Tuesday, September 28, 2010
These days people are all about staying connected--who likes to be the last to know something? So, be sure to stay up to date on the latest posts and become a fan of "The Modern Renaissance Woman Blog" on Facebook now! Search for "The Modern Renaissance Woman Blog" or click here to "like" the fan page.
Also, don't forget to share your favorite posts with friends and family. I'm so excited at the growth of this blog in the first 3 months, and I'm really excited about the blogs to come. Thanks for the continued support and I'll see you on the blogspot!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Fortunately one of my really good friends is a former hair stylist (and genius) and she taught me some tricks of the trade. I thought I'd share one of my favorite hair styles--the S patterned wave/curl (bka the Taylor Swift look). This style is great for shoulder length to long hair.
I found this awesome video that goes through exactly what I was taught to do--
1. Use a 3/4 inch barrel to 1 inch barrel (smaller is better for this)
2. Curl very small sections
3. Pin curl with a metal clip to hold (shown in video)
4. Re-pin curl at night to keep for the next day!
Check it out (and to skip the fluff--jump to 2:36)
How to get Taylor Swift inspired curls
by Scott Wasserman, Professional Hair Stylist, DEX New York (he is in the video)
Here are the written instructions:
"· Starting with the back section, separate hair into in 1-2 inch sections for curling. Spray section with hairspray, comb through and wrap hair around curling iron barrel starting close to the root. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, allow hair to stay on iron for 10-20 seconds. Slide the curl off the end of the iron and re-coil the hair into the shape of the curl and clip.
o Allowing the hair to cool in the shape of the curl ensures for smooth, longer-lasting curls.
o To create extra texture and movement, use two different size curling iron barrels throughout the hair. Scott recommends using a 1-inch and ¾-inch barrel curling irons.
· Once all sections of hair are curled, clipped and cooled, begin taking out the first pins you put in.
· Once all of the pins have been removed, gently flip hair over and work your fingers through your roots -- do not work fingers through to the ends. Working your roots will gently separate the curls and create a more natural look.
· Gently flip hair back up and style front of hair, as desired. If you want to add more definition at the root, add a few more curls with the ¾-inch curling iron. "
Sunday, September 19, 2010
My sister is hands down to best (yet toughest) movie and TV critic I know--and I always hear her rave about how stellar her favorite TV shows are (but usually by that time the show is in its 2nd or 3rd season and I have Netflix to catch up). Well, this season I was proactive and asked for her opinion about the new shows to premier and here is what she recommends:
First, here's a link to the new fall schedule where you can click on the shows for details and video clips: click here
NEW SHOWS Monday - "The Event" looks great and got great response at comic-con. "Chase" looks hit or miss.
Tuesday - "No Ordinary Family" looks good and "Detroit 1-8-7" looks like it's going to be really good.
Wednesday - "Undercovers" is the new JJ Abrams show. Hope it's good. Also "Hellcats" is entertaining, but not great. It's basically "Bring it On" if the star was the brown haired rebel, not Kristen Dunst.
Thursday - I want to check out "$#*! My Dad Says", but something tells me it's going to suck. I checked out the pilot of "Nikita" ready to hate it, but it was really good. Also "Outsourced" looks like it could be funny. Or completely offensive.
Friday/Saturday - nothing here interests me
Sunday - "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO starts tonight! Martin Scorsese directed the pilot. Here's a link: click here
RETURNING SHOWS TO CHECK OUT ON HULU OR "ON DEMAND" Glee, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, Mad Men, My Boys
Let me know if there are any other good shows in the comments!
Friday, September 17, 2010
If you are classic...
1. Fitted blazer
2. Sheath dress - channel Michelle O
3. Pearls - nothing says feminine and classic like a good pair of pearls (you can modernize them with a modern take on pearls--pearls in a different color, or with a different drape/multiple strings of pearls)
4. Over sized leather bag
5. Your favorite jeans --the kind that make you feel like a million bucks!
If you are trendy...
