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6 Tips to Having the Best Prom of Your Life

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Group of friends prom group

Prom Group

Prom is one of the most anticipated and significant events that take place over the course of a young woman’s high school experience. From finding the perfect dress to knowing which date or group of friends to spend the evening with, decisions about prom night are many, and with a few exceptions, most of them feel extremely important

If you’re already making plans in anticipation of that magical night, here are six tips that will help ensure you have the time of your life at prom.

1. Be Comfortable

For most teens, prom night doesn’t begin at the dance. There are usually plenty of pictures that need to be taken by multiple households, and a dining experience or pre-prom party to enjoy before you ever head over to the venue. Because of these realities, prom night can last a surprisingly long time, which means you need to consider your comfort level across many hours and activities.

Choose one of the 2015 prom dresses that allow for easy sitting, eating, dancing, and walking, and above all, make sure your shoes are up to the task of comfortably carrying you from early evening until the wee hours of the morning. Wear your hair in a style that can go the distance, too, since the last thing you want to be doing during your favorite song is fussing with bobby pins in the bathroom.

2. Plan Ahead

Making sure your plans are set before the big day will help you relax as prom night draws near. Jot down a list of all the activities you’ll be doing and all the specialty purchases you need to make, and go about making reservations, buying tickets, finding your dress, and securing a spot at your favorite salon. Because so many other teenagers will be doing the same thing around the same time, consider getting everything finished, purchased, and reserved a month ahead of time.

3. Don’t Stress Out About Finding a Date

If you don’t have anyone you’re currently dating, don’t stress out about finding the perfect date. Instead, get together with a group of your best girlfriends or boyfriends and make a plan to spend the evening together. Not only will you feel relieved about asking someone or being asked, but you’re also more likely to have a memorable prom.

Too often, perfect strangers decide to spend this important event together and find they have little to talk about, which can make for an awkward and dull affair. Avoid that trap by hanging out with the people with whom you already love to spend your time.

4. Bring a Clutch — and Pack it Well

Leave your massive boho bag at home, but do bring along a classy and tasteful clutch. Not only will it complement your dress and shoes nicely, but its contents may also come in handy. Pack the following just in case:

  • A tampon
  • Lipstick
  • Cash
  • Your mom’s credit card
  • Cell phone
  • Gum or breath mints
  • Kleenex
Prom group dancing

Dancing at Prom

5. Get Ready to Dance

Whether you consider yourself a good dancer or not, you’ll have the most fun if you decide to dance as much as possible. If you’ve never taken to the dance floor before, consider taking classes, or just start practicing at home in your bedroom a few months ahead of time until you feel like yourself when music is playing and your body is moving.

While it can be tempting to believe that prom is little more than an elaborate photo shoot, its central charm lies in your ability to let loose and enjoy yourself in a fun atmosphere with your classmates. Don’t miss out!

6. Prepare Yourself for Peer Pressure

By now, you’ve come across many forms of peer pressure, and you probably know yourself relatively well in the face of it. Regardless of your personal beliefs and practices on issues like underage drinking, drug use, sex, and the like, take some time to consider what you want the night to be like, so no one else can influence you beyond your true comfort level. Prom night may feel like the most important evening of your life, but you have many, many more exciting nights ahead of you. Whatever you decide, choose to be safe, and remember your future. Don’t get into a vehicle with anyone who has been using any substances, and if at any time you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, ditch your manners. Use your voice, and get yourself to safety.

Prom night is one of the most exciting events in a young woman’s life, and preparing for it should be fun, too. Follow these six tips, and you’ll be able to look back on it all with a happiness that will last your whole life.

 
 


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How to Work Out During Winter

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running in the winter

Winter Running

The holiday season sure can pack on the pounds, but often it isn’t just the decadent food and festivities that cause people to gain weight. Winter tends to dissuade even avid exercisers from their usual fitness routines. Freezing temperatures, snowy and icy paths, and short, dim days certainly are enough to keep most people huddled indoors, but if you are committed to staying fit through to spring, here’s what you can do to combat the elements during the harshest months of the year.

1. Do What It Takes to Stay Motivated

Fitness freaks know better than anyone how important self-motivation is in achieving any goal, which means they are usually willing to do anything to feel driven. While during the summer this may be the promise of a lovely landscapes or stunning sunsets, the winter has fewer inherent joys for workouts.

Instead, you may need to keep your spirits up with some much-desired tech or equipment. Purchasing a gadget or tool you’ve had your eye on is a joy rivaled only by the experience of using it for the first time, and to use a fitness toy, you have to work out. So, go ahead and splurge on that heart rate monitor or new weight belt you’ve been eyeing — you’ll need it.

2. Get the Right Outfit

While you might be performing the same routine as in the summer — jog, Pilates, jog, repeat — your winter workout requires a completely different set of paraphernalia. Everything from your sports bra to your running shoes won’t cut it during the colder months, so if you expect to continue training outside, you’ll need a completely different wardrobe of exercise attire. The precipitation of winter, including rain, snow, sleet, and ice, require winter exercise clothing to be protective as well as insulating, and shoes should have more traction and support than your usual running shoes to prevent against slipping and sliding. Here’s what to look for to keep your winter workouts warm:

  • Three layers of upper-body clothing. This may seem redundant and unnecessary, but every layer of winter clothing serves a purpose. Closest to your body, you should don a typical workout shirt made of polypropylene or some other sweat-wicking material to keep you dry while you exercise. Next, you should cover your body with an insulating layer. The material of this depends on your environment and preferences; some people might require a heavy wool or fleece jacket, while others might find a T-shirt can suffice. Third, and last, a waterproof windbreaker with a hood will protect you from any and all winter elements. In conjunction, these layers work to keep you warm and dry for the duration of your workout.
  • A tight, low cap. You lose quite a bit of body heat through your head, which means covering your scalp and ears will keep you warmer. Skull caps that fit tight are best, and you want to find one that will fully cover your ears as well.
  • Trail running shoes. Typical running shoes don’t have enough traction to combat snow and ice, but shoes designed for heavy use on gravely trails do. The thickest treads are the best for winter wear, and you should look for an inflexible sole to provide protection from ankle damage. Be sure to buy a size that will accommodate the bulkier socks you’ll wear for warmth.
Skiing in the winter months

Skiing

3. Substitute in Winter Activities

Running and swimming are perfectly acceptable when the sun is shining in spring and summer, and winter as well has a slew of enjoyable seasonal activities that will get your heart pumping and will burn calories. Ice and snow are obstacles that offer challenges to different muscles than one might typically use in warmer months, which means winter sport–specific training has more benefits than you might expect. If you are having trouble coming up with a winter activity that pushes your exercise button, consider this list:

  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Hiking in the snow
  • Mountain biking on snow
  • Ice hockey
  • Ice skating
  • Ice climbing

Some of these activities require more training and experience than others, so before you embark on any winter sport do some research beforehand. However, if you’ve dabbled in the chosen winter activity before, see if you can both perfect your skill and benefit your body during the colder months.

4. Hit the Gym

If the weather becomes unbearably bad, you can always take comfort in the regular operation of your nearby gym. Though many enthusiasts prefer the freedom and flexibility of outdoor workouts and owned equipment, gyms can act as a last resort when the weather is much too inclement to warrant any other course of action. In truth, gyms aren’t a terrible alternative: They offer warmth, top-of-the-line equipment, and fellow fitness freaks who are just as devoted to exercise during these months as you.

