EXPERIENCE A W3 L!FESTYLE December 2010
SLEEP IT OFF
Avoid Unwanted Weight by Getting More Z’s
You Can Give Your Partner
Apartment Living at it’s Best
and the movie
Does She Still Have It?
Live and Be Passionate For YOU
2011 Plan of Action
A W3 LIFESTYLE MINIZINE
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Enjoy The Holiday Bustle
But Be Aware...
The end-of-year holiday season - with all its hustle and bustle - is fast approaching. With all the distractions and activity, we sometimes forget the basics for maintaining our safety on the streets and at home. Opportunity is the criminal’s key to crime. By staying alert and following a few crime prevention tips, you can ensure a holiday season that is both happy and safe. A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of our surroundings and potential areas of danger - thereby closing the criminal’s window of opportunity. Busy shoppers can be targeted for purse snatching and other forms of street robbery. The malls are full of folks with money to spend. As we speed along, focused on getting through our treasure hunt, a criminal can size up a potential victim. - Outside of the mall, stick to well-lit, well-traveled streets, walkways and parking areas - for both walking and parking. - Stay off the cell phone as you walk through parking lots and streets. It is a distraction that makes you vulnerable to robbers, and your cell phone itself is a tempting target. - Don’t flash large amounts of cash or offer tempting targets for theft such as expensive jewelry or clothing. - Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body, not dangling by straps. Put a wallet in an inside pocket of your coat or front pant’s pocket. - Don’t fumble for house or car keys. Have them in your hand, ready to use when you reach the door. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind regarding the car or house you’ve left behind while on your travels. - ALWAYS lock your car and residence, even if you are away for only a few moments. - Do NOT leave valuables - gifts, cell phones, purse or clothing - in open view in your car. Take valuables away with you, lock them in your trunk, or cover them in an unobtrusive way. - Leave lights turned on both inside and outside your residence after dark. Criminals don’t like bright places. - If you will be away from home for several days, make arrangements for someone to pick up your mail and newspapers. An overstuffed mailbox is a sure sign that no one is home, and burglars are tempted to check those envelopes for holiday gifts that might be enclosed. County police hope that by being aware and keeping these few tips in mind, crime won’t take a toll on your holidays.
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EXPERIENCE A W3 L!FESTYLE
Apartment Living at itâ€™s Best
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Sleep The Weight Off By Kristin Ohlson New research shows that sleep significantly influences metabolism, appetite and weight management. Could getting more shuteye help you ward off excess pounds?
When I was in college, I often began my homework at midnight. Nothing seemed to focus my thoughts on a term paper better than a morning deadline. I knew this routine wasn’t a wise one — after all, I might crash facedown in my textbook. But I told myself that adrenaline improved my writing. Besides, I figured I was losing weight on those nights with only four hours of sleep. I assumed that all that effort to stay awake and functional had to be zapping away the day’s calories.
mous “freshman 15” — the average number of pounds students gain in their freshman year of college. People have acknowledged the value of sleep for centuries. But they’ve focused primarily on sleep’s impact on brain function and the obvious costs of burning the candle at both ends: lowered mental acuity, irritability, and a greater chance of accidents and mistakes. “If you talk to some neuroscientists today, the prevailing view is still that sleep is only for the brain,” says Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and an expert on the ways sleep affects endocrine function.
Turns out that I was greatly mistaken. In fact, recent research shows that lack of sleep can make people gain Over the last few decades, weight, not lose it. sleep researchers across the Perhaps night-owl country have been overturning behavior like mine helps explain the fa- that view. Their studies indicate that curtailing sleep and getting
poor-quality sleep are implicated in many diseases that affect the entire body, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer and impaired immune function. One of the most startling observations has come from Van Cauter and her University of Chicago colleagues. Over the course of four studies, they showed that people who don’t sleep enough, night after night, unwittingly trigger a hormonal storm that causes their appetites to rise. Other researchers followed up with studies looking at the long-term health of large populations and found the implications of Van Cauter’s work borne out in real life: People who sleep fewer hours tend to become overweight or even obese. Even a difference of one hour is significant. Columbia University researchers, for instance, found that people between the ages of 32 and 59 who slept only four hours were 73 percent more likely to become obese than those sleeping seven to nine hours. Even a difference of two hours was significant. Those who slept only six hours were 23 percent more likely to become obese than those sleeping seven hours. Does this mean we can shed pounds by getting additional shuteye? Maybe, but research hasn’t yet proven this supposition — the studies looking at whether overweight people shed pounds when they sleep more are just getting under way. Still, it’s clear that insufficient sleep encourages weight gain and that getting adequate sleep helps prevent it. For most of us, adequate sleep means seven to nine hours a night, and over recent decades, fewer of us have been reaching that goal. According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, the average duration of sleep for Americans fell from a high of nearly nine hours in 1960 to seven hours in 2002, and to just over six and a half hours in 2009. More recent surveys show that the number of people sleeping fewer than six hours per night has doubled over the last four decades to nearly a third of the population.
