1. Eat something fried, delicious, and awful for you at a local fair.
2. Get drunk in the cheap seats at a baseball game.
3. Do one touristy thing in your city/town that you’ve never done before.
4. Turn off your phone and go read in a park.
5. Or better yet, at the beach.
6. Ice cream No. 1 after lunch.
7. Ice cream No. 2 after dinner.
8. Also important: beach ice cream (or sherbet, if the spirit moves you).
9. Go for a night hike.
11. Wake up early and get all the best stuff at the farmer’s market.
12. Make lemonade from scratch.
13. Have a picnic in the park.
14. Or just a “picnic.”
15. Have your all-white outfit moment.
16. Get on a boat
17. Build a fire and make s’mores.
18. Go to an outdoor movie.
19. Or an outdoor concert.
20. Walk somewhere you usually would have driven or taken public transit to.
21. Invite friends over, make water balloons, and see what happens.
22. Make grilled pizza.
23. EAT ALL OF THE BARBECUE.
24. BOOZY WATERMELON
25. In the event of a thunderstorm, try to capture the perfect lightning bolt photo.
26. Jump off something tall into a body of water.
27. Wear jorts. ( Jean Shorts)
Every woman has done it, and every woman has had it done to her—the minute you start a new relationship, your girlfriends are pushed to the back burner. But no matter how wonderful the man, it’s unlikely he’ll ever replace that much-needed time with friends, whether it’s bonding over the season finale of The Bacheloretteor a heart-to-heart over coffee. After all, says Carmen Renee Berry, MSW, coauthor of Girlfriends: Invisible Bonds, Enduring Ties, women (much like men) speak their own language. But more than that, our girlfriends are the family we choose for ourselves. Below, a few reasons—some silly, some serious—why we’ll always need one another.
If you want to share the experience of shopping with someone, says Berry, rather than have someone follow you around, bring a girlfriend. Plus, no matter how wonderful your partner is, he will never grasp why the choice between red alligator and red patent leather pumps is oh-so-important.
2. Group Therapy
Whatever issue you’re facing (relationship, work, general breakdown), there’s no better fix than the unique perspectives of your friends. Plus, Berry says, “You don’t have to explain much for a group of girlfriends to know exactly what you mean.”
3. Bethenny Getting Married—or Any Reality TV Show
No matter how hard we try to change their minds, men have long deemed our guilty pleasure intolerable. But that’s OK. Your man doesn’t have to have all the same interests as you. Instead, use it as the perfect excuse to get together with your friends on a regular basis.
4. Girls Night Out (or In)
Whatever the evening’s events, sometimes even just the pre-party can ignite the insightful, rejuvenating conversation you didn’t even know you longed for. Plus, just being in the presence of a group of people who love, support and complement you can give you a sense of playful freedom, often bringing out a side of you that you forgot was there.
Boys will be boys, and sometimes their can’t-read-your-mind responses prompt the need to commiserate. On the other hand, sometimes they deserve a round of applause—and nothing serves as a better reminder of how lucky in love you are than a sigh from your girlfriends as you recap his most recent romantic gesture.
6. Sex and Body Talk
You may have a question your boyfriend or husband wouldn’t know the answer to, Berry explains. Not to mention, somewhere deep inside, you want your love interest to continue seeing you as the goddess he did when you first met, which might make discussing your most recent yeast infection a bad idea.
7. Dance Therapy
When there’s no holding back, dancing takes on a whole new realm of possibilities. And, while there are plenty of perks to getting down with a group of super-fun guys, there’s nothing like getting your groove on with ladies who won’t care how sweaty you’ve gotten by the end of the night.
8. For the Truth…When Nobody Else Will Give It to You
Ultimately you want friends who make you feel good about yourself, but it’s nice to be able to ask a question and receive an honest response—whether it’s regarding those unflattering low-rise pants or that boy who will never fit in with your family. But Berry warns, “The point of constructive criticism is to improve the life of your girlfriend—not to be a ruse for trying to make her change.”
9. Because They Can Relate To You
You need people who, for better or worse, have been through what you’ve been through. After all, wisdom derives from experience. But either way, ladies tend to listen, explains Berry, while men feel the need to solve a problem. When her garbage disposal broke, Berry says, “My girlfriend listened while I lamented, and I felt much better; my male friend showed up at my door with a new garbage disposal, which he promptly installed.”
10. To Be a Better Girlfriend
It’s important to do things separately—whether vacations, dinners, etc.—because you’ll be a better woman, girlfriend or wife for it. A woman with her own network of friends will naturally be less codependent on her partner, which helps nurture a positive relationship. Plus, it’s unrealistic to expect to get everything you need from one person all the time, explains Berry.
I run my hands against the different fabrics in my closet. This is my ten-pounds ago blouse. I fit into it just last summer, but today it is snug and unflattering. And here is my 20-pounds ago dress. Even when I fit into this beautiful thing, I felt fat and unattractive. Up here are my jeans that span across six different sizes, including my 50-pounds-lighter-pants.
My closet is a reflection of my life-long battle with my weight. Reluctant to get rid of old sizes, I allow my guilt to set in because I can no longer fit into them. With a dedicated focus on my health, I hope that one day soon I will return to these smaller size clothes.
This was a journal entry from a year ago.
For the past 25 years, I’ve struggled with weight. But if we’re being honest, weight was never the issue. My real problem was lack of self-acceptance.
If we hate any part of ourselves, then nothing is ever good enough. No matter what number I was on the scale, whether my chest bones were poking out or whether I had so many rolls on my body I couldn’t fit into a public seat comfortably, the issue was never the weight.