1. Anything jewel toned – think ruby, emerald, sapphire, or amethyst - here is a cute ruby frock from Tulle - click here to see more
2. Infinity scarf or over sized scarf - these are two of my favs!
3. Military/utility jacket - I LOVE mine and you can throw it over anything--a cute dress or your favorite skinnys.
4. A flirty party dress - try bolder colors--fall is not all about neutrals anymore--show of your personality with a fun print and some tights.
5. Flat Rider Boot. This boot screams sexy and chic. Check some out!
Abstract silk ruffle dress $32.80 Forever21.com
The utility style jacket is shown above $44.99 The Gap
Chunky Oversized scarf $35.00 Tulle
Kailia Riding Boot $117.50 Endless.com
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I’m a woman…and I know nothing about what men think. But-- I asked a few males a few questions for a little insight into the male brain for your reading pleasure…comments are always appreciated!
1. What makes a woman "the one"/ what do men want?
“Men want Claire Huxtable…a great wife, a great mother, beautiful, intelligent, a strong woman, witty, sweet, loving, caring–[Claire Huxtable] is everything you want in a woman. She got in Cliff's ass when he needed it–she makes him eat healthy–not only was she a lawyer all day, but she came home and COOKED. Women don’t understand that. She makes a man feel like a man–she never tried to outshine her man, and she never tried call him out– she was on his side. She had a say so in everything about the household but she let him make the decisions. You gotta let a man be a man. She even had good credit–and she was a FREAK too. That’s all men want–Claire Huxtable.”
2. Is it true that men don't want to get married?
“About men not wanting to get married–the honest answer is a lot of men aren’t ready to commit and aren’t ready to get married. And on the flip side of that most women aren’t ready to get married–whether they think they are or not. It takes TIME and a tremendous amount of work to have a successful relationship."
“I think a lot of women have wedding bells in their heads and want the glitz and glamour of the wedding, the ring and the dress. They are ready to talk about flowers and colors, but aren’t ready to talk about the serious issues that will come up in a relationship (i.e. finances, kids, family support, values, religion).”
“Marriage is the biggest decision you will make in your life–and picking the wrong person can ruin a person’s life–and every man has seen it first hand–whether its a guy at work going through a bad divorce getting his kids taken from him–or seeing what happens to your parents in a nasty divorce first hand.”
“All the woman has to do is wait–but we (men) have to go hunt and find the perfect person. Its a very complicated decision, and a very calculated decision–you don’t make this decision off of fluff like ‘she’s fine’–you make it more on ‘we have a great time hanging out–does my family like her do my friends like her, how does she manage her money? does she want the same amount of kids?’ These are questions that come up over time–that aren’t on the first, or second date. It comes after you have met their family, friends, and extended family.”
“The consequences of choosing the wrong wife are so strong that it makes you apprehensive about committing. There should be no pressure–if he is not ready–he is not ready. And when he is ready–he will let you know.”
3. Would you like to add anything else?
“One last thing–women should not let a man string them along–stand your ground, and if he is not going the places you want to go to (granted it takes time) then let him know and/or leave. And like my aunt says– 'why would he buy the cow if he gets the milk for free.’ STOP PLAYING HOUSE (living together/buying houses together but not committing to each other) and getting mad that you aren't married!"Hope this helps. Post more questions that you want answers to in the comments!
Friday, September 10, 2010
The big question should be how to be a more attractive you. It is more than just looking good, although that is important, too. You need to know what to say, how to act, and know what you are truly looking for. You may not be able to attract every man you set your sights on but your odds of attracting the right ones will definitely improve. So let’s look at some tried and true ways that have proved successful:
1. Have Confidence
This is my number one for a reason! You need to know what you want, be your best self, and it will come to you. Men are attracted to assertive and strong women. (**Not to be confused with aggressive or abusive women!) Being submissive, shy, and hiding in the corner of the room are not the business!
Men like women who have goals and motivation. Women that have plans for a future or know what they want out of life are far more likely to attract the right guy. If you lack confidence, then you need to work on building it up BEFORE you get out on the dating scene.
