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  • Cheap, Creative And Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Romantic Partner

    Romantic Relaxation Evening. First, after you shower in the morning, and unbeknownst to your beloved, write a message in the steam that forms on the mirrors. Before she (or he) comes home, prepare a bubble bath. Scatter rose petals on top. Light candles around the bathroom. Leave warmed towels within easy reach and a clean robe hanging on the door. Soft music, a glass of wine, and perhaps a book she (or he) has been longing to read are all you need for an evening of pampering. Close the door and allow your "steam" message to appear. A long massage following the soak is a wonderful way to show your love and affection.

    Make a Mix Tape. Okay, it doesn't have to be an old school tape. You can burn a CD or buy an inexpensive iPod and load up all the songs have special significance for the two of you or ones that make you think of your romantic partner. This may become a tradition that you both can look forward to every year. For a list of romantic songs, click here.

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  • Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations To Bring Holiday Joy To Your Home

    Christmas can be very expensive, as we all know. We also know that we should try to be as "green" as possible all year long. Save money and the environment, even in small ways, by employing these tips for a beautiful holiday atmosphere that you can feel good about!

    1. LED Lights. LED lights, rather than traditional bulbs, use considerably less energy, a staggering 90 percent less. When they were first introduced to the market, the price put many people off making the switch, but now they are very affordable and can be found at virtually any store, from Wal-mart to Walgreen's.

    2. Buy a Live Tree. It may seem counter-intuitive, but live trees are easier on the environment than artificial ones. They are biodegradable and of course do not contain harmful chemicals found in their false cousins. Furthermore, you are not depleting any forests by purchasing a live

    tree. Almost all of them are grown on farms like the one pictured here and are always being replanted by

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  • 9 Health Tips To Stay Slim For The Holidays

    I understand that we think that it 'tis the season to over-indulge, stuff ourselves silly and stress ourselves out, but it really doesn't have to be. You don't have to go along with the 'agreed upon reality.'

    You can wake up thinner, happier and more energized than you are right now on New Year's Day. All you need to do is incorporate these simple and easy tips into your daily routine.

    Tip #1. Cook 'em Up Righteous. You do not have to make each and every dish as fattening as possible. Butter does not equal love. I promise you that a baked sweet potato is far better than any casserole that has melted marshmallows a top!

    Tip #2. Get Your Impulses In Check. Make a list and check it twice. Take off anything that's naughty and not nice! And then … stick to it! The supermarket displays are strategically placed so that you buy whatever item is on them on 'impulse. (Yes, that's called impulse shopping.) Don't do it! You're stronger than that. You're better than that! Keep on

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  • Beautiful Blood Orange Recipes For The Winter

    Some foods can surprise with their almost-mischievous personalities. Such is the case with blood oranges. Like a sly party-goer, the blood orange seems dressed for a masquerade ball. It is wrapped in a rather normal coat, but once stripped off, the passionate, sweet and juicy insides are…va-va-voom! Blood oranges have an interesting flavor, one that is simultaneously citrus-y and raspberry-like. Its name, of course, is derived from the blood-like color of the fruit, which truly does resemble blood. If this makes you or your guests uncomfortable, just call them "Sangria oranges" (Sangria means blood in Spanish) and everyone will be happy.

    One of the lovely things about blood oranges is how versatile they can be: from cocktails, to salads, to soups, to main dishes and desserts, make them a part of your winter menus!


    Blood Orange Mojito. Mojitos are the "hip" drink of 2010. Consisting of rum, mint or basil, and cane sugar, the addition of blood oranges

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  • Christmas Gift Ideas For Pets And The People Who Love Them

    We love our pets. The American Pet Products Association reports that Americans spent 45.5 billion dollars on our 171 million dogs and cats in 2009, as well as millions of small animals, reptiles, and fish. During the holiday season, then, it's no surprise that we want to pamper our furry little companions with a special treat. Here are some ideas to show that faithful friend that it's Christmastime for them too, and a few gift ideas for a pet lover in your life as well.

    Santa Dog Hoodies are an adorable way to help your pal stay warm and share in the fun of the season. Available in many sizes, from extra small (20") all the way to extra large (40"). $49.95 at

    PetHoliday Cat Santa Hat. You might lose a finger trying this and the hat is unlikely to stay on for more than the length of time it takes you to snap the picture, but hey, at $4.99 from PetsMart, it's a bargain for a great chuckle and lasting memory!

    Nom, nom, nom! Your feathered friend

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  • Download These Happy Ringtones To Make Your Day

    Long gone are the days when everyone's phone sounded the same. Now, of course, there are thousands of ringtones to choose from: popular songs, old standards, television themes and even favorite commercial jingles. Here are ten of the best sure to put a smile on your face every time your mobile device chimes.

    1. Celebration by Kool and the Gang. Still a party favorite and a song that even kids know. Celebrate good times, c'mon!

    2. Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. Whistle along every time your phone rings with this classic sing-along.

    3. Seinfeld Theme Song. Instantly recognizable with its synthesized brass and "popping" noises, you'll evoke favorite memories with every phone call you receive.

    4. Give Me Back That Filet-O-Fish Song. An internet meme sensation, make your phone sing and those around you laugh.

    5. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. You'll be dancing in the store, at work, in the car whenever

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  • 6 Simple Tips For Winter Beauty And Self-Care

    Cold weather may make your cheeks rosy, but the after-effects of freezing temperatures, wind, and heaters can zap even the most healthy skin of vital moisturizers. Repeated exposures can result in more than just not looking your best. Without proper care, your skin can crack and flake; some people also develop eczema. Keep your skin and lips feeling and looking great by following these simple suggestions.

    1. Use Sunscreen. It's not just for summer. Your skin can become damaged by UV rays year 'round, so use a product with at least an SPF of 30 to minimize the effects. Don't forget your hands, too, if they will be exposed. Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.

    2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! Use an oil-based moisturizer (rather than water-based) that provides a layer of protection and also is better at retaining moisture. Be sure, however, to get a non-clogging brand that contains avocado, almond, primrose, or mineral oil. Products that also

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  • Four Winter Drinks To Warm Your Coldest Nights

    There's not much that feels better on a winter day than cupping a hot drink in your chilly hands. However, as the cold days wear on, you may become tired of the same old stand-bys: coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. For something different to warm you up and delight your palate, or if you want to serve something out of the ordinary, why not give one of these piping pick-me-ups a whirl?

    1. Tom and Jerry. Dark rum and brandy is what gives this beautiful beverage its warmth, along with the perk of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. This toddy was first whipped up in 1820, so perhaps you'd like to curl up with a novel by Charles Dickens and enjoy a wintery afternoon with a Tom and Jerry.

    2. Café Brulot. This beautiful and aromatic French coffee blends a dark roast with brown sugar, whole cloves, lemon and orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla and brandy. Ignite with a long match just before serving and watch your guests ooh and ahh!

    Related: How Mindfulness Beats Coffee

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  • 8 Household Uses for Vinegar

    Chances are, you have a bottle of vinegar in your cupboard right now. Perhaps you use it for coloring Easter eggs or occasionally for cooking. But this all-natural item has dozens of uses for your home. Here are the top ten most popular uses for this extremely inexpensive item.

    1. Vinegar Cubes Garbage Disposal Cleaner. While there are many commercial cleaners on the market, vinegar does a great job of cleansing your garbage disposal and making it smell fresh. Simply mix one cup vinegar and water and fill an ice cube tray. Place all of the cubes into the disposal and run. Rinse with cool water after all the cubes are gone.

    2. Get Rid of Gnats/Fruit Flies. Gnats can be annoying and hard to get rid of. Instead of using harsh chemicals, fill a bowl with a half quart of water, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a couple of drops of dish soap.

    3. Microwave Cleaner. Heat a ¼ cup vinegar and one cup water for three minutes. Dip a paper towel into the mixture and wipe

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  • Six Awesome And Unique Christmas Gifts For $10 Or Less

    Santa knows that everyone likes to feel appreciated, but even the Big Guy is aware that the season can get mighty expensive. Here are some affordable gifts guaranteed to put smiles on faces while keeping the reins on your spending.

    1. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. Released in 1997, this hysterical collection of essays by now-famous author David Sedaris will delight even the Grinch-iest Grinch on your list. Darkly humorous yet full of relatable insights into the human condition, Sedaris captures both the love and the maddening spirit of the holiday season. (Paperback, available at for $4.72)

    2. Champagne Caress Bubbling Bath Oil. On a chilly evening after a long day of shopping, there isn't much nicer than a luxurious, scent-infused soak in a hot tub. This special bubble bath blends saponified vegetable oils and pure glycerin with and a delicate yet rich aroma. Give someone special an excuse to relax. (from American Soap Company, $8.95)

    Related: 9 Ways

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