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5 Fool-Proof Flirting Tips For Attracting Fellas [EXPERT]

Written By John Richards on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 | 5:44 PM

Learn to flirt like a pro with this expert advice!
If you're really into the new guy you just met, you might have some questions about how to show him you like him without being needy, clingy or freaking him out in a way that causes him to head for the hills. How much do you reveal and when?

First, you'll need to decide if you're in one of two categories of people. Some of you "dignity daters" out there are naturally born with skills in the art of flirting. And then there are those of us who are not … And for you, dear reader, we here at Dating with Dignity have come up with an airtight guide with tips on how to show a guy you like him in a way that is not only dignified but incredibly sexy!

This guy could be the man you're out with right now while you're reading this post (Stop it. Put your phone away!), the waiter who's serving you during girls night out, your oldest guy friend, or a stranger at Starbucks. 

Use these tips, and we think he'll get the picture!

1. Complain about something together. Find something small or insignificant that bothers both of you: maybe the giant deer head on the wall that you both laughed about. Poking fun at the same things helps you get closer, and it also puts you on the same team! Of course, you don't want to turn into "Debbie Downer" and engage him in a negative rant. Rather, this is where your sense of humor blends with making a connection and as a result can create a sense of fun-loving and flirtatious camaraderie.

2. Compliment his new shirt. If you think guys don't like or crave compliments, you are mistaken. Ask him where he got it. If he says he sometimes needs another opinion, offer to be that opinion-giver.

3. Make the most of body language. Make genuine, consistent eye contact. Let him know you're paying attention to what he's saying. Smile often when you're with him (And not at the guy behind him). Smile at him.


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5:44 PM | 6 comments | Read More

Food Fakeouts - Foods You Think Are Good but Are Really Bad

I was doing some research the other day on healthier foods for snacking and for meals, and learned some pretty startling info about foods that I thought were good that really are quite bad for you. Check out these food fake outs below. Did you know these foods are secretly bad for you?
Diet Soda
I was really sad to see this on the list of good foods gone bad. My mom has been telling me for the longest time that diet soda may be partially to blame for me not losing the last bit of weight and she may be right. How can something with no fat or calories be bad? The artificial sweeteners used in diet soda produce a rise in insulin as your body waits for the blood sugars to come. When they don't, your body may begin to react to sugars differently in the future as a result and can cause obesity.

Rice Cakes 
Honestly, these have been my go to snack for the past year. I thought they were a really healthy alternative to chips, but I guess I was wrong. The plain variety have virtually no nutritional content whatsoever and are just added calories with no benefit to your body. The flavored kinds are just another source of fat in your diet and will have you craving another snack a short time later.

If you are choosing sushi made with white rice and imitation meat, then you are ingesting a lot of fat, carbs and sugars that have little nutritional content. While seaweed is high in nutritional value, white rice and meats such as imitation crab are packed with tons of sugar and a load of carbs that can easily take up your daily limit in a few bites.

Fat-Free Salad Dressing
To remove the fat from salad dressing, artificial sweeteners and sugars have to be put in its place for flavoring. Veggies are fat soluble too so removing the fat also removes the nutritional content you would normally be getting from the vegetables in full fat dressings.

While salads that are packed with veggies and very little dressing can be very healthy for you, most people do not eat their salads this way. When a salad is topped with tons of dressing, cheeses and meats, it ceases to be healthy and becomes a hidden source of fat and calories. Did you know that almost all of the salads at Applebee's have well over a 1,000 calories each?

Chewable Vitamin C
As a mom, this both shocked and scared me. There is no doubt that Vitamin C is good for you, but when given in a chewable form, it can eat away at your teeth. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid and when you purchase Vitamin C chewables with the acidic form of the vitamin, you are chewing and releasing that acid onto your teeth and into your mouth. Teach your little ones to swallow a pill or look for a brand that has a non-acidic version of the vitamin.