The only one who can give you confidence is YOU. Don’t seek it through compliments from others, or Facebook comments! It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks—what YOU think is all you should care about—and if you are truly confident, nobody can take that away.
2. Have a Positive Attitude
This is for all of you who have never really had a relationship, or have been hurt before, or listen to their SINGLE disgruntled girlfriends for dating advice. NOBODY likes a downer. The downer is the person who is negative all the time and is a complainer. A negative person can kill a good mood and bring down a party in 10 seconds flat. So don’t let this be you.
Men like women who are positive and upbeat (of course this won’t be all of the time because we have that one special time of the month where there is a little edge in us). When you are trying to attract a man, don’t complain about the things going wrong in your life. If you had a bad day or your mother is driving you crazy, don’t bring it up. Guys don’t want to hear that when they first meet you.
Try to be in a positive frame of mind. Try to think about the silver lining in any situation. Even if something bad happens when you meet a guy, like someone spilling their drink on you, just keep it together. Laugh it off. The guy will find that kind of attitude so much more appealing!
3. Have A Good Self Image
Having a good self image means being comfortable with who you are. So you may not be a size 2 or have a perfect complexion. While there are ways to correct those problems, it takes time, and effort. The healthiest thing to do is to love yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
A lot of women fret because the man that they like does not notice them (have you ever thought about the guys that like you--and you don't notice?). Well, if the guy does not notice you, especially after you have tried to get his attention, then he just may not be the right man for you.
The right man is going to be someone who loves you for exactly who you are right now, faults included. If you have a poor self image and do not love yourself, remember what RuPaul said, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"
4. Know How To Communicate
This is a big one. One that most married couples are still trying to work on—and some divorced couples never learned. While staring into each others eyes may be romantic, it doesn’t tell you a lot about a person! To get to know a person, you have to be able to communicate with them. That means you need to be able to hold up your end of a conversation—and be real about who you are. **And don’t play games**
A problem that many people have is that they never know what to say when they meet someone. I was socially awkward once upon a time, and I learned how to overcome my fear of strangers! If you have trouble speaking to people you just met, I always (for starters) ask them the same question that they ask me!
Or if someone introduces you, ask “how do you two know each other”. Then you can follow up and get them talking about themselves (people love to do that). But it is not an interview so don’t keep asking questions. Share your opinion or your reactions with facial expressions and LISTEN—don’t be so consumed in what you will say next that you aren’t even hearing the other person! **And never ask what someone does for a living. It is just in bad taste, and puts them in a bind if they just got laid off or are not currently employed. Light topics like—“what do you do for fun”, or “what are your hobbies” are always easy to start with.
For those who say “I always attract the wrong type of guy” look at how you are non-verbally communicating. I.E. what are you wearing and how are you interacting with others (drunk, loud, tasteless)? What type of message does that send? If you don’t know, ask somebody! Remember that if you dress/act scandalous—men will follow suit. So don’t blame them!
Communicating with a man is the best way to let them know what kind of person you are. You can inform them your likes, dislikes, and any information about yourself—and be absolutely honest. You can also find out what kind of guy he really is (if he is being honest).
Once you actually get into a relationship—communication is that much more important—people tend to hold stuff inside because they don’t want to show their bad side, or let their anger/frustration mess up the mood, but that is when communication is of utmost importance (but that is a whole other blog!!).
5. Know How To Flirt
Flirting is the main method people use to attract others. In some people, it comes naturally. In others, it is much harder to do. It is a combination of verbal communication plus body language. Everyone has their own style of flirting—you just have to perfect yours—so here are the basics:
When you flirt, you should always make eye contact and smile. Be friendly and open. Our body language says a lot about our intentions. Use it to your benefit. When flirting, always face your body towards the person you are talking to and lean slightly towards them. Do not cross your arms as that is a signal that there is a boundary the person should not cross. Touching the person lightly such as on the arm or knee is a strong signal that you are interested in them.