 
 


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How to Reorganize Your Life After the Holidays

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returning unwanted holiday gifts

Returning Unwant4ed Gifts

For months before December 25, families around the country meticulously accumulate decorations and supplies for the few fantastic days of festivities that celebrate the season and end of the year. However, in the weeks after January 1, those same families struggle to sort through the clutter of the holidays while returning to the hum-drum activities of everyday life. The period after the holidays is disheartening and messy, and the more one procrastinates, the worse the situation gets — until it’s March and your neighbors formally demand you put away the robotic reindeer in the front yard.

Though it may be difficult to rouse you and your family out of post-holiday reverie, you can efficiently get ready for the challenges of the New Year with these quick tips. Stay ahead of spring cleaning and start 2015 off right by reorganizing your life right after the holidays.

1. Return Unwanted Gifts

After Christmas morning, the road to your living room is paved with good intentions. While most receivers have the grace to open all gifts with grace and enthusiasm, the hard truth is that people will only use about half of the presents they get. For every piece of beautiful jewelry and new technology there is a confusing kitchen gadget and ugly throw pillow. All those unwanted gifts accumulate over the years, and before you know it you have a closet full of junk you can’t return and can’t sell. This year, instead of lying to yourself about how you might use that stuff in the future, return it right away and get something you really want.

2. Donate Leftover Junk

While you’re in the mode for getting rid of things you don’t need or want, go through your old closets and cabinets — or even garages and storage spaces — to find the unwanted presents of Christmases past. Most of the items you find will be too old or pointless to sell, but that doesn’t mean you have to contribute to the landfill. Plenty of charitable organizations are more than willing to take ugly or broken items to fix up and furnish needy families. Some will even take old, donated vehicles, like boats or cars, and provide you with a healthy tax deduction in return. Once you’ve rid your house of unwanted stuff, you can fill up your storage spaces with useful and pleasing items, instead.

3. Write Thank You Notes

The thank you note is a dying art form, but it is one that deserves to be preserved. The amount of consideration that goes into gift giving is unquantifiable, and the only suitable response to presents of any kind — even the unwanted ones — is gratitude. The thank you note perfectly sums up a person’s appreciation for the thoughtfulness of a gift, and leaves the giver feeling satisfied and eager to give more.

Professionals in etiquette say it is never too late to send your thanks, but really most people expect some form of gratitude in the months directly following the holidays. While you’re waiting for your Christmas feast, take an inventory of the gifts your family has received so you can send proper thank you notes before December rolls around once more.

organizing christmas wrapping paper

Christmas Wrapping Paper

4. Streamline Holiday Decoration Storage

The absolute worst part of January 1 is the need to pack away the mountains of holiday decorations. To make a difficult task fun and easy, you simply need to reimagine your storage system. Most families stuff as much as they can into boxes and throw away the rest, but that is simply asking for headache and heartache come next year’s holiday decorating. Instead, you can keep your decorations in mint condition if you consider enacting these storage rules:

  • Respect your lights. Christmas lights are easily the most frustrating decoration, though they are the most dazzling. When putting them away, label each strand with its location from the previous year. Then wind them up in tangle-free reels, so you won’t spend hours unknotting the lights when you take them out again.
  • Shelter your ornaments. Every year, there is usually one ornament fatality, but you don’t need to witness an ornament massacre when you shove them into a storage box. Container stores sell handy ornament-specific boxes with layers and padding designed to cushion and protect these fragile decorations.
  • Preserve your paper. When the holiday season is over, many families trash new and used wrapping paper alike. However, you can save money (and time) by storing old wrapping supplies in a closet organizer or on a peg board. Throughout the year, you can easily find the ribbons and paper you need without making a mess.

5. Restart Pre-Holiday Diet and Exercise Routine

Once your house is purged of the holidays, it’s time to get rid of the holiday pounds you’ve packed on, as well. While December’s activities are an excellent excuse to neglect your workout schedule and your usual eating habits in favor of festive movies and rich fare, there is a reason you can’t act and eat like that all year. Your life will truly get back to normal once you retrain your body to its pre-holiday routine, and the sooner you start, the healthier you’ll be.

 
 


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