But it was much easier to blame my body than to take responsibility for my own insecurities and examine my lack of self-worth. The weight roller-coaster was a reflection of my imbalanced thoughts. If I felt unworthy and unloved, my body would turn into my enemy.
No matter my weight, my doctor would always tell me I was healthy and fit. But in my mind, well,that was where the real battle was. When you hate any part of yourself, it doesn’t matter what others say about you. You won’t believe them until you feel it for yourself.
For decades, I used my body as a personal punching bag, abusing it with my thoughts. I’d say things like:
- The reason you didn’t make the dance team is because of your size.
- He didn’t call you back because of your thunder thighs.
- You aren’t more successful because the size of your body.
- You won’t get what you want because the way you look.
Self-shame, ridicule and humiliation were my everyday habits. I would put my happiness into achieving a certain body weight. And until that happened, I would be doomed to sit on the sidelines of life, not getting what the pretty, thin and beautiful did.
This was the old me. The one who thought all of the problems in her life were because of her body. Little did I know at the time that all of the problems in my life weren’t problems at all, but actually pathways.
Today, my life is much different. I look in the mirror and say compassionate, kind things to myself. I enjoy my food and no longer fear the calories, nor do I obsessively count them. I look forward to going shopping again, because I like the way my clothes fit. I no longer avoid mirrors or eye contact. The radical shift? Self-acceptance and self-love.
Several months ago, I made it my full-time mission to look at the areas of my life that weren’t going well. The one focus was my body and learning how to accept it.
Self-love is about acceptance and seeing yourself as the gift you are. Today, I am in love with myself because I respect my body. I see my body as a tool and teammate. My body helps me live my full potential. I listen to it and honor what it needs.
If you are struggling to love yourself or your body, you can let go of certain things in order to reach the love you desire. Here are 10 things to stop doing today if you want to truly accept and love your body (and, well, all of yourself).
1. Stop blaming your body for the bad things in your life.
It’s not your body’s fault. Instead say, “Thank you, body, for being with me on this journey.”
2. Stop letting a look or comment from someone else determine how you feel about yourself.
That person probably wasn’t judging you. You are judging yourself. Instead say, “Self, I forgive you. I send you love.”
3. Stop thinking you aren’t in the body you are supposed to have.
You are in the best body for you. Let your body be your teacher and guide you to more love.
4. Stop letting the number on the scale or your pant size define you.
You are more than any number. What matters most is how you feel, not how you look.
5. Stop judging yourself by what you can’t do and instead celebrate what you can.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. The limitation is in your mind. Start saying “I can” and watch how your life transforms.
6. Stop being mean to yourself when you look in the mirror.
You are more beautiful than you can truly see.
7. Stop joining in when your friends compare and trash their own bodies.
You hurt yourself when you bash yourself with others. Instead, celebrate your natural beauty and each other’s successes.
8. Stop thinking your looks are more important than how you feel.
Your health is not determined by your size. Focus on feeling good and everything returns to balance naturally.
9. Stop waiting to reach your goal to enjoy your body.
Your life is happening now. You can choose to hate yourself or love yourself. Choose love.
10. Stop thinking you don’t matter because of the size your body.
Life is far too hard as it is without you being at war with yourself. When we get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.
Enjoy the miracle that is you.
Summer is full of wonderful things — but melting makeup, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky lipstick are not among them. We asked top makeup artists to spill their best tips for keeping makeup looking fresh and pretty, even when the weather is working against you.
1. Start with the proper base.
The way you care for your skin is just as important as the makeup you apply to it. “Use an oil-free moisturizer in the morning,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, adding that you should opt for an oil-free foundation formula to match. If you aren’t sure what type of moisturizer works best for your skin type, use our dermatologist-advised guide.
2. Invest in a primer.
You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to apply a primer, which goes on after moisturizer but before face makeup. “Primers are definitely the way to go in summer,” says New York City-based makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. “They don’t feel at all like a heavy, additional layer, and they really help hold makeup in place.”
3. Bronze believably.
“Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, your teeth whiter — everyone looks better with a little warmth added to their skin,” says New York City-based makeup artist Troy Surratt. To keep the results looking fresh and natural, he recommends applying bronzer just to the high points of your face, where the sun naturally hits you: forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look.) Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply; look for one with varying shades — they’ll blend together for the most authentic-looking results. You can also sweep a little bronzer onto your neck and earlobes, especially if you have short hair or are wearing a ponytail.
4. Keep things light.
If you want to keep your makeup from creasing and caking, say it with us: Less is more. “If you can, just use a tinted moisturizer and a concealer where you need it,” says Stiles. “Makeup likes to move around when it’s hot, so the best way to avoid that is to wear less of it.”
5. Skip the shimmer.
Everyone loves a nice, dewy glow, but there’s a big difference between a healthy radiance and an over-the-top shine. “Avoid cream foundations or anything too luminous, as the humidity will make you extra shiny and sweaty-looking if you have too much sparkle on your skin,” warns Stiles.
6. Go sheer.
“Rich, deep colors have their place, but they can look heavy in summer,” says Surratt. To lighten up your look, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye colors. Use a lipliner pre-application if you need extra definition, but go for a nude shade to keep that carefree feeling, or try “invisible” lipliner, which deposits a clear, waxy film to stop color from bleeding. Bonus: Because sheer colors are subtler, you almost can’t go overboard.