Fruit Juices
Most fruit juices are just an unearthly source of tons of sugars, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Even brands that claim to be 100% natural juice can have up to 38g of sugar in an 8oz serving. Just grab a piece of fresh fruit instead!

Do you eat any of these foods thinking they are good for you? If so, what do you think now?


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5:39 PM | 7 comments | Read More

7 Lies About Babies and Sleep

Written By John Richards on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | 10:57 AM

Myth #1: You should never wake a sleeping baby.
The truth: You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times already (and maybe even used it when your in-laws dropped by unexpectedly for a visit with baby), but don’t believe it. In the first few weeks, your baby needs to eat what seems like constantly but is actually every two to three hours. So there may be times when you will have to gently nudge her awake for a feeding, says Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, author of Mommy Calls (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008). And that’s not only okay, it’s important so she can put on a healthy amount of weight. But once a newborn has regained her birth weight, Altmann says, it’s fine to let her sleep as long as she wants at night without waking her to feed (and if she does manage to extend her sleeping stretches, woo-hoo!). Just make sure she’s still feeding often during the day.

Myth #2: Crib bumpers protect baby.
The truth: Crib bumpers may seem like they’ll protect baby from bumps and bruises, but they can actually be dangerous since they (just like any other puffy bedding like comforters, pillows and sleep positioners) pose a suffocation risk. “I’ve never seen a baby who’s seriously injured his head banging it on the side of the crib,” says Altmann. “But babies have rolled and gotten tangled in bumpers.” So keep the bumper—and anything else besides a fitted crib sheet and your baby—out of the crib.

Myth #3: Keep the nursery completely quiet.
The truth: Sure, you may need complete silence to fall (and stay) asleep, but most newborns actually love background noise with a shushing sound, like that of a fan. “It can be comforting and familiar, since they heard constant, loud noise 24/7 when they were in utero,” says Altmann. (Yup, it was pretty noisy inside your belly.) Plus, that white noise can drown out other sounds in the house, which can distract baby from sleep. So if you’re having trouble calming baby down or getting her to stay asleep, consider trying a white-noise sound machine or some other shushing device to help her sleep.

Myth #4: Baby should sleep through the night at 12 weeks.
The truth: Okay, here’s the deal with this one: Yes, it would be nice, but it’s an unrealistic expectation that will only stress you out. “If you have a good daytime eater, with a consistent routine and a bit of luck, your baby will sleep through the night at 12 weeks,” says Altmann, who stresses the luck part. For everyone else, she says, it may not happen for another month or two or—ouch—three, and that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. But you can do some things to encourage your baby to start sleeping for longer stretches: Establish a short, calming bedtime routine, allow your baby to fall asleep on his own (no nursing or rocking him to sleep), and once he’s asleep, don’t run to the nursery at every little noise he makes—he needs to learn he can fall back to sleep on his own. If you’re consistent, she says, you increase the likelihood that your infant will be sleeping at least six to eight hours straight at night by four to six months of age.

Myth #5: Setting a late bedtime will prevent baby from waking too early in the morning.
The truth: Uh, wouldn’t that be nice? It seems so logical, but sorry, this almost always backfires. Here’s why: Keeping your baby up late at night will make her overtired, and when kids are overtired, they get wired, actually making it harder for them to fall asleep and to get back to sleep if they wake up early. To get your baby to sleep later the next morning, you’ll actually have better luck making her bedtime earlier. “Trust me and try it,” says Altmann. “Put your kid to sleep 30 minutes earlier than usual. They will begin sleeping a bit later in the morning.”

Myth #6: It’s okay to let the dog sleep in the nursery.
The truth: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends never leaving a baby or child alone with a pet—and that includes allowing the pet to sleep in a child’s room. The reason: About 600,000 children are bitten by dogs every year, badly enough to need medical attention. Even a playful cat can jump into a newborn's bassinet or crib and scratch—or smother—them, says Altmann. “I’ve seen horrible dog bites in infants, and they’re often from a dog the family knows,” she adds. Play it safe and declare the nursery a no-pet zone.

