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Quit Playing Games February 8, 2008

Posted by ashleysguide in Uncategorized.

Girls often lament that they can’t keep up with the games guys play, but they’re often just as guilty as the males. Dating games are based around misleading the other person and withholding information. Even when you’re not trying, sometimes games can slip in. Want to keep your player side in checkmate? Here’s how:

Make the First Move
Sure, there’s always that awkward period when you’re not sure if your crush likes you. It’s this uncertainty, though, that often spawns most dating games. Passing messages through friends, dropping hints and the like may seem like a good idea at the time, but they also invite a plethora of people in to the relationship early on. If you really like a guy, try being more direct. If you can skip all of the nonsense, ask him out first. You’ll get to find out where his head is a lot quicker than if you have to relay a subtle message though Sally, Jane, Timmy and Ryan in the process.

Pick up the Check
Traditionally, a guy pays for all dates, and a girl’s family pays for the wedding. Tradition changes, though, and this divide is no longer hard-and-fast. Many girls will reach for the check even if they have no intention to pay- just to see if the guy will object. Others will make themselves scarce when the bill comes at dinner. If you want to show you care and want the relationship to work long-term, don’t be afraid to pay sometimes.

Don’t be Afraid to Call
Three days? Twenty-four hours? If you really like a guy, don’t set a time limit on when he should call. And don’t be afraid to call him. People get busy, phone numbers get lost and nerves kick in. If you had a great time, chances are he did too. Giving him a call to tell him you enjoyed his company and want to see him again isn’t playing games. Monitoring your calls and waiting three days for no real reason is just not worth it.

Speak Your Mind
I’m sure you’ve heard the Match.com commercial where Dr. Phil tells women men don’t have a clue what they want. It’s true. Hints and wishes are only going to get you so far. If you really like it when your boyfriend rubs your back, tell him. If you wish he would call to say good morning, tell him. More often than not, if he’s into you he’ll be happy to oblige.

Don’t Try Changing Him
There will always be little quirks about a person- no one is perfect. Trying to make someone perfect will drive you nuts and kill a relationship. Sure, his nail biting may be nerve-racking, but he’s got to want to stop- you can’t make him. If you try to force change, you can kiss the relationship goodbye.

The bottom line is to keep games out while still keeping communication flowing. The basis of any great relationship is conversation. Once you feel comfortable enough to talk openly with your sweetie, you’ll find it easy to throw games out the window.


Toys for Tots December 21, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Uncategorized.

Every Christmas, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve makes an extremely generous donation: millions of toys to children all over the world. Most commonly known for their toy collection stands at local stores, Toys for Tots sets up in communities across the globe to take donations. Marines in their dressy blue uniforms stand watch over the collection boxes wherever possible. Marine Corps Reserve units also work together with veterans and the Marine Corps to touch as many children as possible.The Toys for Tots program began in 1947, with the Marines making a toy donation to needy children concentrated in the Los Angeles area. In 1948, the program was extended nationwide. Walt Disney helped to launch the campaign with his poster designs. The three car train Disney drew is still the logo for the foundation.

Not until a great need for donations in the 1980s did the Marine Corps call for the creation of the official Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. In September 1991, the foundation was formed as a non-profit charity group. The Call to Action Report from the foundation itself claims nearly 250 million children have received toys and hope from the program. Toys for Tots reports that in 2006, the program collected approximately 19.2 million toys to deliver to children living in poverty.

Donations of toys are the easiest for anyone to make. There is no minimum or maximum spending level. All toys are accepted, as long as they are unwrapped and new. Local drop-off locations can be found on the Toys for Tots Foundation website. Locations are listed by state, and it includes Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and the Virgin Islands. You can even personally contact the local coordinator of the program by e-mail. Monetary donations can be made by credit card, check, PayPal, or Ebay. Toys for Tots also accepts vehicle donations. All money and vehicle donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in getting more involved with Toys for Tots, you may volunteer with the program by contacting the local coordinator. Volunteers can request promotional materials that can be shared with their community or work partners, hold events to sponsor Toys for Tots, set up collection boxes at their businesses, and even allow the program to use empty storage areas until the gifts are distributed.


Dating A Rock Star November 30, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Dating & Relationships.