The other part is to know when someone else is flirting with you—and if you see someone is interested in you but the feelings aren’t mutual—don’t be rude, just smile and keep the conversation friendly—and if he advances, politely be honest about how you feel. It has taken a tremendous amount of courage to approach you in the first place—so always be respectful.
6. Dress For the Occasion
Common sense--you have to dress attractively. If you are not a stylish one—enlist the help of a stylish friend (or check out the “fashion looks and finds” tab at the top!) Men are VERY visual and physical appearance is always the first thing they notice. This doesn’t mean you need to push your cleavage in everyone's face--obviously that will cause men to follow suit. But be aware that men are attracted to different body types just like we are attracted to different physiques--show off your best features in a tasteful way.
Again--not all clothes look good on everyone. When in doubt, ask a friend. A very honest friend—send her a picture message or something (see dress right for your body type tab at the top!). Find clothes and colors that are flattering for your body and will present you in the best way. You don’t have to wear designer clothes but don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money. Clothes do not define who you are but they do make a statement and get you noticed.
7. Choose Your Standards
When I say “choose your standards”, I really mean “know your deal breakers”. Oftentimes women narrow the scope so much with their “list of requirements” that there is a one in a million chance you will even meet that person. If you find yourself cutting a man before you even speak to him—that is probably why you are complaining that there are no good men out there.
At least talk to a man long enough to get to know him a bit—and give him a chance. Instead of having a list, just know your deal breakers—for example—my deal breakers were: character issues, abusive, alcoholics, smokers, disrespectful men, shorter than me (sorry boys), womanizers, and “he’s in the mirror longer than me”s *Bonus points if you were a man’s man or loved kids (love it!). *moving on*
Lastly, just because you want to attract a man does not mean you want to attract any man. You need to decide what kind of man you want to attract. What are your standards? Setting the bar for what kid of guy you want defines who you are looking for and where you may find them.
8. Play On The Senses
We have other senses besides vision. The sense of smell is a powerful trait. Certain scents can trigger long forgotten memories in people. It can remind them of past events and trigger certain emotions.
Choosing the right scent is a great way to play against a person’s sense of smell. Like pheromones, a nice perfume can create chemical changes in the brain to put them in a more receptive mood. In other words, a scent can catch someone’s attention. This also makes it important to be your freshest—nothing is a turn off more than the smell of dirty hair, or other odors (including TOO MUCH perfume). If you are having trouble finding a scent, try some on and if you get a compliment—then that is the right one. I personally don’t do perfume, but Bath & Body Works have some really nice, mild body sprays that are very refreshing.
If you hang out at home all the time with your dog and your television, your chances of meeting someone are 0%. Men are outside of your home, so get out and be social—and if you are a home body—host a small shindig at your house (game night, cocktail party, theme party).
There are a number of places where you can meet people. There are social events, get together with friends, clubs, lounges, parties, and practically anywhere there is a crowd of people. It depends on what you are comfortable with and what you are looking for. But you have to put some effort into it.
When being social, its okay to walk up to a man and say hello. Introduce yourself and your friends and dive in! Don’t be nervous (because they are usually more nervous than we are when it comes to meeting people). Plus, men like a woman who makes the first move. If you want to get a guy to come up to you, make eye contact and smile. Its as easy as that sometimes. If nobody is talking to you, go up and talk to someone--don’t hang out in the corners!
10. Build Suspense
It may be stereotyped but women love to talk. In fact, women love to talk about themselves and everything going on in their life. Usually, men are content to let women do all the talking when they first meet. It means the man doesn’t have to think about keeping the conversation going.
When you first meet a guy, you do not have to tell him your entire life story in the first five minutes. Sure, you need to tell him something about yourself. But it is a good idea to dole the information out a little at a time. Let the suspense build and eave some things to share the next time you meet. If you get a date, then you can start sharing a little more.
11. Have A Good Time
When going out, don’t be nervous, uptight, or scared. Meeting people should be fun. Get out there and have a good time. Even if you meet some losers or get rejected, try to laugh it off.