Myth #7: Adding cereal to baby's bottle will help her sleep through the night.
The truth: There’s actually no evidence that adding cereal to baby’s bedtime bottle will help her sleep longer, so there’s no point in doing it. In fact, cereal in a bottle increases the number of calories baby consumes, and some studies show that feeding baby solid foods before four months can contribute to obesity. The AAP recommends waiting to introduce solid foods until baby is four to six months old, and to always spoon-feed solids since baby could choke on them if they’re dispensed through a bottle. (There are some exceptions, like if the doctor recommends cereal as a treatment for reflux. In those cases, follow your doc’s recommendations carefully.) As for getting her to sleep through the night, you’ll have better luck with the tips we mentioned above under myth #4. 


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10:57 AM | 9 comments | Read More

Trying To Fit In Despite Being Shy

To avoid starting this post with a really sad-sounding observation, I'm going to do that thing where you hide a negative statement in between two positive ones.

Now, I'm not saying that there's nothing you can do here. I'm just saying that I've been in similar situations where the friendship just sort of never happened. I once tried really hard to fit in with this one group of people, over the course of years, and yet there's a photo of us all at a party that looks basically like this:

I'm going to advise you to the best of my ability anyway; I just wanted to establish that if you're being friendly and trying your best, then no, of course you're not doing anything wrong. Unless these people hate smiles and friendship, in which case they are obviously morlocks.

1.) Get involved whenever possible.
I've made fun of my high school self so often in these posts that I have practically given myself retroactive depression, so I won't belabor the point here, but I was a singularity of terrible for most of high school. There were teachers who were more popular than me. But after a couple years of slinking around and being miserable, I decided that was enough of that and started hanging out with people by force. I went to everything I could get invited to, and lurked ominously outside of things I couldn't. Eventually I got more comfortable around people and started acting like less of a goon, and people actually began to enjoy my company. At one point near the end of senior year, one popular guy literally asked a friend of mine, "What is up with this Jon Skindzier fad lately?" I guess the moral of this anecdote is that, if you're persistent enough, you too hear yourself name-dropped as though you are a minor celebrity or a stock price.

2.) Be genuine instead of reserved.
This is the kind of advice that only makes any possible sense to shy people. Outgoing people are always genuine; they don't understand advice like "be yourself" because they're always themselves. If everyone's at the park, and they see a cloud that looks like a butt, they will chortle and go, "THAT CLOUD LOOKS LIKE A BUTT," immediately, with no hesitation and no analysis of the situation. A shy person will think: "Well, that cloud looks like a butt, but is it weird that I have noticed this? What if they think I'm fixated on butts! I should clarify that this is not the case. But when can I butt into the conversation to point this out? Oh no, am I fixated on butts??" If the shy person does ever manage to blurt something out, it will be five minutes later, and of course no such cloud will exist anymore.

There's nothing wrong with being shy, but nobody is ever like,  "Who should we invite to this party? Oh, how about that dude who never says anything or does anything." If you have to choose, err on the side of being genuine and memorable, not quiet and polite. 

3.) Oh just go after this dude already.
I've brought this up before, but dudes are shy too, even if they really don't seem like it. Women think guys are intimidating and guys think women are intimidating. They're not and they're not. Ask this guy for advice on some kind of... swimming... thing. (I do not know anything about swimming.) Or come up with any other kind of pretext. He'll understand that what you're doing is cautiously expressing interest, because guys always think that. The pretext doesn't even matter; all you're doing is giving him an excuse to talk to you. Keep giving him more and more pretexts to talk to you until he either tells you to stop or you realize that you two are married.

Most potential friends love to find out they have things in common with you and to talk about those things; most dudes absolutely do not care whether or not a girl is outgoing, assuming they like other stuff about her. Just show people you're interesting and I guarantee they'll be interested.