7. Give your eye shadow staying power.
For longer-lasting shadow, avoid using eye cream on your lids (it can break down makeup), and smooth on an eye primer instead. “It will minimize creasing and create a base for the shadow to cling to so it lasts longer,” says Seattle-based makeup artist Sharona Schweitzer. For the ultimate in all-day wearability, layer a powder over a cream. Doubling up works for liner, too. “Apply your regular pencil or cream liner, then use a small angled brush to press dark shadow over the liner to set it for longer wear,” says Schweitzer.
8. Ditch the powder blush.
Blush adds balance and healthiness to any look, but if you’re still using the same powdery formula, your flush might be getting cake-y faster than it takes to get to work in the morning. “Stains are great for longevity in hot weather,” says Stiles. “Use a gel or blush stain, then blend a touch of a cream blush on top of it.” Want to increase its wear? Dust a light, invisible setting powder overtop. Just be sure not to get too heavy-handed; you want to lock your look, not mattify it.
9. Play with vibrant colors.
Just as you’re probably more likely to wear a vivid top or carry a bright bag this season, now’s the perfect time to play up your makeup palette. Besides looking summery, “livelier colors brighten the face and bring a youthful glow to skin,” says Surratt. If you tend to stick with neutrals, experiment with just one area of your face. A punchy blush on the apples of the cheeks is a good place to start — you can follow our blush guide to find your perfect shade.
10. Stop shine and add glow.
A slick T-zone instantly telegraphs the message “I’m hot” — and we don’t mean sexy. To eliminate unsightly shine in seconds, nothing beats blotting papers. “They’re cheap and easy— you just press and go,” says Sheriff. If you need to perk up your makeup too, blot first, then follow up with a pressed powder with a hint of luminescence. “You want to eliminate shine, but you still want to look a little glow-y, especially in summer,” says Surratt.
11. Swap out thick lipsticks.
Toss your heavy matte lipsticks for the summer and try the season’s simplest trend: stains. These long-lasting formulas offer sheer coverage that can be built up, making them super versatile. “Stains are lovely because you can always add a lip balm to add moisture without worrying about the color traveling,” notes Stiles. Try sweet pink or peach shades for a traditional summery look, or go bold with tangerine and grape colors for something more daring.
12. Wade into waterproof.
Love to swim? Don’t worry about getting raccoon eyes — there are lots of amazing long-wear beauty products out there these days. “Invest in a good waterproof mascara, or if you’re blonde, get your eyelashes tinted,” advises Stiles.
13. Keep prep items in your purse.
Never look oily in a photo again by staying prepared with purse-size products that are so perfect for travel. “Carrying blotting papers is a great way to whisk away the sweat and oil without piling on more product,” says Stiles.
Many people would assume that fresh faced eighteen and nineteen year olds are viewed as more attractive than women in their late 20’s and early 30’s but that’s false. UK online website, The Daily Telegraph recently posted the results of a study revealing the average that women are viewed more attractive by men and other women. The magic number is 31. There are a number of reasons why women in this age group are viewed as beautiful but here are a few things that make plus size women attractive.
Your curves – Just about every man is either a breast man, a butt man or both. Pure and simple, it is just the animal in them that immediately draws their eyes to one or both of these areas. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your favorite body part. Whether you are wearing tight jeans that show off your figure or just making sure that he is watching when you go the bathroom and shake in that oh so special way, show it off.
Your lips – Men are also obsessed with lips. Look at the amount of Google hits for Angelina Jolie and you will quickly see what we are talking about. Sexy lips are just way too hard for a man to look away from or not notice. They are the epitome of defining sex for men as those lips are going to be kissing his lips and if he is lucky, a little bit more! Whatever you can do to enhance their appearance will have them coming out of the woodwork for you.
Your personality – Now that we have covered some of the physical aspects of what makes a woman attractive, how about the mental aspect of it. Once you get him sitting next to you, you have to keep him there.
The first thing you need to do is be yourself. Men can usually tell when you are faking it as you make some awkward comment thinking you know what you are talking about because it is of interest to him. If you don’t know about it, ask him about it and let him teach you before making a foolish statement that has him looking at you like you have 20 heads coming off of your neck.
Your intelligence – Regardless of what you are hearing, men love intelligent women. The girl that is as dumb as a box of hair is great for a one night stand, but hardly the type of woman that he wants to be around his friends and family. Don’t be a know it all, but don’t play stupid either. He will know pretty quickly if he plans on a one night stand or you have the possibility of something more.
Don’t ever change who you are for a man. You may be highlighting some of your characteristics, but they are still you. Any man that can’t appreciate you for what you are doesn’t deserve you in the first place!
THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT MAKE YOU STAND OUT. THESE ARE JUST A FEW. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Going on first dates during the winter pretty much sucks. There are a lack of options when it comes to first date ideas. Dinner? Coffee? Anything that doesn’t involve standing out or walking around in the freezing cold?
Good thing it’s finally warm enough to have options, hurrah! If you’re into the whole dinner/drinks thing, at least now you can hit up a patio. If you’re feeling a more fun/adventurous date, we’ve got some first date ideas for you to try this summer. It’s time to come out of hibernation mode.
1. Jays Game @ Rogers Centre
Whether your date is a sports fan or not, Jays games make for great first dates. Seats in the 500s are pretty affordable. Grab an overpriced beer and an overpriced hot dog and it’s basically a nice date!
2. The EX
The CNE doesn’t open until later on in the summer and as always, it only lasts two short weeks (tear, tear). Be sure not to miss it – it’s a worthy experience! Just make sure not to spend all your cash trying to win prizes from games – they will eat your money.
