finally!) having enough space for your stuff.
Since moving is also a costly endeavor, as is decorating and furnishing a new home, and since I’m a huge cheapskate anyway–I started looking for ways to make my life easier and more organized.
And since I’m the type who loves to share information, I’ve rounded up some of the best cheap and free DIY ways to get your kitchen in order, right here.
Tissue boxes for plastic bags–add pretty duct tape to sturdy up the box and tack or stick inside of cabinet.
Soda boxes for canned goods–again, duct tape to sturdy it up and cans are dispensed like soda cans. Would work best with multiple ones that contain the same kind of canned goods in each. Best for larger families.
Wire racks inside cabinets to add storage–these can be small ones to sit over a stack of plates (to hold saucers, or bowls maybe), or they can be larger and used for holding cookie sheets, pots, pans or lids.
Magazine racks to hold cookie sheets and foil or plastic wrap boxes–old mail racks or metal file holders from the office work just as well.
Magnetic strips all over the place–I can’t believe I don’t have these already, honestly. But magnetic strips inside of your cabinets or even on the wall can hold all sorts of things. A few examples: knives, cooking utensils, spice jars and tins–anything metallic, really. If you don’t have a ton of cabinet or wall space, you could even stick these right on your fridge or dishwasher.
Lazy susans–you can put them on the countertop to hold coffee or tea supplies (cream, sugar, etc.) or inside the cabinets to hold spices. The possibilities are endless. I’ve even seen people use lazy susans to hold canned goods.
Stick on hooks–again, these are so cheap and so useful. I have them on the wall next to my stove to hold pot holders. There’s also one next to my sink which holds a passionately written list of “dishwasher rules,” penned on construction paper after a particularly frustrating attempt to put away the “clean” dishes one evening. If you’re low on cupboard space, you can use these to hold teacups or coffee mugs too. These are my favorites–here’s a coupon I found that can save you a bit of cash.
What do guys in their 20s really want from a woman? And what does any of that have to do with Craigslist?
You might not think of Craigslist as a scientific tool, but it really offers a certain amount of insight into the psychology of the people around us.
For example, ladies, if you’ve ever driven yourself crazy wondering what men really want, you’re not alone—but your answer could be right at your fingertips– all it might take to find out is a quick check of some Craigslist ads.
Wait, what? Find out what guys in their 20s want…on Craigslist?
So, being the big research geek I am, I just had to know if Craigslist ads could give me a good idea of what men, in general, want. I took a look at a cross-section of men-for-women (M4W) ads on Craigslist in my local area in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Today, we’re looking at guys in their 20s want.
(Stay tuned for follow-up articles in this series to discuss the 30-60 somethings!)
What do guys in their 20s want in a woman?
While none of the men’s answers were identical, there were certain trends that could be noted, both across the board and within each age group, including, of course, our fearless 20-somethings.
Honest, Sincere and Must Love Bondage (Age 23)
A 23-year-old anonymous male posted this ad seeking “…that special woman that will respect and honor me. A woman that is honest, sincere, dedicated, good worker and loves to spend quality time with his man…family values and responsible. A woman that likes to enjoy the beautiful things of life, a woman that is willing to have one man in her life, a person I can trust…”
So far, so good, right?
The young man goes on to reiterate that he wants a decent-looking, active, fun-loving woman who shold also have a nice body, no criminal history, financial stability and must like to travel.
Finally, he ends his ad with a note on cleanliness, followed by a very…touching proclamation: “You must love SEX because I really do..I’m a very SUBMISSIVE MALE in bed..I LOVE BONDAGE PLAY.”
Yep. Don’t knock each over trying to get to that one, ladies. Moving on…
Lover, Best Friend, No Baggage Please—But I’ll Take a High Schooler (Age 25)
Our 25-year-old Craigslister offers a bit more hope in the male side of our species. He says he likes “a girl I can do everything with. Lover, best friend, most trusted person in life.”
He adds that he’s not looking for “someone who wants to be casual, still focus on their friends all the time,” but that he’d prefer “someone who wants and needs one man to make them happy, and wants to make a man happy.”
But then he adds a little something extra that makes me cringe a little. His age restrictions, specifically, include “someone who is either a high school senior, college student or college grad with a good career.”
That whole “high school senior” part that gives me pause. I mean, seriously?
I realize that 18 and 25 aren’t that far apart, technically. But let’s be honest—there’s a lot of maturing that happens between those ages.
