Manda - 2/2 - no more damsels

How to eat healthier by making simple substitutions

healthy foods

Source: realsimple.com

You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet and live on wheat bran, kale, and soy milk to eat healthier. The best thing you can do (and the easiest to stick to) is substitute things you already eat with healthier alternatives. Virtually everyone on my mother’s side of the family has some sort of food allergy or digestive illness so we’ve been learning how to find and prepare tasty food substitutes almost my entire life.

I learned even more about nutrition when my mother was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, which forced her to drastically change her diet. Thankfully I’ve only had mild issues up to this point. But it’s caused me to work with my doctor to find healthy foods I actually like.

Here’s some of the best small steps you can take right now:

Lean, grass-fed, organic beef instead of regular ground beef
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to cut out red meat entirely or substitute it only with ground turkey, which lacks a certain amount of flavor. The real issues with red meat are fat, hormones, and grains. So a good solution is to look for lean, grass-fed, organic beef. Almost every grocery store is now carrying some version of this, though you have a better chance finding it at places like Wegman’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.

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posted by Manda in Health 1 Comment

How to search for a job more effectively

how to find a job in your twenties

Source: ohshoefler.wikispaces.com

A little less than two weeks ago, I was called into my boss’s office on a Friday afternoon and he began the conversation with those dreaded words: “There’s no easy way to say this…”

It’s the worst feeling in the world, especially when it had nothing to do with your performance, the company just needed to downsize. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common reality these days. After my initial freak out, I put all the advice I’d collected in career classes, seminars, and school workshops into action. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still looking. But I’ve been told to get ready because it’ll take a few months at least. *cringe*)

Get the word out.
The old wisdom was that you shouldn’t let it be known that you’re unemployed because it makes you look desperate or weak. But with unemployment still hovering around 8% nationally, and 20% for twentysomethings and recent college grads, that stigma has really gone by the wayside. Other people must just be embarrassed. It’s not the easiest thing to admit.

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posted by Manda in Career 3 what you have to say

How to make quick and easy biscuits

quick and easy drop biscuits

Source: realsimple.com

You don’t have to go the prepackaged and preservative-laden Pillsbury route for quick biscuits to go with tonight’s dinner. They also double well as part of a morning egg sandwich or just something quick to warm up and grab on your way out the door. For a healthier alternative, substitute whole wheat flour instead of enriched white flour. I like Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Whole Wheat Flour.

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posted by Manda in Cooking say something

How to get dewy skin (without looking sweaty, greasy, or clammy)

makeup for dewy glowing skin

Source: modellove.tumblr.com

For those who are not so into skin cancer or Ed Hardy, glowing is the new tan. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally quite pale or my twenties brought on skin issues I’d never had to face before (breakouts and first wrinkle lines? Oh cruel fate!), but I’ve become obsessed with that glowing-from-within look I see all over magazines and runways – and on ungrateful 16-year-olds!

This led me on a search for the best products and methods of application to get a dewy, youthful look without a ton of work. The result of months of research is what you see below. It might look like a lot of words, but it the actual process takes about 5 minutes once you know what you’re doing.

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posted by Manda in Fashion 2 what you have to say

How to move in with your partner without killing each other

Move in and not kill each other

Source: essence.com

On the list of the most stressful life events, moving in with a significant other is somewhere near the top. I can personally attest that it’s there for good reason. Moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend is extremely different from living with roommates, and I know couples who’ve broken up because they jumped in without being fully ready. If you’re about to move in with your significant other or you’re considering it, here is some hard-earned wisdom from my first year of cohabitation.

Assess whether or not you’re actually ready to move in together. I mean for real.
Have you been together less than a year? Stop reading this. You’re not ready. I’m serious, just don’t. Hit the one year mark and then we’ll talk.

Haven’t had real, productive fights yet? Get out of here now.

Are you moving in because one of you just got kicked out of your current living space or is going through some major transitional period or is short on cash and needs a place to live? Find another solution, even if it’s temporary. Moving in because you “have” to is just going to add undue stress to an already stressful situation and possibly lead to a breakup that could otherwise have been prevented.

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posted by Manda in Relationships say something

How to get through a breakup in your twenties

Surviving breakups in your twenties

Source: iStockPhoto via Forbes.com

If you’re anything like me, you were shocked to discover that dating in your twenties is nothing like dating in high school or college. For one thing, the stakes are higher — people start talking about the future and it’s not some distant, made-up thing. Some people are looking for things that you are not looking for, or vice versa.

It’s also a lot more ambiguous, particularly if you’re not on the same page but unaware of it. And even if it’s clear-cut from the beginning, spoiler alert: some relationships end.

The upside to breaking up when you’re still attending classes is if you get publicly upset, people give you a break. I was in high school only for the era of America Online profiles and away messages, but I can only imagine it’s gotten more explosive and emotional since then, what with Facebook, Twitter, and the fact that everyone has a blog. The point is, there is a certain part of your life where it’s completely normal to have a sobbing fit in the cafeteria after you’ve been dumped. But as you age, and break-ups actually hurt more because you’ve invested time and dreams into them, you’re supposed to be mature and calm.

But how do you do it? How do you keep your 9-to-5 when getting out of bed feels impossible? Your blog writer has been in the trenches so you’ll hopefully have a better path. Here are my (totally unprofessional) tips:

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posted by Manda in Relationships 2 what you have to say

How to balance a checkbook

how to balance a checkbook

Source: creditcards.lovetoknow.com

One day I’ll sit my children down around the fire and tell them about the olden days before the internet, when you had to go to the bank to withdraw or deposit money and keep track of your balance on a funny little thing called a “register.” And yes, we used to pay with things with dirty little pieces of paper called “cash” – not debit cards.

Even now you might wonder why you need to balance your checkbook and keep a register when you can access this online or from your phone. There’s a few reasons you should have this skill. First, even banks make mistakes. Wait, let me rephrase that: especially banks make mistakes. If you keep your own records, while it’s not totally solid or legal proof of your case, it will help you more quickly pinpoint the problem if something goes wrong. Second, most banks have delays of several business days until credit and debit transactions are posted, so when you check your balance, you may think it reflects purchases you’ve already made when it doesn’t. And finally, if you record your spending, you’re less likely to make unnecessary spending and you’ll have a better idea where your money goes when you’re ready to put together a realistic budget.

I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago when I got lazy and just checked by available balance occasionally withouth keeping tabs on my own. I overdrafted myself because I didn’t notice a paycheck bounced when my company switched payroll accounts. Had I been keeping track like I should have, I would have noticed the mistake earlier and I wouldn’t have incurred so many fees.

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posted by Manda in Finances say something

A Shopping Post

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posted by Manda in Shopping say something