ple who pay attention to nutrition and exercise sacrifice sleep. They think they can get by with less, perhaps because the medical problems from sleep disorders usually become apparent [more slowly] over the years.” Bleary-Eyed and Craving Cookies Studying sleep is big business in the United States. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has 8,000 members, and there are some 2,000 accredited sleep centers scattered across the country. Many are exploring the biochemical processes that go awry after too many nights of insufficient sleep. Others are investigating the body’s response to poor-quality sleep — sleep disturbed by stress, anxiety, a snoring partner, loud neighbors, or conditions like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Van Cauter set out to study the connection between sleep loss and appetite after anecdotal reports from sleep studies indicated that subjects were overeating during extended stays in the laboratory. The common assumption was that they ate because they were bored, but she decided to test that assumption. In the first-ever study to make the connection between sleep and appetite, published in 2004 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Van Cauter’s team brought 12 lean and healthy young men into the lab for two four-hour nights of sleep followed by two 10-hour nights. They found that when the subjects slept for only four hours, they showed dramatic changes in two hormones that regulate appetite. Blood draws revealed an 18 percent decrease in leptin, a satiety hormone produced by the stomach that tells the brain when the body has had enough food. They also showed a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, a hunger-causing hormone produced by our fat cells indicating that our energy reserves are running low and need to be replenished.
Taken together, these two hormones boosted the young men’s hunger — even though the amount they ate and exercised was the same during their nights of ample sleep. The subjects reported a 24 percent increase in appetite after “People tend to sacrifice sleep,” says Clete less sleep, with a special eagerness for chips, Kushida, MD, PhD, a sleep expert at Stan- cakes and cookies, and breads and pasta. ford’s Center for Human Sleep Research and a recent past president of the Ameri“This study suggests that there could be can Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Even peo- long-term consequences with prolonged sleep
deprivation — especially if you’re trying to control your food intake or stick to a healthy diet,” says Kristen Knutson, PhD, a University of Chicago assistant professor of medicine who’s been involved in many sleep studies. “They were craving junk food, not apples and carrot sticks.”
jects also showed an increase in the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the early evening — a sharp contrast to the normal tapering down of this hormone before bedtime. The secretion of growth hormone (GH), which affects growth and metabolism, was also altered: Instead of the normal single burst of this hormone after sleep onset, GH was released twice, before Sleep researchers have also noted other im- and after sleep. portant biochemical changes that might influence weight gain in people who are chronically “These alterations in cortisol and growth sleep deprived. In 1999, Van Cauter and her hormone could affect insulin sensitivity negUniversity of Chicago researchers published a atively,” explains Knutson. “And that’s a study of young healthy subjects who endured bad thing; we want to be insulin sensitive.” six nights with only four hours of sleep followed by six nights with 12 hours of sleep. During the Body-Clock Confusion short sleep days, examinations showed that Researchers know that sleep deprivation the subjects’ ability to metabolize glucose was impaired, meaning that their muscles and other disrupts one of the most basic mechanisms in tissues weren’t able to remove glucose from our body: our internal clock. And, studies show that messing with our internal clock may have the blood effectively. serious implications for our weight. We evolved This sort of sleep-related metabolic disrup- over millions of years shaped by the earth’s tion can prompt the body to bump up its produc- cycles of day and night, and light and darktion of insulin, a hormone produced by the pan- ness, and our body’s clock still ticks according creas that flows through the blood and binds to to those basic cycles. our cells, allowing them to absorb glucose enThis clock — often called our circadian ergy. Without that action, glucose builds up in rhythm — isn’t just a metaphor. It has a prethe blood and prompts the pancreas to secrete cise location in the brain’s hypothalamus, in more and more insulin. two pinhead-size clumps of neurons called the Over time, this can create the kind of insulin suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) that sit above resistance that marks adult-onset diabetes. Ex- our two optic nerves. The SCN monitors the cess insulin also prompts the body to store fat. light coming in through our eyes and, based on the amount and timing of light, regulates vital Researchers aren’t entirely sure why sleep rhythmic functions throughout the body, includloss leads to this prediabetic condition, but ing temperature, the release of hormones, and they have observed that their sleep-stressed metabolism. subjects have increased activity in their sympathetic nervous system, the mechanism that The brain clock ticks away largely unaffected activates the fight-or-flight response. (This acti- by the rest of the body — in fact, researchers vation of the sympathetic nervous system might have removed that portion of the brain from also account for the preference for junk food animals and watched as the SCN continues to among Van Cauter’s sleep-deprived research pulse rhythmically on its own for a while. But subjects: Stressed people often crave the quick the SCN is not the only clock in the body. Alenergy such fare offers.) most every cell has a clock-like function that operates on a 24-hour cycle. The difference When sympathetic nervous activity increas- between the brain clock and all these others es, parasympathetic activity — which helps is that the latter can’t operate on their own. control the function of many of our organs — They depend on the brain clock to sustain their tends to drop. “Parasympathetic activity has an rhythm. impact on the pancreas, so if it’s reduced, it’s possible that insulin is not being properly regu“We think the main clock is like an orchestra lated,” says Knutson. conductor that keeps all the other instruments in time,” says Ilia Karatsoreos, PhD, a postdocDuring their sleep-deprived state, the sub- toral fellow at Rockefeller University’s Labora-
tory of Neuroendocrinology whose experiments with mice suggest that disrupting their circadian rhythms prompts weight gain and impulsive behavior. “Once that conductor is disrupted, it loses its ability to keep these other players in sync with each other. The organs and tissues are then not working as well together as they should be.”
50 to 60 hours per week,” Knutson says. “You want to have a life outside work, so you pay with sleep time.”
But the body keeps a very exact accounting of the hours needed for sleep. If we build up a sleep “debt” of an hour or two per night, Monday through Friday, we’re generally not going to be able to make it up in one weekend. We By remaining awake when our biological carry that debt and the burden of sleepiness clock says we should sleep, we risk scrambling forward, often not even realizing how sleep imthe alignment of the internal systems regulated paired we are. by our SCN — with terrible implications for our “Several studies have shown that after cuweight, among other things. mulative sleep deprivation, individuals are no “All the different organs that regulate me- longer able to recognize the degree of sleepitabolism have circadian rhythms,” says Phyllis ness under which they operate,” says Van CauZee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and di- ter. “They think they’re OK, but when their perrector of the Sleep Disorders Center at North- formance is tested, they fail miserably.” western University. “And when they’re out of What we need, say some experts, is a new sync, it can expose one to changes in metabolism or to choosing inappropriate food or to eat- characterization of sleep — one that doesn’t regard it as a time when we just turn ourselves ing too much.” off. We need a new appreciation of slumber as Some researchers think late nights fueled a part of the environmental metronome guiding by bright lights and glowing computer and TV important cyclical functions in our body — funcscreens may trick our bodies into thinking we’re tions that affect our weight, our body chemistry, in a sort of perpetual summer — a high-activity our neurology and our overall well-being. time when our hunter-gatherer predecessors Most of us assume the routines of a lean would have been loading up on readily availlifestyle — like healthy meals and exercise — able carbohydrates in preparation for a long, are limited to our waking hours. But that point cold winter. of view leaves out the crucial dark side of our “Our ancestors’ sleep durations would have 24-hour cycle, when sleep prepares our bodbeen shorter in the summer,” says James ies and minds to function at their best on the Gangwisch, lead author of the Columbia study. following day. It ignores the fact that our bodAnd our caloric needs would have been far ies require adequate downtime to regulate sysgreater, he explains — both to fuel long days of tems that have a direct impact on whether we activity and to accumulate precious fat stores accumulate unwanted weight, or succeed in that would carry us through the cold season. evading it — now and over the long haul. Our modern reality is entirely different, of course. “Now,” notes Gangwisch, “we can have year-round fat deposition, preparing for a winter that never comes. It comes, of course, but we’re still warm and can get all the food we want and can still have short sleep durations because we have year-round light exposure.” Playing Catch-up There are plenty of reasons why we’ve grown so estranged from sleep — despite its obvious health implications. Chief among these is our tendency to work longer hours. “Instead of working 40 hours, people are often working
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Holiday Recipe Cranberry Orange Cookies Provided by: foodnetwork.com
Ingredients NO Dry Cleaners companies are supporting your community yet with Special Discounts... What’s up with that?
1 cup butter, softened 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups chopped cranberries 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest 3 tablespoons orange juice 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ s
Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
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In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.
Live and Be Passionate For YOU 2011 Plan of Action by David Wolfe
If you don’t know what you want out of life, there will be plenty of people out there that are ready to tell you. Unfortunately, they have their best interest at heart and rarely have yours in mind. Take some time these last few weeks of the year and go over what you did in 2010 that was specifically about achieving your personal goals. Did you accomplish what you planned? Did you have a plan? Did you start a new hobby or keep purusing the hobby you already had? What did you do this year that was 100% about you and your personal happiness? If you do not make the time for yourself and take the time to find passion in your own life, there is nobody out there that can or will do it for you. You need to find your personal passions and then explore them. Do what makes you happy. Stop searching for happiness when typically is right in front of your face. Too many times we spend our energy on the negative things in life and the “why not’s.” Why not me? Why can’t that happen to me? Why does he/ she always seem to have great things happen to them? Why, why, why? I’m not going to start preaching about things like The Secret and the importance of spreading positivity around you. I’m not even going to talk about karma. The bottom line is that your life is going to be what you make of it. If you truly want to be happy, then you will be happy. The first step is simply finding what you are passionate about and then surrounding yourself with whatever that is. Surround yourself with people that have the same passions and values that you have. Stand up for something... stand up for yourself! I always tell people, be what you want, and be who you want to be...the rest will fall into place. Live and be passionate about what makes you happy. Do not let another year go by with no plan or goals. Take the next few weeks and think about what you need to do for YOU to achieve what you want. Notice all of the “you’s” in that statement? Again, if you don’t know what you want out of life, there are plenty of people out there that are ready to tell you...but then it is all about them.
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Six of The Greatest Gifts You Can Give to Your Partner
heart or emotions of the other person.”
At the beginning of most relationships, tokens of affection — from love letters to iPod playlists to spontaneous weekends away — help cement a couple’s sense of connection. But those random acts of infatuation often wane as a relationship matures. Even finding the right gift for birthdays and holidays can start to feel like a chore.
To get past those miscues, Chapman advises couples to identify what he calls their “love languages” and share them with each other. If you’re not sure which of the following five languages best describes you, take Chapman’s Love Language Quiz to figure out your type (see page 59 for the link). He also suggests asking yourself what you most often demand of your spouse. “The thing you have most often requested is likely the thing that would make you feel the most loved,” he notes. Here are Chapman’s five love languages:
But a gift-giving mentality becomes even more important as a relationship evolves — and some of the very best presents can’t be wrapped. They’re the thoughts and gestures that come straight from the heart and can transform a good partnership into a truly great one. “One thing that stands out in the research is that the actions you perform are the most important,” says Gay Hendricks, PhD, coauthor with his wife, Kathlyn, of Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment (Bantam, 1992). “A lifetime dedication to gift giving will take your relationship to the next level.”
“Most of us grow up learning the emotional language of our parents,” he explains. “And we become confused and upset when our partner doesn’t understand us.”
Since it’s the time of year when presents are on everyone’s mind, it’s the perfect opportunity to transform your relationship from good to great — or from great to greater — by giving your partner these six very important gifts. Gift 1: Learn Your Partner’s “Love Language” Each of us wants to feel loved by our partner and wants our partner to feel loved by us. The challenge for many couples, according to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages (Northfield, 2010), is that the way one person shows love often isn’t the way his or her partner intuitively feels it. One person, for example, may experience physical affection as love, while their partner experiences help with the household chores as the ultimate token of affection. They are, in essence, speaking different languages. “These miscommunications aren’t a matter of not having good intentions,” says Chapman. “They’re a matter of not touching the
Words of Affirmation. Some people experience love most directly through warm words, whether they’re verbal compliments or encouragements — anything from “I appreciate that you found a babysitter for tonight” to “I know you can run that 10K!” Whether or not words of affirmation are your primary love language, research suggests that supportive comments help couples develop a sense of “we-ness,” a feeling that enhances satisfaction with one’s partnership. Quality Time. If this is your primary love language, you want your partner’s undivided attention. It’s important to you to have time together without distractions where you can nurture conversations and enjoy activities
together. Quality time, according to ChapGood sex has other benefits, too. Orgasm man, helps couples build reserves of posi- increases levels of oxytocin, a hormone tive memories, which are linked to increased that boosts feelings of connection and trust. marital stability and satisfaction. Higher oxytocin levels have also been linked to increased feelings of generosity, reduced Receiving Gifts. Actual presents have their stress and improved cardiovascular health. place on the spectrum of relationship gift giv- And sex increases self-esteem; a five-year ing, too. The key to speaking this love lan- study at the University of Texas found that guage, however, has nothing to do with the one of the reasons people have sex is to price tag — it’s all about making your part- boost feelings of positive self-regard. ner feel understood. This could be a storebought bracelet or a beautiful rock you pick If passion is in short supply in your life, up on a hike or a watercolor you paint. These Schnarch recommends these simple stratekinds of gifts demonstrate that you’ve been gies: paying attention, and that you really see who Hugging to Relax. Most hugs last an avyour partner is and what she loves. erage of four seconds, says Schnarch. ExActs of Service. This love language em- tending a hug to 10 minutes without the phasizes doing things you know your partner pressure that it should lead to sex can be would like you to do, from making dinner to a way to reconnect with your partner. “The changing the cat’s litter to paying the bills. focus of a 10-minute hug isn’t about holding These acts show your partner that you no- your partner,” he explains. “It’s about putting tice what’s going on in his life your arms around your partner and want to help him. and calming yourself down. This calms the anxieties that sepaPhysical Touch. Backrubs, rate people.” holding hands, deep hugs, kisses, putting your arm around Heads on Pillow. For many your partner — for some people, couples, it’s tough to transition physical intimacy is the signal of from washing the dishes to rolllove and affection. If your primary ing around in the sheets. That’s love language is physical touch, why Schnarch advises partners nothing will say “I love you” more to lie in bed with their clothes on than being held or touched. and face each other with enough distance so that you can clearly see each Gift 2: Pursue Passion other’s faces. “Hold hands, look at each other, and stay there for 10 minutes,” he advisPassion often gets sidelined as a relation- es. Most people feel passion start to kick in ship becomes more established, but there when they’re relaxed and lying down. are far-ranging benefits to bringing it back, says clinical psychologist David Schnarch, Feeling While Touching. Many couples PhD, author of Intimacy & Desire: Awak- develop the habit of touching each other en the Passion in Your Marriage (Beaufort without really feeling each other. “It’s very irBooks, 2009). For starters, tapping into pas- ritating to be touched by a partner when their sion helps us discover more about who we touch feels mindless, like your partner is not are, which allows us to share more of our- invested and you are being taken for grantselves with our partner. “When we are the ed,” Schnarch says. object of our partner’s passion, it makes us feel desirable and desirous,” says Schnarch. Bring passion back to touch by connecting emotionally as well as physically. You can do Passion also improves relationships by this by having each partner tune in to what making people more tolerant of one anoth- touching feels like. He suggests taking turns er. “When we think our partner likes us, we deliberately touching your partner and noticare much more forgiving of grievances, and ing how it feels to touch and be touched. Do we’re also more tolerant of the inherent nicks this experiment once when each person is and bruises of being in a relationship,” he tuned in to the experience and once when adds.
“Passion gets sidelined as a relationship becomes established”
each person is tuned out. This helps both with friends, a quiet morning alone or a solo people understand the importance of really weekend away — helps your partner get in being in the moment, he says. touch with her needs, interests and priorities. And it allows her to more authentically share When both people focus on the same spot them with you. at the same time on opposite sides of the skin, it creates an electric sensation that is Gift 4: Don’t Skimp on Time Together the byproduct of emotional attention.” Some solitude is healthy, but as with all Gift 3: Allow Space for Solitude things, balance is key. Too much can weaken a relationship by creating separate spheres When author Laura Munson and her hus- of interest, which can lead to couples having band got married, their ceremony included less and less in common over time. After all, a quote from the poet Rainier Maria Rilke, we tend to fall — and stay — in love with the which read, in part: “A good marriage is one person we have the most fun with. That’s why in which each partner appoints the other to relationship expert Willard F. Harley Jr., PhD, be the guardian of his soliadvises couples to do the tude, and thus they show things they enjoy the most each other the greatest together. “Couples who possible trust.” Almost two spend their most enjoydecades of marriage and able time together tend to two children later, Munson’s have great marriages,” he husband began to have says. doubts about the marriage. But instead of begging him Giving each other the to stay, Munson took Rilke’s gift of what Harley calls quote to heart and gave “recreational companionher husband the emotional ship” benefits both giver space she felt he needed to and receiver by combinreflect and reconnect with ing two important human himself. needs: to have fun and to have a companion. HarDuring an especially difley recommends spendficult stretch where her husing most, if not all, of your band took up residence in recreational time with your another part of the house, significant other. Stumped Munson focused on what about what to do togethshe knew in her heart: that er? To jump-start your she and her husband had a imagination — and recresolid, loving bond that could ation — he developed the transcend his personal criRecreational Enjoyment sis. “If a person needs to reconnect with who Inventory at www.marriagebuilders.com. It’s they are, the greatest gift a partner can give an extensive list of activities — from archery is the gift of space,” she says. “It’s a refueling and astronomy to cribbage, croquet and time.” Today, Munson’s bond with her hus- gardening. Each partner ranks each activity band is stronger than ever. based on his or her level of interest. When both people give an activity a high score, it’s Munson’s story, which she recounts in her one worth trying. memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season Of Unlikely Happiness (Amy Gift 5: Crack Down on Criticism Einhorn/Putnam, 2010), is a dramatic example of how powerful the gift of solitude can Nothing can sink a relationship faster than be. Giving your partner the gift of time not unrelenting negativity, says marriage reonly helps repair relationships, as with Mun- searcher John Gottman, PhD, author of The son’s, but it can transform them from good to Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work great. Time apart — whether it’s a night out (Three Rivers, 2000). In his research at the
University of Washington’s “Love Lab,” Gottman has found that successful relationships have a 5-to-1 ratio of positive interactions — compliments, loving glances, offers to help out — to negative gestures such as criticism and nagging.
for a long time, it’s common to become less attentive — but with a little practice, you can renew your capacity for rapt listening. Hoistad suggests taking turns actively talking and listening at least four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Alternate which of you goes first and talk about something important to you, Whether you nag or simply turn your back excluding well-traveled topics and hot-button when your partner is talking, these negative issues as much as possible. gestures erode your sense of togetherness. Researchers have even found that eye rollBe honest, but don’t just foing after a spouse’s comment can be a strong predictor for divorce. cus on what’s bringing you down. To bring your interaction ratio in line with Gottman’s recommendation, try to become more aware of how often you’re criticizing your spouse. One way to do this is to create some kind of lighthearted stopgap when you notice critical commentary — put a coin in a jar, or create a silly code word to let your partner know you’ve caught yourself (or her) in the act. Then try consciously focusing on each other’s strengths instead. Criticism will be naturally tamped down, and that will give each of you more opportunities to feel successful, appreciated and loved. Accentuating the positive in your relationship doesn’t mean you should ignore tough issues. It’s just that you need to do it in an environment that’s fortified with positive feelings and exchanges. “There’s a big difference between asking for change and criticizing,” says psychologist Noelle Nelson, PhD, author of Your Man Is Wonderful (Free Press, 2009). “If what you want is more participation with the kids or the house, that’s fine. But you need to start out from the perspective that you respect your partner, and his way of doing things is as valid as yours.” Gift 6: Actively Listen to Your Partner During the courtship and honeymoon phase, it’s easy to hang on your lover’s every word. “Being listened to in childhood develops our sense of self and is how we know we are important, and the same is true for adults,” says psychologist Jan Hoistad, PhD, author of the Big Picture Partnering blog and the book Romance Rehab: 10 Steps to Rescue Your Relationship (Sterling, 2010). Unfortunately, when couples are together
Hoistad recommends sharing personal successes and things you find exciting, rewarding and worth celebrating. Then, when it’s your partner’s turn, actively listen to what he or she has to say without interrupting. What’s most important, Hoistad says, is to listen with a readiness to give and take. “When we’re generous with others it creates such nice feelings,” she says. “And then the other person naturally starts giving back.”
BURLESQUE Does Cher Still Have it? by David Wolfe
The answer is very simply...YES! I was fearful that I was going to be let down when I saw this movie. You know how it goes, you are looking forward to a movie so much and then BLA. Well, Burlesque is far from being Bla...that I can tell you!
Burlesque is not some cheesy movie that is more like a music video or self indulgent in that it is more about pushing a particular person’s music career. It is so much more than being labeled as a musical. Burlesque actually had a story line and a somewhat interesting one at that! Christina is definitely the main character and is really the driving force of the movie. Cher simply adds the maturity to the movie with her wisdom and experience that she shares with Christina as she starts her career...in the movie that is. The movie deals with great talent being discovered, a new love being found, the complexities of relationships, and it also touches on financial issues and how to be creative in finding ways around challenges. As I mentioned earlier, it isa movie full of story line and much less about simply being a musical. NOW, with that said, I have to give the music and dancing its fair credit. Christina was absolutely amazing to watch! This type of music and dance is right up her expertise level and you can tell she truly enjoyed every moment. Cher also sang twice - once at the beginning of the movie and then a second time in the middle of the movie. Her second song was a touching song about being through bad times and ending up always standing. She hit high notes I’ve never heard Cher sing before. Amazing that Cher can still surprise me with her voice at her age and keep a room full of teenagers entertained with her confident attitude. Burlesque is definitely a must see on a date night. It is full of attitude, a little drama mixed in there, and a lot of “good feeling” singing and dancing. Go have fun!
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Festive Apartment Decorating Just because you are short on space doesn’t mean you need to be short on holiday cheer! If you are living in an apartment this holiday season you understand the challenges of decorating your small space. Read on for some quick and creative tricks to making your limited space full of Holiday spirit!
5 Tips for Holiday Fabulous 1. *Try a Mini-Tree* Many apartments don’t have room for a full-fledged 7 foot Holiday tree, leading many residents to nix the tree all together. Don’t sacrifice your tree - just down size it! Walmart, K-Mart, and other home goods stores sell mini-trees, between 2 and 3 feet high that are perfect for table-top decoration. Grab some mini ornaments, a mini star, and a small string of lights, and set up your holiday tree on a low coffee table, short book shelf, or dining room table! 2. *Grab Some Holiday Pillows* Change out your regular couch pillows from some with cheeky snowmen, Holiday ornaments, or bright stars detailed on them. Your regular pillows won’t take up too much storage room, and this is a great way to bring some Holiday cheer to your everyday furnishings without taking up additional space. 3. *Utilize Your Outside Space* Do not forget about your outside spaces as places to spread some holiday cheer! Balconies can be great locations for outdoor Holiday trees, some colored lights, or a blow-up snowman figure. Wreaths placed on windows add a ton of holiday spirit to any room, on both the outside and inside, and candles in the windows are classic and traditional signs of the season. 4. *Don’t Forget about Doors* Door space is a great place to hang Holiday signs, advent calendars, and other Holiday paraphernalia. The best part is it is rarely already in use and doesn’t take up any space! 5. *Hang Ceiling Ornaments* I great way to add some decorations to an area that is not typically used is by hanging ornaments from the ceiling over the TV, dresser, and kitchen sink. Buy some cheap, cute ornaments (like red balls, snowflakes, etc), and attach colored gift-wrap ribbon to the top. You can use tape to stick them to the ceiling in clusters to bring a cute and graceful touch of holiday cheer to any corner of any room.
“challenges of decorating your small space”
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