3. Canada’s Wonderland
A little more on the expensive side, unless you have season passes. If one of you has a season pass, you can even use the “bring-a-friend” discount. You can get to know each other in the never ending line-ups and break the ice by screaming in terror/excitement. Make sure your date’s a ride warrior, or it probably won’t be much fun for either of you. Wonderland opens May 3rd!
4. Allan Gardens Conservatory
Allan Gardens is a gorgeous botanical garden and a major landmark in the city. It’s completely free to visit. You can enjoy the sights and smells of the exotic plants while getting to know your date and basking in the serenity. It’s open 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily, so you can grab some lunch or dinner afterwards.
5. Distillery District
If you’re going to do the basic drinks date, you might as well take your date somewhere nice ‘n fancy – try the Mill St. Brewery. After that, you can take a walk around the district and take in the beautiful historical architecture. Don’t forget to check out the love lock installation.
6. Picnic @ Toronto Islands
Take the ferry over to the Toronto Islands and have a cute ‘lil picnic. Either pack your own lunches or grab some takeout sandwiches from somewhere. Maybe you could even stay long enough to watch a romantic sunset over the skyline.
7. Picnic @ High Park
If you don’t feel like venturing out that far, have a picnic at High Park instead. Take a walk around and bask in the beautiful cherry blossoms – it’s best to visit in late April or early May to see them in full bloom. Even if you don’t get to catch the cherry blossoms, High Park is still a worthy place to visit for a first date. There’s even a free zoo!
8. The Beaches
The Beaches make for a really great first date place when it’s warm enough. If you’re looking for a place to eat or drink, grab some burgers at The Burger’s Priest or drinks at Breakwall BBQ. Hit up the beach afterwards and watch the incredible sunset.
Nothing says romance like delicious food. With the prix fixe menus, nice meals are a lot more affordable.
10. The Docks Drive-In Movie Theatre
Regular movie dates are too basic – you can’t even talk to each other. Catch a flick under the stars at the drive-in and you can whisper all you want… Unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t like talking during movies. Either way, it’s an experience that’s different and unique. Try it!
Just in time for summer: 3 must-know tips (and my top product picks) to prevent the dreaded chub rub.
“Hey, can you come look at this? It’s killing me!”
I kicked my legs up in the air and spread them wide to give my husband full access to the horror between them. He confirmed it: I had developed, for the first time ever, the dreaded disease of the thick-thighed: CHUB RUB.
If you’ve ever dealt with inner-thigh chafing, then you understand the pain and embarrassment that comes along with it.
My thighs touch. There, I said it. In the age of the coveted thigh gap, mine smush together. For the most part, this is fine; but once the weather warms up, the problems begin.
When you combine sweat and friction together, you create chafing–a painful, burning rash. It takes forever for the spots to heal because it’s nearly impossible to keep your thighs from touching for the week or so it takes to clear up. Even worse: If left untreated, chub rub can lead to nasty yeast infections. Ain’t nobody got time for that! (Is that still funny?)
Over the past few summers, I have become quite adept at avoiding chafing, and now I am sharing that information with you. Just call me “The Chub Rub Whisperer” or something.
STOP MOISTURE BEFORE IT STARTS
To prevent chafing, you must first prevent moisture. Some women will put super-strength antiperspirant along the inner-thigh area, but I didn’t have much luck with that. I should have known, since super-strength antiperspirants don’t keep my pits from sweating either. What can I say? I am a disgusting, sweaty blob.
This pink powder is powerful and patented. (That alliteration was both accurate and necessary.) It has magical micro-particle polymers that glide over the skin and absorb sweat. The pink color is attributed to the addition of calamine–you know, that pink, chalky stuff you put on poisin oak and bug bites.
Lady Anti-Monkey Butt helps keep my thighs cool and dry for hours on end, but some women are turned off by the big monkey butt on the front. I don’t get it, but whatever. If you need something a little less obvious on your bathroom counter, Lush also has a lovely dusting powder called Silky Underwear–so sexy, so mature. It also comes in an inconspicuous bottle that won’t draw any attention to your ladybits’ issues.
UP THE SLIP
Sweat-absorbing powders won’t be enough to tackle Chub Rub if you are doing anything more than sitting at a desk, or in my case (a teacher during the summer) lying in bed all day watching reruns of CSI and Law and Order: SVU. If you are actually going to get out and move around–you know, exercise or walk to work or whatever–you are going to need to add a specific product to prevent chafing, the actual physical act of your thighs rubbing together as you move.
The holy grail of anti-chafing products is Body Glide. I’m sure it was originally formulated to keep marathon runners from getting blisters, but now anyone with chubby thighs can reap the benefits.
Body Glide is a waxy skin lubricant that resembles a stick of deodorant. You apply it to any nooks and crannies that might chafe, and it allows your thighs to glide across each other as opposed to rubbing and creating a crotch fire of epic proportions.
Like Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, Body Glide comes in a specially formulated “For Women” version, but the only difference I can see is the stupid pink top. Monkey butts I’m OK with, but patronizing me by changing the color of the lid–how dare you!
If you aren’t afraid to visit that sketchy “Family Planning” aisle at your local drugstore, you can also pick up Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. Me, personally? Since losing my periods (thanks, IUD!) and having no desire to buy condoms or pregnancy tests, I avoid that section of the store. I don’t want my ovaries to be reminded of their job and feel inclined to start working again. However, this Monistat product is theoretically the perfect combination between a moisture-absorbing powder and a friction-decreasing gel lubricant.
CHANGE YOUR UNDIES
My number-one trick for avoiding chub rub: a good pair of fitted men’s boxer-briefs. Boxer-briefs are cotton, so they are super-breathable, and they fall at the perfect spot on your thighs to prevent the two from touching and rubbing.
I wear boxer-briefs under all of my dresses and skirts. Originally, I just stole my husband’s, but eventually I did invest in some of my own.
Healthy self-esteem is a prerequisite for healthy relationships. From my personal experiences, and my years spent writing about relationships, I’ve learned that poor self-esteem is the number one cause of unhealthy relationships, as well as the top relationship killer.
Self-esteem isn’t an essential need like food or water, but it’s a supplement that can either dramatically improve your life, or keep you stunted and unfulfilled. The fact is, you can only let in as much love from the outside as you feel on the inside. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you will never truly believe that someone else can love you and you will constantly be on the lookout for the other shoe to drop, for the guy you care about to leave, thus validating the fact that you are unworthy of love.
Poor self-worth is what traps us in bad relationships, what sabotages new relationships, and what causes us to feel so devastated and broken when a relationship ends.
Self-esteem doesn’t come from blowing kisses to your reflection in the mirror or repeating “I love myself” over and over. It takes time and it takes work and it isn’t always easy. Everyone’s path will be different, but no matter what, having a picture of what high self-esteem looks like, and how it can play out in relationships, is helpful and can help reveal the areas you may need to work on.
Having high self-esteem doesn’t guarantee a happy relationship, but it does equip you with the skills to identify what you want and realize you deserve to get it, and the strength to walk away if something falls short. Here are ten things people with high self-esteem do differently in their relationships:
1. Confident women don’t analyze if he likes them – they assume he does.
People with high self-esteem believe they are worthy of love and don’t question how someone feels about them. They know that they are good, competent, and lovable and trust that the right person for them will see this. They don’t attach their worth to what a guy thinks and, as a result, don’t feel stressed and anxious when a guy’s feelings are unclear. Instead, they assume he likes them and are able to be present in the relationship and enjoy it without being weighed down by fears and doubts.
2. Confident people realize if a relationship falls apart it’s because it wasn’t right, not because they did something wrong.
Not everyone is a match and sometimes, two people are just incompatible. This doesn’t make either of them flawed or bad – sometimes it’s just not there. Confident women don’t take it personally when a guy doesn’t want a romantic relationship. They realize that it must not be the right match and they move on, with their sense of self firmly intact.
When a girl is insecure, however, and a guy leaves, she spirals. She may obsess, analyze, and replay every interaction in an attempt to uncover what she did wrong. She may know on a conscious level that it simply wasn’t a match, but deep down she holds on to the destructive belief that she was the problem…and that she is unlovable and the guys she wants will never want her back.
3. Confident women set healthy boundaries.
Healthy personal boundaries and high self-esteem go hand in hand. Having strong boundaries means you prioritize your needs and your emotions and do not assume responsibility for someone else’s needs and emotions.
Confident women know what they will and will not accept and don’t allow themselves to be pressured or guilted into doing things they don’t want to do. They act in accordance with who they are and what they believe and don’t cater their behavior for a guy, or do things solely to keep him interested and happy. When you have weak boundaries, you may sell yourself out in a relationship and put up with treatment that you know is objectively unacceptable. Confident people don’t abandon parts of themselves in order to have a relationship. They bring their fully formed self into the relationship and if the guy wants something else, or something more, they leave.
A woman with healthy boundaries will not lose herself in a relationship, and will not allow her identity to be entirely contingent upon how he sees her. She will continue to maintain her own life outside of the relationship without giving up her friends, hobbies, or alone time. She won’t abandon important parts of herself or her life for the sake of the relationship and if a guy wants something else or something more than she’s willing to give, she’ll leave.
4. Confident women trust themselves and the decisions they make.
A key component of having high self-esteem is trusting yourself to make the right choices while also realizing you are well equipped to cope should things go awry. People with high self-esteem don’t constantly question their actions and feel conflicted about the right thing to say or do. They act on how they feel and are comfortable being their true, authentic selves.
People with low self-esteem don’t trust their judgment, don’t trust their gut instincts, and are afraid of being wrong. As a result, they either live their lives in a constant state of anxiety, or they look to others to guide them along the right path. This obviously does not do much to help one’s sense of autonomy, which is also a key element of healthy self-esteem.
5. Confident women don’t show off or talk themselves up.
Confident people don’t need to tell the world how great they are. Only insecure people secretly feel that they are unworthy and feel the need to hide this by bragging about their achievements or talking themselves up.
A woman who reveals herself gradually, carefully peeling back the layers over time, is significantly more attractive than a woman who lays it all out there. When you feel that you are worthy, you don’t need to tell people…they just know. A big mistake insecure women make in the early stages of dating is selling themselves to a guy. This can be completely innocent, but it comes from a deeper sense of insecurity and inadequacy. Confident women don’t need to sell themselves; rather, they use dating as a means to determine which guys are worthy of their time and affection.
6. Confident women accept responsibility.
Confident people accept responsibility for their actions and emotions. They don’t blame or shame their partners if they feel unhappy and don’t accuse him of “making” them feel a certain way. They don’t blame men for being jerks and they don’t view themselves as the victims of other people and circumstances.
They realize that their time is their responsibility. As a result, they don’t wait around in dead-end relationships, hoping something will magically change. And they don’t blame their exes for wasting their time. They take responsibility for their choices, both good and bad, and use mistakes as opportunities to grow and become even better.