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10:44 AM | 6 comments | Read More

Health Benefits Of A Breakup

Written By John Richards on Monday, January 21, 2013 | 6:00 PM

If there’s one thing we’ve all heard about breakups, it’s that the recovery process is going to be rough. That anticipation of rocky emotional terrain is a good reason why a lot of us choose to ignore red flags (“It’s no big deal if he doesn’t know who the vice-president is, right?”) or our gut feelings (“I can learn to be attracted to him, right?”) and stick with guys who just aren’t right for us. But what if breakups were actually good for us? What if kicking a partner (long-term or not) to the curb was actually healthier than sticking it out for the long haul? Great news: It’s true. 

Breaking up can make you a better Y-O-U

A study of 92 students done at the University of Minnesota in 2003 found that the subjects reported several types of personal growth after a breakup, including more self-confidence and knowing better what they want in a partner. "Once the relationship ends, we no longer need to justify why we should be with the person, and this allows us to see some things with more clarity," says Ty Tashiro, lead author of the study.
A Northwestern University study published just last month found that, post-breakup, one's sense of self becomes confused. But being a little lost for a while isn't necessarily a bad thing. "The specific change in the content of 'who one is' could be, on some level, positive," says study co-author Erica Slotter. "For example, becoming kinder after a breakup would be a positive change to the self."
"Breakups are often looked at as a time for to go in a new direction," says Christopher Fagundes, Ph.D., a researcher in the psychology department at the University of Utah. "People usually have more time on their hands, and they often try to find ways to 'better' themselves with that newfound time, and this is very healthy."

Physical and mental benefits of a breakup

Here are the top five physical and mental benefits you can look forward (yes, forward!) to after a breakup.


One perk of not spending every spare second with your boyfriend? Having time to find your happy place. Meditation is a great way to do that, says Peter Strong, Ph.D., author of The Path of Mindfulness Meditation. Find a time of day where you can be completely quiet and sit with your hurt -- a mere 15 to 20 minutes a day should do the trick. "People say, 'I am feeling stressed because…" or 'I am feeling angry because…' There is no such thing as 'because,'" Strong says. "You have complete control and complete responsibility for how you feel. How you feel is not related to what happens to you."

How to maximize the good stuff:

Use visualization techniques to focus. If feelings of post-breakup pain crop up during your daily routine take a 30-second meditation break and say this to the suffering: "Ah! I see you. Welcome!" or "I choose to smile at you," Strong says.


It's hard to resist pizza when he's already ordered one. "Women often complain because they tend to eat the same amount as their boyfriend and therefore gain weight," says nutrition expert Susan Mitchell, Ph.D. "After a breakup, women can focus on their needs calorie-wise and especially on portion sizes."

How to maximize the good stuff:

Choose foods to get you and keep you well. Foods with vitamin C (red peppers, peaches — even baked potatoes), B-vitamins (brown rice and whole-grain bread), and potassium (pineapple, spinach, or cherries) may help offset stress, Mitchell says. "Get enough protein -- which many women do not -- for healthy hair and extra sleep for overall body maintenance," she adds.


There's no better time than now to reclaim your likes, dislikes, and goals. "Too often, women in relationships put too much energy into their partner," says Marsha Lucas, Ph.D., a psychologist in Washington, DC. "[After a breakup,] you might rediscover things about yourself that you might have forgotten, and then you attract people who know who they are in the world. You can then say, 'I like him, and I like me.'"

How to maximize the good stuff:

Give yourself a life quiz. "Ask yourself, 'What do I want to create?'" Lucas advises. "If you start asking yourself what's next, you'll learn to get back to yourself."


If your relationship didn't leave much room for gym time, this is your chance to pencil it back in. "A breakup might be the motivation for a person to think more independently and start doing things she finds most interesting," says Tommy Boone, Ph.D., co-founder of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. "Exercise has been demonstrated to work as well in some cases as prescribed medication for depression and anxiety."