Rejection is always hard and if you are trying to attract someone, eventually you will get rejected. It hurts because it shakes up your self-esteem--but you will find that men are more afraid of rejection than we are. It is often the guy that gets rejected because they are the ones making the first move.
Another thing about having a good time is to realize that there are a lot of men (and I mean a lot) who act like complete jerks around women. They may think it makes them seem cool or maybe they just never learned any manners. Whatever the reason, these are the type of guys to ignore. Don’t let them ruin your evening—smile and say “on to the next”.
12. Don’t Be Too Available, to Accommodating or Too Easy
This is MAJOR! By being a bit elusive, you build up more respect from a man. If you barely even know him—don’t make him your n umber 1 priority so fast. Yes, that means don’t wait by your phone so you can text him right back or pick up on the first ring. Don’t call him six times in five minutes—don’t change your plans because he called you last minute. Don’t answer the phone in the middle of brunch with your girlfriends because you are so excited to see him calling—send him to voicemail like you would anyone else (and as to not be rude to your friends).
But don’t play hard to get, either. Some men might give up easily and pursue other interests. And don’t play games—that “Rules” book—throw it away because men HATE games. Honesty will earn you mega cool points and besides we are adults—we should act like them.
*Real talk* Guys like the thrill of the chase—and honestly we women like to be chased but we think it will be even better when we get caught (and sometimes it is). BUT you don’t have to be easy to catch. Make it exciting for the man too—because they actually don’t like to catch—I personally think that they just like to chase!
What are they chasing? *real-er talk* SEX. Let’s be blunt—no man approaches you because he likes your smile—he is attracted to you and wants to have sex with you (it's true, ask a man). For almost all men that is the driving force—the countdown to sex. Sure we’d like to think it is our dazzling personality—or getting to know us is his goal—but his goal is sex (it's the hormones).
Now while his goal is sex, along the way you can actually dazzle him with your personality and he may actually start to like hanging out with you, which will lead to an actual relationship. If he really likes you and likes spending time with you then he will make you his girlfriend (and introduce you to his friends). So stay fresh—and interesting.
The dictionary is full of a lot of words to describe a woman that is too easy to pick up and none of them are very nice. Being too easy is a sign of desperation and can brand you in a negative way. If word gets around that you are easy to pick up, then you will start attracting the wrong sort of men. Plus men don’t like women that have been around the block.
13. Be Yourself
Simple enough. Remember to be yourself. Never, ever act like something you are not just to attract a man. You want the guy to like you, right? Well, you need them to like you for the real you, not someone fake. Always be yourself. If the guy doesn’t like you for who you really are, he isn’t the right one for you.
If all else fails, rent that movie How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days and do the opposite!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
There couldn’t have been a more perfect day—it was 80 degrees almost no clouds in the sky and there was a gentle breeze. I knew that there was a small chance that someone would be offering rides, but hoped that it wouldn’t cost too much. Luckily there was a crew giving rides up to 200 feet for only 10 bucks! This was perfect because my husband didn’t want to go all the way up and we both didn’t want to pay the $275 for a full trip (about 1 to 2 hours).
That day we witnessed about 30+ balloons set up, blow up, and take off--and the pictures from the rest of the day speak for themselves, so enjoy!
P.S. If you are interested in finding a festival near you, HotAirBalloon.com has the most complete directory and calendar of hot air balloon festivals, fairs, rallies and events around the world.
The second thing I was able to do was attend a Pow Wow. Like the real deal! A friend of mine invited us up for Labor Day weekend to meet her family and learn a little about the culture and history of the Shinnecock Indian Tribe in Southampton, NY. There were arts and crafts, food, dancing, and the most amazing and colorful traditional wear! This was a beautiful celebration to witness and I was so humbled to have been invited to be a part of the annual harvest. I even bought some really cute moccasins! For more info check out their website at http://www.shinnecocknation.com/. Enjoy the pictures below: