Today marks the start of my fifth consecutive week on the Tone It Up Plan, and I’m proud to report that I’ve lost a little more than five pounds since I started! Sticking to a diet and a workout regimen (which involves at least six workouts a week), isn’t easy. But little by little, my lifestyle change is working.
Last week, I incorporated a new part to my diet: Flat Tummy Tea.
My friend sent me the website on it, and with my beach vacation just nine days away, it took very little convincing before I ordered a two-week supply. So, this week is the second week of my Flat Tummy Tea cleanse.
So, what’s FTT? There are two teas, one for morning and one for night, that work together in order to suppress the appetite, boost energy, and provide the body with antioxidants. The tea also helps to lower bloat and water retention, keeping you slim and trim!
I’m a coffee drinker, so starting my morning with a mug of tea was a switch. But, after my tea I still enjoy a few cups of java, don’t worry. Both of the teas taste similar to black tea, so no need to worry about a weird or gross flavor that you’ve got to suck down for two weeks.
After about one week on the teas, I can already see a small difference in my stomach. At this point, every little bit helps!
After one week off (to announce my next book — out September 22), Fresh Friday is back! … And I think you’re going to like this one. This week’s scent is White Woods by CLEAN.
As described by Sephora, “CLEAN White Woods is a warm, luxurious scent that embodies the pure essence of natural light dancing along a quiet wooded path. The fragrance weaves a cozy, comforting blanket with hints of crisp bergamot leaves, sparkling mandarin, creamy vanilla orchid, sandalwood, praline musks, and a dash of black pepper.”
It is also said to have touches of Calla lily, magnolia, sandalwood, and amber woods.
CLEAN launched its first fragrance in 2003 (White Woods was released in 2013), after grabbing inspiration from a simple bar of soap — I’ve seen many users complain about the perfume’s soapy scent, but I think it’s nice. They have other scents, aside from White Woods, that will be featured on Fresh Fridays.
Purchase the CLEAN mini rollerball set to try White Woods, Skin, and Rain, CLEAN’s most-popular scents.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been on a serious job interview — like big, salary job. But I have interviews all the time for freelance projects, and not to toot my own horn, but rarely do I get turned down for a job.
Interviewing, much like dating, is a skill that we constantly have to work at (which is why you should be going on dates, if you’re single). It’s not a bad idea to go on job interviews, too, even if you’re not necessarily looking for another job.
There are tons of tips for nailing an interview, but here are the ones I think will have the most impact:
- Prepare. Kind of like what you’re doing now! Find out as much as possible about the company, and about the job you’re applying for. The more you know about the company and the position, the more you can sell yourself to fit the job. Plus, it’ll be easier to ask them questions at the end.
- Be kind, to everyone. When I was heading into the interview for the job I’ve got now, I called ahead to make sure I had proper directions. Little did I know that when I hung up the phone, the secretary told my to-be boss just how sweet I was. You never know who’s watching, or listening.
- Always be positive. No matter what question gets thrown your way, stay positive. You KNOW you’re going to get the question about your biggest weakness, so be prepared for it, and make it something that’s not so bad — I think I said I work too much. Ha!
- Get your answers. Ask them questions, too. After all, you’ve got to make sure this job is good for YOU. Some good questions to ask include: What is the most important quality I need to succeed in this position? Can you describe a recent stressful workday that you experienced? What would you expect a star performer to accomplish in the first 30 days? What are some of your favorite office traditions?
- Followup. A thank you note goes a long way (at least that is what my boss tells me). You can have an awesome interview, but if you don’t send a thank you note, you can kiss the job goodbye. Some people are okay with an email, but I say, go for the handwritten note. Everyone loves getting mail!