Finally, he adds that he’d really prefer someone “with no baggage like kids, drugs issues, crazy exes etc. Someone who isn’t afraid of scary movies and roller coasters but also isn’t afraid of showing their emotions and professing a faith in some higher power. Someone who likes the man to take the lead, but knows how to take it when its time.”
So, there’s that. Do with it what you will, ladies. And if you’re in high school, please stay away!
Smart, Confident and Perpetually Barefoot (Age 28)
Thank goodness for this 28-year-old, who seems to be a decent guy looking for something real.
He made a very comprehensive list in his ad.
“1. My soul mate is faithful and honest.
2. She is confident in her own skin. Real women are beautiful regardless of her size.
3. She is perpetually barefoot or in flip flops.
4. She loves rocking jammies over getting dolled up. She also prefers an all natural look to wearing a bunch of makeup.
5. She is brash and bold, but in a loving way.
6. She is smart and witty.
7. She loves nature.
8. We share a ton of hobbies.
9. She is looking for her soul mate too.
10. She wants true love and will work hard for it.
11. She is African-American.” ~Anonymous Craigslister, Age 28
Can’t find too much wrong with that one, can ya?
No Barbies, No Fatties and Don’t Be Too Short (Age 28)
“I don’t want a Barbie or a stick woman, (but) I don’t want an obese woman either,” says another Craigslister, Age 28. “There are beautiful big women out there but it’s just not for me.”
He goes on to explain that he prefers Caucasian women, because he’s “never dated interracial and (has) no plans for it.”
“You don’t have to be 6 feet tall, but I don’t want to have to look to far down at you. I don’t mind if you’re divorced, but not looking to pay for your divorce either.”
And, in case you wondered, he ended the post by noting that “everyone has their own taste and what they like; I won’t be everyone’s ideal mate.” Good insight.
Drug-Free, Childless 1950s Housewife (Age 28)
So, there are guys like this in every generation. It doesn’t make them bad, per se, it just makes them specific.
The good thing here is that you have the choice–if you don’t think you can fit into this guy’s mold without becoming someone you hate, then you don’t date this guy.
He prefers, according to his Craigslist ad, “a woman that isn’t one of these feminist new age liberal types.”
She should also be thin or athletic, and intelligent–however, she should not have a child or a smoking or drug habit.”
He adds that his ideal woman “just wants to be a man’s princess. The 1950s lifestyle, house wife etc…. that is what I seek.”
So how about you? What qualities do you (or would you like to) see in an ideal woman? What do men in their 20s want in a woman, as far as you see it? Are these guys unusual? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
How did you know that your husband was the One? How’d you know you wanted to get married?
An informal survey of women between the ages of 24 and 65 produced some very interesting stories. Here are a few of the ones that struck a cord with me.
How I Knew I Wanted to Marry Him: Women Speak Out
“He is the second person I ever went out with and I am the only person he ever went out with and it just felt right. Been married 34 years this coming August.” ~Laura
“The moment I saw Mark from across the room I knew I wanted to marry him. I even told one of my best friends at the time that I was going to marry him some day. That was on December 12th, 1994. I was 17 and he was 23. Four kids and over 16 years of marriage later, we still say I love you at least 10 or more times a day, even if we are arguing.” ~Amanda
“I told my mom the first time I saw Robert that I would marry him. We had a great friendship during our journalism workshop and that made things even better when we started dating. I just always felt a strong connection to him and I think being friends somehow gets us through the rough spots but we’re 10+ years together and almost 3 years married and looking forward to the 5, 10, 15, 20+ year marks.” ~Aja
“For me, it was that he made me feel like my life was complete when i was with him. I knew he was someone I could grow old with. I feel so blessed any lucky to have him and he still gives me butterflies. This is my second marriage and i finally got it right. He makes me happy.” ~Shelly
“I knew I wanted to marry my husband when I caught him playing Barbies with my 2 year old daughter. At least he was playing with the Ken doll.” ~Lisa
“We went on a road trip together that took us to about eight different states. At one point, we had to drive through West Virginia for hours and hours and hours in the pouring rain. We didn’t get to our hotel until after midnight. We didn’t argue once — that’s how I knew we were meant to be together.” ~Leigh
“I felt like I could breathe when I was with Marco. I didn’t have to “be” anything. I could just be. He was so laid back and cool with everything and not wound up. He was my polar opposite, my balance. Being with him made any other relationship feel like it had been in another life almost. It’s hard to describe and it’s something I’d never felt before meeting him.” ~Sarah
Your Turn: How’d you know he or she was “the ONE” for you? Share your thoughts, feelings and experiences in the comments section, below.
“Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.” ~Dove #GirlsUnstoppable campaign
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but so often, women forget to behold themselves as beautiful.
If you ask certain members of the entertainment industry, you’d think that the only beautiful women in the world are sort of represented by Barbie dolls–but the truth is that there are beautiful women across the spectrum.
But they’re not all that way–many celebrities have stood up and rallied against the “fake” Hollywood image.
“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-ass red lipstick.” ~Gwenyth Paltrow
Some are thin, some are thick–others have full DD cups while plenty are rocking a solid A or B. Some beautiful women are darker complected, some are pale as ghosts. There are beautiful women of every race, every size, every nationality–even of every age.
Beauty is subjective–and honestly, there is beauty in EVERYONE and EVERYTHING if you look hard enough.
Beautiful Women Week at Project Blissful & MTM Body
Project Blissful and MTM Body are excited to announce that it’s Beautiful Women Week! Since I’m already collaborating with Jamie at MTM Body on our Dare-to-Bare 8-Week Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge, we’ve been discussing our philosophies and beliefs–and we both feel that every woman is beautiful in her own way.
And while we love men, we realize that our primary audience is women–so this week, it’s all about beautiful women. Both the Project Blissful Facebook page and the MTM Body Facebook page will share photos of beautiful women in all shapes and sizes this week, as well as before/after photos of beautiful women who’ve lost weight and gained health.
Plus, we figure the men won’t mind, anyway. Who doesn’t love beautiful women? 🙂
Our idea was inspired in part by fitness model Ashton Taylor, who recently offered praise for Jamie’s fitness classes at her local Gold’s Gym, so we’re making Ashton our first featured woman of the week!
What to Expect
In addition to our Facebook posts, we’ll have posts focused on all types of beauty–inner and outer–all week. We’ll spotlight beauty tips and treatments and we’ll feature info from the experts. We’ll offer inner beauty support and ideas–and we’ll feature beautiful women of all shapes and sizes all week long!
Are you ready?? Let’s get beautiful! It’ll be a fun week! Stay tuned and tell us in the comments section–what makes a woman beautiful, in your opinion?
Would you (or someone you know) like to be featured as a Project Blissful & MTM Body Beautiful Woman? Comment here or shoot me an email at [email protected] with the subject line “Beautiful Woman.”
Most of us have our mothers to thank for our ingrained eating habits, exercise approach and self-image.
For me, it was a crazy, yoga-practicing, kale-eating great-grandmother.
Mud the Miracle-Great-Grandma
When I was little, “Mud” came to visit our family (my grandfather had difficulty pronouncing the German word for “mother,” and his abbreviated version stuck). My sister and I were hoping she would bring presents, cookies, maybe a Barbie or two.
But when she stepped off the plane from California, Mud was pulling a suitcase full of kale, fish oil, wheat berries and Meyer lemons.
Someone still owes me a Barbie.
Mud stuck out like a sore thumb… make that a strong, lithe, beautifully manicured thumb. She drank warm water and lemon all day long. I’ve never met anyone better at cheating at cards. She slept on a board and practiced yoga, decades before it was popular. Mud had perfect teeth, perfect posture, and an unrelenting dedication to whole foods. She looked 25 years younger than her peers and could lift her foot behind her head, as a great-grandmother.
This was a woman seriously in tune with her body. Mud figured out how to keep her body balanced, her metabolism humming, and her lifestyle rejuvenating.
Here’s the truth: Mud shouldn’t be the exception. We’ve all got the potential to be as youthful and energetic as Mud. You’ve heard this before from my friend, Dr. Lissa Rankin, and I’m going to help you get started today with my top 7 ways.
Centuries of Wisdom
With Mud as my inspiration, I’ve spent decades exploring the world of prevention, healing, and repair through nutrition and lifestyle. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine prove that health can be managed through daily habits and natural remedies, from what we put in our mouths to when we close our eyes at night.
Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Bruno know how intelligent and adaptable our bodies are:
Cause you’re amazing, Just the way you are.
– Bruno Mars, Just The way You Are
As a practicing physician who’s worked with over 20,000 women, I know our bodies come with built-in systems designed to help us heal, manage, and live the max out of every hour, of every day. It makes sense, right? The more we own and care for our bodies, the more we’ll get out of them.