How to maximize the good stuff:

Make silly mantras work for you. Goofy sayings are okay, as long as they get your hiney moving. "Think 'Just do it,' regardless of how stupid it sounds," Boone says. "Learn that you are important, and you need to take care of yourself, and that you must develop the right habits and mental reference to deal with daily events and life challenges."


Fewer couples' nights in means more girls' nights out: One of the after-breakup plusses that subjects reported in the University of Minnesota study was "improved platonic friendships."

How to maximize the good stuff:

The next time you bring a guy around, ask your friends' opinions (and listen). "Your friends and yes, even your family can predict your relationship future better than you can," Tashiro says. "The aggregate opinion of close others leads to better predictions of how long it will be until you break up and even how satisfied you will be in the future. Asking their advice and opinions can provide some great opportunities for insight."

A final thought

"If you can sit and hold the feelings of worry and the fear of abandonment, the suffering will begin to become malleable — allowing it to change and evolve to peace," Strong says.


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6:00 PM | 5 comments | Read More

10 Worst Names A Person Can Possibly Have [EXPERT]

Did your name make the list? Find out now!
We're all guilty of it; when reading anything written about anyone, we talk about the meaning behind that person's name. It's because we tend to associate different names with different behaviors.

Some names are naturally "better" than other names because they are more balanced in their gifts and their challenges. Remember: all names have both an abundance of gifts and an abundance of challenges to help us improve and grow. Here are the top ten worst names to have. Cross your fingers you don't read your own!

Boy names:
  1. Morgan. Everything is difficult for a Morgan, and he has bad luck. Morgan waits to win something big, and is motivated by wanting recognition so he doesn't have to work.
  2. Gordon. Gordon tends to sabotage himself and/or others. He is overly critical, which makes him tough to be around for an extended period of time. His logical mind often keeps him thinking in circles. Gordon wants to be ahead of the curve in order to gain that extra attention he so desperately craves.
  3. Weston. Weston doesn't see reality for what it is. Rather, he lives in illusion despite swearing he sees things clearly. His need to be in the spotlight causes him to act out aganist good people.
  4. Herbert. Herbert is always looking for perfection in himself and others. Herbert turns his attention towards sex, sexual fantasies, and diffidence.
  5. Bruce. Charming and charismatic when he wants to be, Bruce can turn on the charm and — just as effortlessly —turn it off. Bruce is often paranoid, and can be quite difficult to live or work with over a long period of time. His big ego combined with his fear of losing control render Bruce quite a handful. 
Girl names:
  1. Heather. Heathers are often equivalent to Gordons. They can come across as sweethearts, and yet something always ends up going wrong. Due to their inability to see things clearly, Heathers have a difficult time keeping their priorities straight.
  2. Marie. Maries consistently self-sacrifice for the good of the whole. They are always expected to serve others, and put themselves in a position to be the last priority. This extreme martyrdom gets old and yet, doesn’t change.
  3. Hillary. With Hillaries, everything is an uphill battle. Hillaries always have to fight for what they believe is right and nothing comes easily to them. They have issues involving fairness; they have no problem standing up for others, yet have a hard time finding their own voice to fight for themself. Often, Hillaries will complete tasks they don't want to do, just for the sake of others. Life is one uphill battle. So, to compensate, Hillary micromanages.
  4. Sheila. Nothing goes as planned for Sheilas, and often, they don't feel like they fit into the same social circles as the people around them. Thus, Sheilas are constantly seeking to gain approval from others while often battling health issues, as well. Their constitution is weak and as a result, their immune systems are often compromised.
  5. Connie. As interesting as Connies are, they are such extreme control freaks that they eventually drive even the most caring people away from them. They are overly critical and would rather be right than have a friend. Connies tend to demean others in their company. 