5 job-interview mistakes to avoid
…From Real Simple magazine, April 2014
1. Leave the stilettos at home. The people I don’t hire are often wrongly dressed for the interview. Usually they’re overdressed: too much makeup and jewelry or impractical shoes It drives me crazy when a woman walks in with peekaboo toes and super high heels. I know they’re very fashionable, but you should look like you can work a long day and you’ll be OK. You can also dress down too much. Recently I looked for a babysitter for my daughter and was surprised by how many women came for an interview in stretchy pants, oversize tops, and sneakers. Not that they should have worn a business suit, either. You should look one step above what is expected to be worn on the job, not a whole ladder. —B.Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, & an investor on ABC’s Shark Tank
2. Don’t air your grievances. For me, the most critical part of the interview is when you explain the decisions you’ve made — especially why you went from one job to the next. The explanation tells me about your motivations and attitude. One golden rule: do not complain about a former job. Find a positive way to frame it. You don’t have to say that everything was perfect. But if you can’t find a way to explain how you handled a difficult situation or describe what you learned on the job, it can seem as if you’ll be disappointed by the ordinary ups and downs of a business. To me, then, it feels like a risk to hire you. —J.Pieri, CEO & founder of TheGrommet.com, one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2013
3. Qualify Nothing. A lot of people have negative speech habits, such as using hedges like just, actually, kinda, and almost. For example: “I’m just really grateful to be talking to you today,” or “I’m kinda thinking I want to transition into this job.” These hedges make you come across as less confident, less authoritative — and less employable. Same for using disclaimers like, “Well I’m really not an expert on this.” People think these types of statements make them seem more likable or down-to-earth, but they undermine credibility. Before an interview, ask a friend to listen to your speech for any bad habits, since they are often unconscious. The give yourself a few days to focus on each one, and excise all of them. —T.S.Mohr, founder of Playing Big & the author of Playing Big.
4. Stay on topic. At the interview, talk only about the things that directly correlate with you ability to do the job: your knowledge, skills, and abilities. For legal reasons, interviewers are trained to stay away from trouble spots. But interviewees often open the can of worms themselves — for example, by mentioning problematic family situations. Most people know not to talk about religion or politics, but even sports can be dangerous. If you’re a diehard Yankees fan and your interviewer likes the Red Sox, you could be in trouble. It’s best to stay focused on what you came there to talk about: the job. —P.Polachi, partner at Polachi
5. Pare down. Too many people walk into an interview with tons of extraneous items. Do not bring your cell phone. Or if you do, make sure it’s turned off, not just on vibrate. Interviewers will not excuse phones going off or, worse, people looking at their phones. Don’t bring reading material, either. It gives the interviewer an impression that may be good or bad, when what you want is to stay neutral. A water bottle might be acceptable, but I’ve heard about folks bringing in a Big Gulp. Not a good idea. Companies hire people, not just a set of skills. They take everything you do into account to gauge your fit for their business. —M.Steinerd, director of recruiting at Indeed.com.
Shannon Maker is a blogger and freelance writer in Des Moines, Iowa, with a passion for photography and cooking. She has a degree in Journalism and Spanish.
She fell in love with different kinds of authentic European cuisine while backpacking and studying abroad in Spain, France, and Italy during her senior year of college and for two years after graduation. She is willing to try anything from Boudin noir (blood sausage) to ox tongue, but her favorite has to be good old fashion pizza. You can usually find her whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, scouring Pinterest for the latest craft ideas, or playing with her two dogs, Parker and Benny.
I’ve had my fair share of relationships since I reached dating age, but since college I’ve been much more of a passive audience member to my friends’ dating lives than an active player in the game.
During my time as a single gal, I’ve actually learned a lot about relationships. As a bystander, I’ve seen lots of relationships come and go. Like eHarmony points out, they usually end for pretty typical reasons such as incompatibility, each wanting different things out of life, or the love just isn’t there anymore. None of them really comes as much of a surprise. The fights and behavior of the two when they’re together are usually pretty good signs. But when a couple breaks up because one of them cheated, it’s always a shock.
It seems to come out of nowhere. I’ve seen it happen to those who have been married for 10 years and those less than a year into a relationship. It’s heartbreaking no matter how long or brief you’ve been together. If you’re lucky enough to have never dealt with the situation before, you might see it as very straightforward: someone cheated, they’re a horrible person, and you breakup to find someone better. But rarely are the situations that black and white.