Known for their trademark wild ways and bad-boy attitudes, rock stars have been attracting women since the day Elvis first crooned “All Shook Up.” Maybe it’s the mix of those off-beat looks, that notorious rebellious attitude or the soulful way they sing/ jam on their guitars that makes all the girls go ga-ga for them. Well, whatever it is rock stars definitely possess that certain je ne sais quoi, so how do you snag one and once you do how do you keep them interested?

If anyone knows how it is done, it is women with names like Pamela Anderson, Heidi Klum and Carmen Electra. They are among the most beautiful women in the world, with career titles such as international super model, A-list platinum actress, punk rock princess and ex-Baywatch babe to prove it. For these lucky few they have one more title they can add to their resumes; it is that of current or former wife, girlfriend and/or fiancée of the elusive rock star.

We aren’t sure if you can ever really tie down a musician, but stranger things have happened and with the help of some accounts and stories of the famous other halves of a rock star duo we compiled some tips to help you date a rock star.

Be Aggressive, Be, Be Aggressive
Rock stars and musicians alike are used to constant attention. You need to stand out and apart from the crowd to remove yourself from just being another adoring fan. Take it from Gwyneth Paltrow. After attending a Coldplay concert, the classic blonde star made her way backstage where she began a conversation with lead singer, and future husband, Chris Martin. She gave him her number and the rest is history. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative, the worst he can say is “no.”

Know the Right People
In this life, it is all about connections and who you know. With jobs, colleges and especially dating rock star celebrities it doesn’t hurt to befriend people in key places. Just ask supermodel Iman. Her first date with her husband of almost twenty years, musician David Bowe, was a blind date set up by a mutual hairdresser! Even though they claim it was “love at first sight,” a simple liaison to love was just the ticket to get her foot in the doorway to musical bliss. Don’t ignore the “little” people; they are normally the ones who can help out the most.

Act as a Support System
Maybe it was growing up with a rock star legend as a father that helped out in the process of actually marrying another rock star, or maybe it could be attributed to acting as the “rock” in the relationship that helped Hollywood A-lister Liv Tyler snag her husband Royston Langdon after three years of dating. She has been known to accompany Langdon on his long tours and he has even called her “his muse.” Showing support for a rock star and his ambitions proves vital if you want to remain a rock star girlfriend. All rock stars also lead insane and otherwise abnormal lifestyles in comparison to the regular day jobs of most men. Having a girlfriend to stabilize an otherwise crazy lifestyle of a musician is extremely important in keeping a musician and your relationship on solid ground.


Opposites Might Not Always Attract
Sharing common interests and goals helps out in any relationship and dating a musician is no exception. The antithesis of the blonde sugar-coated pop star, Avril Lavigne found her match made in rock star heaven when she married Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley. For this couple, sharing the same passion for their punk rock career goals has helped sustain their relationship since their meeting in 2004. Since musicians are so passionate about their music sharing the same drive and obsession with it can result in a more intense bond. You should not change who you are to fit into someone else’s life, but finding someone who accepts your own musical passion is just one of the plus-sides to dating a rock star.

Take Them for Who They Are
Rock stars are known to be wild and pretty much untamable. For some this is an act, but for others like Kiss legend Gene Simmons the “this is who I am. Take it or leave it. (A personal quote)” mentality is an innate quality. By dating a rock star, sometimes you have to accept them for who they are and realize their limitations. Such is the case with Simmons not-wife-by-law for more then 23 years, Shannon Tweed. Even though they have multiple children and have shared the same residence for over two decades, this couple remains “happily unmarried.” When he first met her, he was quoted as saying, “Here, there are no skeletons in Gene Simmons’s closet. I refuse to lead a Dr Jekyll-and-Mr Hyde life.” He hasn’t and she has accepted.

Dating a rock star is much like dating any other person, well with screaming fans and hectic-beyond-hectic lifestyles. It is important to be patient, be supportive and know that some musicians might just not be worth your time or energy.

Giving out Candy October 30, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Uncategorized.

Halloween is full of treats, and I’m sure many of you will be repeating this phrase in the near future hoping for a piece of socially acceptable candy. Can you eat it if it’s wrapped in plastic? What about twist ties? Are popcorn balls ok? With all this candy confusion, what is safe to hand out? Whether you are a parent or a teenager, here are some handy tips for giving out candy on Halloween so you don’t end up rushing for garbage… or the EpiPen.1) NO peanuts. You have no idea what allergies the children you are giving candy to have. Ensure that all candy is labeled to contain NO nuts. If it even says “may contain nuts,” it’s not safe.

