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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.


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!