There are some instances where people may even side with the cheater, believing their actions were warranted because of the state of the relationship. Sometimes people may even think that the partner is at fault for their significant other being lead astray. In every sense of the word, to be a victim, you must be innocent. Is it possible that the person who didn’t stray isn’t innocent in the situation? Should it really be them that has to reform after the other cheats?
Speaking from experience, infidelity really messes with your head. You feel completely inadequate, betrayed, and naive. You feel as though the person that you were supposed to trust has made a fool out of you. But then, as The Frisky noted, somewhere among the anger and sadness comes the the doubt, and you end up repeatedly asking yourself the same question: Am I at fault?
It’s really a matter of personal opinion, but when someone blames another for the actions they willingly do, it’s really nothing more than a thinly veiled way to justify the act with the misguided notion that two wrongs make a right. The damages that both parties’ actions cause should be individually viewed, not used as a way to justify degrading the relationship further. And that goes for both sexes, both of which I have seen turn the blame to their partner for their own actions.
It’s certainly not just men that are breaking the bonds of trust. In a recent study by Adam and Eve, they found that one third (32.47%) of people in a committed relationship admitted to cheating on their partners. They also found that more women admitted to cheating (34%) than men (30%).
In looking at the survey results, sexologist Dr. Kat Van Kirk said, “These results are somewhat shocking, because we typically hear about high-profile men cheating in the news… But with more women in the workplace, and the ease of online relationship development, the playing field really has been leveled.”
What’s more important than deflecting blame in a cheating situation is figuring out how you both ended up at this point in the first place. Is one person not having his or her needs met? Are those needs rational or do you feel that they’re unreasonable?
Understandably, some people cannot get past cheating and choose to end the relationship, while others feel that it’s something that can be worked through. If you ever end up in the situation, the most important thing to remember is that everyone deserves someone who is going to be faithful to them. If your needs aren’t being met after you’ve tried talking and working on the problems, the solution isn’t to cheat. Remember, whether or not someone claims that his or her significant other is pushing him or her into the arms of someone else, two wrongs never make a right.
The fade is more than just a haircut. In dating terms, the fade is when one person in the “relationship” (it could happen during the earlier stages of a relationship) disappears. Basically, they fall off the face of the earth.
I know I’m not the only person this has happened to — I’ve got audio evidence — but it’s happened to me a lot. In fact, it might be happening to me as I type this, I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
While I don’t have numerical data to back it up, I’d venture to say that the fade is most likely to occur in the earlier stages, like when you’re talking, or have just gone out on a few dates. Maybe you’ve had sex, maybe you haven’t. While not the reason, but I’d also venture to say that texting has made the fade a much more popular route when it comes to methods of rejection.
The fade allows someone to get out without having that awkward conversation… Umm, yeah, I don’t really think it’s working/I’m just not ready for a relationship/I’m really busy with work right now. I’ve heard it all. But the fade means none of that happens. A person just stops replying to your texts and/or answering your calls.
It is the rejection method of pussies, to put it lightly.
An article in Marie Claire confirms my point, that men love to avoid the issue (it’s quoted) and any chance of pressure. Puh-lease!
The fade is less likely to bother me (I can only speak for me) if we’ve only been out two times. It’s a completely different story if we’ve been out a handful of times, if we’re sleeping together, or if we’re exclusively in a full-blown relationship.
I’ve gotten the fade in all of those situations — but the ones that hurt the most were when actual boyfriends stopped talking to me. Some, to this day, still have never reached out and told me what the deal was. Which is completely fucked up.
So, what do you do when this happens to you? While you may really want to send a super shitty text, try to refrain from flying off the handle. There is a small chance that something legit is happening that’s keeping him away from his phone (although I wouldn’t bet on it), so don’t make yourself look crazy.
Instead, keep yourself (and your hands) busy. Bake something new. Paint a picture. Clean out your closet. See a movie. Take a yoga class. Basically, do you. Get on with your life. And while you’re busy doing that, you just might find that he’s not really important anyway.