2) Always make sure the candy is sealed. By sealed I mean in an unopened bag that you didn’t make yourself. Parents may get suspicious when their children come home with home-made candy. While baking and making candy yourself is a nice touch, it’s safer to just stick to the packaged stuff.

3) Here’s a tip from a teen: its trick or TREAT. Raisins do not count as a treat. There is nothing that gets kids angrier than ringing a doorbell and getting a pack of raisins or an apple. If it’s healthy, they’re probably not going to want it. I’m all for health but leave the tofu in the cupboard for Halloween. While we are on this topic, skip the pennies too. Honestly, even the most ambitious of children won’t come home with enough to even make it to the .99 cent store.

4) Caution yourself before you enthusiastically announce: “Take as much as you like!” Remember, these are children with no self-control, and teenagers are even worse. Stick to the “two for you and two for you” method.

5) In my opinion, load up on the minis—miniature candy bars that is. They don’t call these inch-long bars fun-sized for nothing. Sure, everyone loves it when you give out full-size chocolate bars. Except, of course, the parents. Oh, and the dentist. Not only might they make the kids sick, but everyone might swarm you and you will be more apt to run out. Buying a hundred full-size chocolate bars isn’t easy on the wallet either.

6) Watch out for gum. More and more kids have braces these days and not being able to eat any of the candy defeats the purpose of Halloween and can be a real downer for kids. Same goes for really hard candy like Jawbreakers.

7) When they say “Trick or treat!” don’t say “Trick!” and slam the door in their face. Sure it might be tempting, but you won’t make any friends and will probably get your car egged. No one carries a magic trick around with them on Halloween. (Although, you could consider doing a magic trick for the kids, which would be the only acceptable trick!)

I hope these tips will aid you on your quest for a perfect—and safe Halloween!

French Manicure At Home October 8, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Beauty.

You don’t always have to get a French manicure in a salon. You can do it yourself for a low cost. Here’s how.

1. You can do just the tips, or the whole nail if you want, but for the whole nail, you will need two different colors. For the tips, you really just need one. I will tell how to do the whole nail.

2. First,you will take a roll of medical tape and cut a piece wide enough for the width of your finger.

3. Stick a piece of the medical tape over the tip (the white part) of each finger.

4. Paint the bottom of your nail with one color.

5. Put a clear base coat over that.

6. Wait a few minutes until they are completely dry and then peel the tape off.

7. Now put the tape over the bottom of your nails, so only the white tips are showing.

8. Paint the tips with another color.

9. Put a clear base coat over them and wait for them to dry.

10. When your tips are dry, peel the medical tape off, and add one more base coat.

11. Repeat on your other hand.

12. You can also do this for your toes.

Easy isn’t it?! Enjoy your gorgeous nails!

First Date Fashion Tips September 26, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Dating & Relationships, Fashion.

Standing in front of your closet for hours prior to a first date is nothing new. Changing your outfit seven times and then fiddling with accessories for another twenty minutes should constitute as a first date rite of passage. Count in the time it takes to do your hair and put on your makeup and getting ready can be a marathon-like event. And with all the hoopla, you may be in danger of over-thinking. Simple mistakes can spell disaster for an outfit– and by default the date itself. Here are some tried-and-true tips:

Don’t wear 4-inch heels.
They may make the outfit, but they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. Even if you’re not expecting to do a lot of walking, you should be able to move easily. If dinner goes well, you won’t want to pass up a walk around the park because of your shoes. Even more practical, what if the car breaks down? Being able to walk comfortably can help avoid lots of first-date blunders, so do wear something you can walk in.

Don’t wear jewelry from your ex.
It may be beautiful but it will inevitably come up in conversation– if not on the first date then on the second. Rather than making your new beau feel like they need to compete with the ex, leave the ex out of the picture until the time is right to discuss your pasts. Instead, do wear family heirlooms or funky accessories – they’ll make great conversation pieces and bring up topics that will be more comfortable for both of you.

Don’t gob on the makeup if you don’t usually wear much. While it can been tempting to get all dolled up, it’s better not to go hog-wild. Most likely, your date has seen you before and knows how you usually look – changing your appearance drastically for a date can throw them off. If you do want to wear more makeup than usual, do keep it to a minimum – blush and lip gloss are just fine!