7. Confident women take the relationship for what it is and don’t need it to be a certain way.
Confident people feel secure in their relationships. They don’t need to have a title or a ring as some sort of confirmation that the guy cares. They are able to just be present and in the relationship and let it unfold organically, without force or pressure. This is not to say they stay with guys who won’t commit and are all cool and go-with-the-flow about it. If a guy can’t commit in the way they want, then they’ll move on. They are able to give and receive freely in their relationships and as a result, they don’t stress out about labels. They just know that if it’s right, it will work out. And if it’s not right, they’ll move on.
8. Confident women don’t stay in bad relationships.
Confident people do not stay in relationships where they don’t feel respected, appreciated, and valued. And they don’t assume full responsibility if a relationship isn’t working and take it upon themselves to try to solve the problem by giving and doing more. They aren’t afraid to walk away when something isn’t working and the thought that they won’t be able to find better or that they will wind up alone doesn’t cross their mind. The can quickly see when a situation is damaging and will remove themselves immediately.
Only insecure people put up with treatment that is unacceptable, in large part because they feel that that’s what they deserve on some level. When you learn to value yourself, you will weed out anyone who doesn’t truly value you.
9. Confident women don’t desperately seek reassurance.
People with high self-esteem know they are loved and lovable. They don’t need a guy to remind them every day – it’s just something they feel and know. When you are insecure, you need constant validation and become resentful if your partner doesn’t give it to you. You blame him for “making you” feel insecure in the relationship, or unloved. You may work harder to try to please him and earn his love, or you may withhold your love and affection to even the score. This manifests as neediness (the number one relationship killer): you need constant reassurance and if you don’t get it, you lash out and blame your partner for not providing it.
The fact is, if you don’t feel good about yourself, nothing he does will ever be enough. If you don’t truly believe you are worthy of love, you will never believe someone else can love you. What happens is the relationship becomes a battle of wills: you fight for validation, he retreats because he feels pressured and suffocated, you view his retreat as a sign he doesn’t love you and fall into despair, he resents that nothing he does is good enough and the fact that you don’t trust how he feels and stops trying, you see this as further proof he doesn’t care…and either the relationship ends or continues to make you both miserable indefinitely.
10. Confident women choose wisely.
Confident people use their head and heart when choosing a romantic partner. They are able to quickly assess if someone is emotionally healthy and can give them what they need in a relationship. They don’t let their ego get too intertwined with their emotions and they make sure they are fundamentally compatible with someone before they get too involved.
A core concept to understand when it comes to relationships is like attracts like. Meaning, a confident person will attract another confident person. An insecure person will unconsciously seek out relationships with men who will make them feel more insecure. They will want the unavailable guys, the guys who can’t commit, the guys who have walls up. These are the ones they will feel infatuated by, not the ones who show real, genuine interest. Oftentimes, this happens because on an unconscious level, the insecure girl feels that if she can break through his walls, or get him to change his ways, then she’ll really be worthy and valuable. This never, ever works. Instead, she just ends up compromising her integrity even further by chasing the relationship.
If you don’t value yourself, then you will always be attracted to people who don’t value you either. Confident people value and accept themselves for who they are. They embrace the good, and are accepting of the not-so-good. As a result, they attract quality partners and are able to connect on a real, genuine level, one that leads to real intimacy and a healthy relationship.
The gym is great, but I’ve personally always loved experience-based exercise more. I just feel much more engaged. With summer coming, it’s time to take advantage of the good weather and stay fit while having fun! Here are 6 fun summer activities to stay fit:
- Go Swimming!
- Race your friends in the pool.
- Swimming is a full body workout, exercising your arms, legs, and torso
- “The water keeps you cool, even as your heart gets a great workout. You’ll probably be able to keep yourself going for a longer time than if you were running. That’s because it’s fun and gentle on your joints and muscles” (webmd)
- Take a Hike, literally.
- Hiking is a great way to see beautiful things over the summer. Find the nearest spot near you!
- It has also been found to:
- Lower your risk of heart disease.
- Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise.
- Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
- Strengthen your core. (webmd)
- Play ultimate Frisbee
- Not only is ultimate frisbee a fun way to compete with your friends, it is also a good way to:
- increase sprinting and endurance
- burn calories with interval training
- increase resting metabolic rate
- increase agility (healthfitnessrevolution)
- Not only is ultimate frisbee a fun way to compete with your friends, it is also a good way to:
- Jump Rope
- It’s time to access your inner child! Bring out all your double dutch skills.
- Jump rope is an awesome way to improve cardiovascular fitness while toning muscle (webmd)
- Take a Bike Ride!
- Riding your bike can lead to
- increased cardiovascular fitness.
- increased muscle strength and flexibility.
- improved joint mobility.
- decreased stress levels.
- improved posture and coordination.
- strengthened bones.
- decreased body fat levels.
- prevention or management of disease. (webmd)
- Riding your bike can lead to
- Find your zen with outdoor yoga
- Doing yoga outside is a perfect way to enjoy nature and relax.
- Did I also mention that yoga can lead to:
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury (webmd)
What are you waiting for? Go have some fun!
I recently got out of a serious relationship and was “not excited,” (strong understatement) to find myself back in the dating world. The thought of getting back out there made me want to climb into my bed and hide under my covers… FOREVER. But, I have been pleasantly surprised with what I have discovered and realized. In fact, I think dating in your 30s is actually pretty rad! Here’s why:
You know the power of focus.
A lot of us who are single now in our 30s spent our 20s focused on building careers, traveling, or figuring out who we are and what’s important to us. Now, perhaps we have decided we’d like to focus on building a life with someone, or on having a family. I find that whatever we put our focus on is what we draw in. So, we’re much more likely to draw in the type of relationship we are looking for because we’re a lot clearer on what we want.
You see the red flags sooner and get out.
Raise your hand if you ended up investing months or years of your life in a completely dead-end relationship because you either rationalized all the red flags away or completely ignored them. (My hand is raised. High. A few times.) These relationships usually do not leave you better than they found you. Personally, I have no time for this anymore. Now, when I see the red flags early on, I don’t move forward with the guy,
You recognize your worth and value.
The reason so many women ignore or rationalize away the red flags is because they feel desperate to be in a relationship. As women, we have been trained by the media, our parents, society, culture, to believe that our worth is based solely on whether or not we’re married (especially by a certain age) or have a boyfriend. So, in our 20s, we may have behaved with a lack of self-respect or self-esteem, and acted needy and desperate in order to validate ourselves through a man. But by our 30s, we have learned to see that our true value has nothing to do with a man or being a relationship.
You know that relationships do not make or break your life.
We know that relationships are a truly amazing addition to our lives, but they do notmake our lives. By our 30s, we have created happy, full lives for ourselves, and know that we don’t need a relationship to make us whole. Plus, we’ve been through breakups and found out that, surprise, our lives didn’t actually end!
You have better sex.
We have experienced what we like in bed by now, and aren’t afraid to ask for it. Also, when we were having sex in our 20s, we were constantly worrying if our stomach fat was hanging out, or how our butt looked. By our 30s, we care less about how we look and more about just straight up enjoying it.
You know what you like and what you believe in.
We believe in past lives, we yell VERY loudly when we get excited about something, we like Star Wars, going to bed by 10:00 p.m., and finding the perfect wine (to the point of sometimes being called a “wine snob”) and I — oops I mean, we — have no need to hide or change those aspects of ourselves. We don’t need to pretend that we are into things like camping, sports, or certain bands or food the way we we may have done in our 20s to try to get a guy to like us (it always come back to bite us in the ass anyways). We know our stance on politics, religion, and spirituality, and we don’t need to hide it or pretend otherwise. In fact, sharing certain beliefs and feelings in an open, non-judgmental way allows for a depth to develop between two people and makes for interesting and enlightening conversations.
By our 30s, we learn that we’d like to base and build a relationship on TRUTH, and if the guy doesn’t like who we are, then he’s not the right guy. As the wrongfully attributed Dr. Suess quote goes, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” (actually, a dude named Bernard M. Baruch said it).
You know that relationships are meant to make both people better… and that, sometimes, you shouldn’t immediately jump ship.
I believe relationships are vehicles to help each person become the highest version of themselves. And sometimes, that means there is tension, disagreement, discomfort, anger, and ego. Nothing can trigger our deep-seated fears of abandonment, rejection, and loss of freedom like love. Too often, people jump ship as soon as they are triggered. But I have learned in my 30s that if both people involved care about each other and want the highest good for themselves and their partner, you don’t jump ship at first sign of it. There may be an amazing breakthrough on the other side of it.
You believe in LOVE.
Many of us have had great relationships, but have known that for one reason or another it wasn’t right. I know both men and women who have gotten married to someone they weren’t sure was right for them or if they were in love with simply because they felt like it was time for them to do it and that they were supposed to. Many of us in our 30s who are single have had the opportunity for that kind of marriage (or perhaps, even were married), but knew in our hearts that there was so much more. There is a part deep inside of us that believes in “real, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love,” to quote the famous Carrie Bradshaw. If we didn’t, we would have settled a long time ago.
What to do with your hair, makeup and skincare in hot weather
Summer, like winter, requires its own special beauty tricks. After all, it is in summer that your eyeshadow becomes a greasy pool in your eyelid creases, your hair falls flat or frizzes to a crisp and your hair color looks like mud against your tan.
But have no fear, there are fixes to your summer beauty problems. To keep you looking best, here are my 15 favorite beauty tips for the hot season.
It’s All About the Skin
Forget your eye makeup and your lips and making them up perfectly. Any makeup artist will tell you the secret to flawless beauty is not about the “perfect eye” or the “perfect lip,” it’s all about even skin tone. This is especially true in the warm summer months when you naturally want to wear less makeup.
Get your skin in shape and you’ll find you need less makeup. Here are some tips:
- If your skin is uneven, blotchy or pimply, get thee to the dermatologist and figure it out. Don’t try to solve your skin problems yourself.
- Lasers are wonderful. They can fix red lines and completely, totally rejuvenate your skin.
- Keep your face protected from the sun. This means SPF of at least 40, preferably higher. And wear a hat when at the pool or the beach. Reapply often.
Pick the Right Self-Tanner
I once saw the gorgeous model Helena Christensen in the West Village. First I thought, “Oh look, there’s Helena! We’re the same height!” Then I thought, “Oh my. Helena’s a victim of the orange, splotchy, bad self-tanner legs.” I’ve seen quite a few orange women wandering around these days, a shame considering there are so many great self-tanners on the market that look super natural.
Keep Your Makeup From Melting Off Your Skin
For years I watched helplessly as my eyeshadow melted into my eyelid crease by the middle of the day. Then I discovered primers, which will keep eye makeup in place for hours, including through workouts, days at the beach and humid, summer nights.
One other tip: skip the pencil eyeliners for summer and opt instead for a liquid liner, which won’t budge as the day wears on. As for mascara, waterproof mascara is a great bet.