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6:00 PM | 5 comments | Read More

Science Says You Can’t Be “Just Friends”

Written By John Richards on Sunday, January 20, 2013 | 3:57 AM

People have been debating whether or not men and women can be “just friends” for years. It’s a subject that drives many movies, from When Harry Met Sally to, well, Just Friends. Hollywood has had it figured out. In the movies when you have a best friend of the opposite sex (that is hetrosexual) your story line can only end two ways: in eternal love or in heartbreak.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that though many opposite-sex friends believe that they can be just friends, it’s not really the case. Eighty-eight pairs of undergraduate opposite sex were surveyed individually for the study – with a verbal agreement saying they would not talk about the survey.

What they found is that how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships is pretty different. Males more often are attracted to their female friends, and are more likely to think that their female friends are attracted to them. Basically the guys surveyed saw that their attraction to their friends was mutual, overestimating the level of attraction felt within the friendship. On the other side of the friendship, the women participants were more likely to underestimate the level of attraction felt by their friend.

Because the survey was done between specific pairs of friends, it shows that two people can approach a relationship in entirely different ways. And it proves that men are more likely to struggle with the idea of being just friends.

How does this relate to your opposite-sex friendships? Are you oblivious to your guy friends attraction to you?


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8 Weird Ways To Use Your Microwave

Defrosting Lean Cuisine and popping popcorn? Pshaw! That's just the microwave's day job. According to the Daily Mail, the 46-year-old kitchen appliance also moonlights as a dryer, a cramp reliever, even a gardening tool. Let's take a look at some highlights on the microwave's under-the-radar resume:

It peels vegetables: Rich winter stews call for peeled tomatoes but meticulous peeling is a drag. After washing and cutting tomatoes in half, place them cut-side down in the microwave and heat for five minutes until the skin has shriveled around the edges. Then, gently slide them off with a fork or even your fingernails.

It warms bath towels: Baby, it's cold outside! Post-shower, warm up quicker by placing slightly damp towels in a large ziplock bag, then pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. "Not all plastic bags are microwave-safe so check the box first," says Snyder. 

It gets gum off your clothes: Parents will love this—if your kid got chewing gum stuck on their clothes (or, ahem, yours), warm one cup of vinegar in the microwave for a minute or so, then dab it on the gum with a clean cloth until it's gone. Presto!

It soothes menstrual cramps: You can always use a heating pad if you have killer period cramps but if you don't own one, fill a large cotton sock with a mix of grains or lentils and sew the open end closed. Pop it in the microwave for two minutes, then place on your abdomen. Sweet relief! "Since beans have a low water content, place a glass of water in the microwave so the water will produce friction, absorbing the radiation and helping to warm the towel," says Sue Snyder, Ph.D., Professor of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware.  

It sterilizes soil: Got a green thumb? Head to the kitchen before the garden. Before planting seedlings, sterilize your soil to remove bacteria so your seeds thrive. Spread about 400g of soil on a flat, non-metal dish, then heat on high until the soil starts steaming. "Make sure the soil is thoroughly stirred so the heat dissipates throughout. You'll have to experiment with how long you cook it but heating for 90 seconds will at least reduce the amount of bacteria," says Snyder.  

It dries herbs: Keep thyme and oregano fresh by drying them out in the microwave. Just wash, then lie them out on a paper towel, heating in 30 seconds blasts until they're dry.

It cooks scrambled eggs and bacon: Make an easy breakfast with barely any clean up. Mix eggs and a tablespoon of milk in a microwavable bowl and stir. Cook on full power for a minute, remove and stir, then heat in 30-seconds blasts (stirring after each) until you have a solid scramble. "When cooking eggs, make sure the internal temperature of the microwave is 160 degrees," says Snyder. "While you're stirring the eggs in between heating, stick a thermometer in there to test the temperature."  For the bacon, simply place a few strips on a plate and nuke for two and a half minutes.

It freshens up packaged food: Don't toss stale crackers and cereal. Pour on a plate and zap in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Remember to keep your owner's manual which contains information about your microwave's wattage (It varies depending on your machine) and regularly clean your microwave to avoid grease build-up which can be a fire hazard. 


3:55 AM | 5 comments | Read More