Don’t buy a whole new outfit for a first date. Inevitably, if you bought a new outfit for a date, you probably won’t be wearing that outfit until the day of the date. This makes it hard to know exactly how the outfit will feel or move, even if you tried it on in the store. That new skirt might have looked awesome in the dressing room mirror, but might not feel so awesome sitting in a movie theatre for a few hours. Do take the time to pair up old favorites and clothes that you know will be comfortable for the duration of your date.

Last, but not least, don’t obsess about the way you look. Keep this in mind: they agreed to the date so they must be at least a little interested. Chances are good that they are just as nervous as you. Do focus on the conversation– if this relationship is going to go anywhere, you’ll want to remember what they say over dinner!

Every Day Perfume September 18, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Beauty, Skincare.

We’ve all been there; standing on a crowded elevator or passing someone by on the street, when suddenly we’re able to taste exactly what kind of perfume someone is wearing. The scent is so strong, it burns our nostrils and clogs our throats. Of course, everyone wants to smell good, but many people make the mistake of over applying strong perfumes. Thee is good news; however, is that there are great scents out there that aren’t too strong. After all, you may like the smell of roses but no one wants to taste them. First, the rules of perfume are very simple, but many people overlook these important steps in preventing the discomfort of other people for the sake of smelling good.

It’s always a good idea to get samples of perfumes before you buy. Most department stores will have testers available, so use them to your advantage. A fragrance that smells good on your friend might just not work with your body chemistry. This is a good way to select scents that aren’t too powerful, but will make other people notice.

Being in a closed room with someone wearing too much perfume is not only annoying, it could be dangerous to people with perfume allergies. Some places of employment ban the use of perfume, so checking with employee handbooks or asking a boss can be beneficial.

Consider this while spritzing: remember the days when you’d walk home and the first thing you smell was your mom’s homemade dinner? The smell was obvious at first, then you slowly got used to it. This is the same for perfume. The average person gets used to the scent in about ten minutes, which leads them to believe the perfume has worn off, thus feeling the need to apply more. After awhile, even if you can’t smell the perfume without sniffing your wrist, chances are very good others still can!

Nights out with your boyfriend or husband are good times to wear a spicy, sultry scent that enhances the mood. Other times, such as work or a day out shopping, calls for lighter scents that while still fragrant, are subtle. Here are some ideas of non overpowering brands and types of perfumes and body splashes that are appropriate for almost all occasions. Bonus – They’re affordable!

Try From Bath and Body Works :

Warm Vanilla Sugar ($10.50) , Cherry Blossom ($10.50) or Lemon Meringue Pie ($20.00).

Try From Avon:

Avon Smile ($16.50), Avon Magic ($10.00), Be…Kissable ($15.00)

Try From Gap:

GapScents Heaven ($4.50, on sale now for $3.38!)

Try From Baby Phat:

Baby Phat Goddess ($39.50)
With some testing and understanding the general rules of perfume, you’re on your way to smelling great all day! Happy shopping!

What’s Causing Your Itchy Skin? September 6, 2007

Posted by ashleysguide in Skincare.

Has your skin become itchy and you don’t know why? If so, here are some different things that might be causing it.

1) Your shampoo – If you are using a shampoo or shower gel made from detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, this could be causing your itchiness. These detergents lather well, but they can also dry your scalp or skin out to where you start itching. You might want to switch to a natural soap-based liquid or bar cleanser, or you could also try making your own cleansers yourself. Natural soaps are much easier on the skin because they are made from vegetable oils instead of petroleum derivatives.

2) Your laundry detergent – Many laundry detergents make your skin itch because they are made with harsh cleansers that sometimes leave residue on the clothes even after they are washed. The residue gets onto your skin when you put them on causing your skin to become irritated and itchy. Consider using a natural laundry powder which you can get at health food stores or make your own soap, grate it, and use it as a natural laundry powder.

3) Your food – Is your skin becoming itchy because of some foods you are eating? It’s very possible. Some foods that are commercially prepared contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. Consider changing your diet by eliminating one food item at a time and see if this helps.

4) Bacteria – If your skin has come into contact with a bacteria or fungus, like Athlete’s Foot, try applying tea tree oil, or a product containing tea tree oil to the spot that is irritated to help relieve this irritation.

5) Bug bites – Bug bites from mosquitoes and bees, along with many others often cause swelling and/or itching. For this, apply several drops of lavender essential oil on the bug bite itself to soothe the itching.