1. Work on Your Gut
Health, like beauty, really is an inside job: The zillions of bacteria that make up the microbial garden of your gut are your body’s first line of defense against infections and illness. Known as the microbiome of the gut, science is exploding with studies proving our bodies are designed – like some crazy robot of the future – to heal themselves. When they’re out of balance, bad bacteria start to cause problems, whether it comes from a virus or hormonal imbalance.
Own it: A healthy diet creates healthy bacteria, which turns you into an infection-fighting, cold-thwarting machine. Eat whole foods that balance your blood sugar and provide vitamins and minerals.
2. You Snooze, You Win (Create circadian congruence.)
Humans are designed to rise with the sun and to sleep when it’s dark. Seems a little obvious, but most us are guilty of late nights and days spent in an office. Sure, there are morning people and night owls, but your hormones are released according to your sleep/wake cycle.
Own it: Get your Circadian rhythm in order, and your body will produce the hormones you need whenyou need them. Do your best to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. Also remember that there’s no better way to wake up than to expose yourself to sunlight.
3. Exceptional Eating (+ Epigenetics)
If you need a frappucino and muffin to get through your day, that’s a sure sign your hormones are off, and bad news for your DNA (50-80% of how your genes are expressed are determined by how you eat, move, think, and supplement—a phenomenon called “epigenetics). Cravings for salt and sugar can be cries for help from your thyroid, your cortisol levels, or your even sleep cycle.
Own it: Create a diet high in whole foods, fiber, and water. Take a hormone quiz (you’ll see how at the end of this post) to see which aspects of your diet might be lacking.
4. Restore, Rejuvenate, Refresh
Accelerated aging, wrinkles, moodiness, low energy… these are all signs that your body hasn’t had a chance to repair itself. Cell repair is an important process that happens every night, but late bedtimes and not enough sleep are serious roadblocks.
Own it: I’m strict because I care: lights out by 10pm (at least 5 of 7 nights each week). Getting in bed by this time is the magic hour to facilitate repair benefit to your body, cells, and muscles. The ratio of catabolism (wear and tear) to anabolism (growth and repair) shifts while you sleep, and the hours before midnight are especially auspicious. This is how to avoid Botox. Do it.
5. Symptoms Are Not a Cry for Pills.
Think about a health problem as a text message from your body: Hard-to-lose belly fat? Your cortisol could be high. Low sex drive? Testosterone and estrogen levels may be off. Memory loss? Estrogen and cortisol could be factors in this equation. These aren’t problems asking for a prescription – they’re asking for a lifestyle change.
Own it: Get to the root cause. Up the Omega 3s in your diet, try GPS for the Soul and take some B6. These are just a few of the gentle, prescription-free ways you can care for your body, and pretty much everyone will benefit from them. Always try lifestyle tweaks such as diet or exercise solutions before you reach for the pill bottle.
6. I Stress, Eustress…
Don’t confuse hyperdrive, late-night bursts of energy and other stress-junkie symptoms for productivity. Yes, elevated cortisol is bad for you, but so is low cortisol. Ideally, you get a burst of cortisol in the morning that wakes you up and gets you going. Over the course of the day, your cortisol levels should slowly decline so that when bedtime rolls around (10pm, remember?), it’s easy to relax and fall asleep. Cortisol needs to be in the “Goldilocks” position: not too high, and not too low.
Own it: “Eustress” means good stress, because we all need some cortisol in our lives. It’s what gets us going! The healthy solution is to change your reaction to stressful situations; approach them as a challenge, or try some deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
7. Be a Good Neighbor
Think of your body as a neighborhood: a busy community of hormones, bacteria, and hard-working organs. Many of these work together – known as “cross talk” – which means that if one aspect of your health is off, chances are it’s affecting something else. HIgh cortisol often results in low thyroid, which means a stressed-out mind and a slowing metabolism. No, thank you.
Own it: Figure out what your body needs, and do it! Returning this interconnected system to balance may have positive effects you didn’t even think of! Healthier skin! More flexible joints! The ability to sleep without a glass of wine!
Smarter than the Average Body
Your body can do a lot; from a perfect French Braid, to remembering where you left your car keys, to getting over a cold, it’s a pretty incredible machine. Give your body the chance to rise to its full potential by making lifestyle changes, such as reducing your alcohol consumption, exercising more, and losing weight. In this way, you’re maximizing your DNA; keeping your hormones balanced helps prevent your negative genetic tendencies. Non-genetic triggers can cause your genes to behave, or express themselves, differently. This is where being proactive establishes your hormone cure.