The 4 Makeup Items to Embrace
Summer days means you can get away with less makeup. For the freshest, most natural looking face, embrace these 4 beauty items:
- Fake eyelashes. There’s nothing quite so alluring as a natural face devoid of makeup, but with long lashes and lip gloss. Skip the mascara which can run and try fake lashes. Either get them done professionally or apply your own with strips or individual lashes. Ardell 301s are the perfect fake lashes.
- A light, pink lip gloss. Plump up lips with a bit of color and gloss. The best way to do this is to get tinted gloss.
- Bronzer. Since you’re keeping your face out of the sun, you can add in a bit of color with bronzers. Brush bronzer on where the sun would naturally hit: your forehead, cheeks and nose.
- BB cream. A good BB cream provides everything you need in one dollop of product: sunscreen, tint and anti-aging properties.
What You Can Skip in Summer
You likely have your beauty routine that you’ve had forever. But there are some changes you can make in summer. Here are a few of them:
- No need to wash your face in the evening and in the morning. Too much cleansing can strip skin of oils. A quick rinse in the morning should suffice.
- Don’t over exfoliate as you might in winter. Exfoliating removes the top layers of skin making it extra susceptible to sun burn.
- Try not to shampoo daily. Instead, use a dry shampoo to soak up any extra oils. Your hair will be healthier.
- No need for a heavy moisturizer in summer. A light one should do you.
- Instead of tanning your face, use bronzer. Your 50-year-old self will thank you a few years down the road.
Don’t Be Afraid of Shine
Dewy skin is gorgeous. Don’t overpowder your face because you’re afraid it’s a grease pit. Instead, try blotting papers.
Foundation Is Out, Tinted Moisturizer Is In
If you refuse to go bare in summer and can’t imagine life without your foundation, consider putting away your foundation for the season and trying a tinted moisturizer. I’m warning you, you may never go back to your old foundation.
Lighter than foundation, tinted moisturizer still covers flaws but feels less “cakey.” And while foundations can feel as if they’re melting off your face, tinted moisturizers won’t.
Most women are darker in summer, so if you insist on using your foundation, consider one shade for summer and a lighter one for winter. My favorite tinted moisturizer is Laura Mercier, which contains SPF — a bonus all year round.
Go for a Bold Nail Polish
If you are flaunting your toes all over the place this summer, then consider painting your nails a fun, bright color. Bold colors such as hot pink or bright orange (don’t laugh) are especially popular this summer and look great on most skin types. Bright colors are especially striking against dark skin.
When choosing your summer shade, consider your sandals. I plan to stick with my light pink — anything brighter clashes with my favorite summer shoes. Sigh.
Wax Your Bikini Line
Wax, don’t shave, your bikini line. Shaving can bring on razor bumps and annoying red rashes, whereas waxing gets the hair off and keeps it off for much longer. It’s simply a more cleaner look for summer.
Keep Your Thighs From Chafing With Anti-Perspirant
Try this trick I love to keep your thighs from chafing: apply anti-perspirant to your inner thighs. This will keep your thighs from sweating and causing a red rash. You can also use a sports glide product on your thighs.
Embrace, Don’t Fight, the Elements
Humidity can wreak havoc on curly and straight hair. But instead of fighting the elements this summer, try to embrace them. Curly hair can be gorgeous in summer. Slather on the leave-in conditioner and pull curls back in a loose bun. Keep away the frizz with product such as Phyto Plage Protective Sun Veil after a shower or swim. Your curls will will be protected, but they won’t frizz up.
If you have straight hair, put away your flat iron. Super-straight hair “doesn’t say summer,” says stylist Mark Townsend in Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Instead, let hair dry naturally. Most hair has some wave in it, and beachy waves never go out of style.
If you are near an ocean, get in it. Saltwater has wonderful effects on all hair types. You’ll love the look once your hair has dried.
Colored Hair Needs Protecting
The sun, salt and chlorine will turn colored hair all types of wild colors. Protect your investment by rinsing hair in water before going into chlorinated water or salt water. The dry cuticle will soak up water, but if it’s wet, it won’t, thus protecting hair from the salt and chlorine.
Protect hair from the sun by wearing a hat or coating hair with a protector like Fekkai SunShine Shield Spray.
Blah Hair? Get Thee to the Colorist
Nothing is more gorgeous in summer than lighter hair. I look particularly fantastic with light blonde highlights around my face. Nothing shows off a tan better than highlights. Plus, color can add body to fine, limp hair.
When choosing a summer color, stick to natural colors. The sun will naturally lighten hair, so you don’t want to go to an extreme.
Got black or brown hair? Consider caramel highlights or opt for all-over hair color a shade or two lighter than your current color. I suggest getting hair professionally colored or doing it yourself with a store-bought box. But beware the old lemon juice trick you did in junior high: Lemon juice will naturally lighten hair, but it is also wickedly drying.
Pull Hair Off Your Face
Keep the sweat off your neck with headbands, ballerina bands, ponytails, loose buns or even kerchiefs. All are gorgeous looks for summer.
Don’t Forget to Protect Your Other Parts
Studies show while most women know to put sunscreen on their faces, they skip their chests, hands and necks. Their faces age well, but nothing else does. Who wants to have 80-year-old hands and a 60-year-old face? My advice: When you apply sunscreen, take a couple minutes to slather it on your check and neck. Use whatever’s leftover on your hands.
It’s important to apply sunscreen a couple times throughout the day. One application in the morning won’t necessarily last a full 12 hours.