Blog Posts by DivineCaroline

  • Get on the Pole: How Pole Dancing Benefits the Body and Mind

    There's no part of the gym experience that makes me feel sexy-not the damp, musty locker rooms, not the baggy shirts and track pants I work out in, and certainly not the sweat dripping down my forehead as I stumble through cardio kickboxing or huff and puff on the stair climber. But perhaps I'd feel differently if I put on sky-high stilettos and a push-up bra, sauntered past the standard gym equipment, and gyrated in front of a mirror for an hour instead. That's how many women are choosing to spend their gym time these days, forgoing sit-ups and interval running for increasingly popular pole dancing classes.

    I've never taken one myself, since any sexy dancing I do in public (i.e., not alone in my bedroom, listening to Britney Spears' "Blackout") is brought on by one too many gin fizzes. But if you've ever watched someone work the pole, either in class or in the club, it's obvious just how much physical strength and cardiovascular endurance it requires. Even for the very shy

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  • The Ups and Downs of Celebrity Dieters: They’re Just Like Us!

    The Ups and Downs of Celebrity Dieters: They're Just Like Us!The Ups and Downs of Celebrity Dieters: They're Just Like Us!Let's face it: weight is a universal issue that can affect anyone. Obesity has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry in which seriously overweight people can do everything from taking over-the-counter "cures" to undergoing major surgical procedures. But even those with all the money in the world have yet to find the perfect solution. Just look at these nine celebrities known for their yo-yo dieting.

    Oprah Winfrey
    She's the reigning talk-show queen, but she's also been the poster woman for yo-yo dieting for years. As a matter of fact, one of Oprah's most memorable on-air moments involved her wheeling out a wagon full of animal fat to represent the amount of weight she had lost at the time. She's since maintained a healthy weight, but it's hard not to think about that wagon sometimes when looking at her.

    Jessica Simpson
    One bad photo in a pair of unflattering jeans took Simpson from buxom singer to just another celebrity with a weight problem, according to gossip

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  • How Old Is Too Old in Fashion?

    How Old Is Too Old in Fashion?How Old Is Too Old in Fashion?Everywhere we look, we're bombarded with slick advertisements featuring stick-thin, adolescent models effortlessly rocking this season's sexiest fashion trends. For women in their thirties, forties, and beyond who spend most days struggling just to keep their metabolism going, wearing micro-minis, sky-high heels, and teeny bikinis can feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Fortunately, according to Sarah Logan, buyer for GUESS by Marciano, "there has been a recent and welcome shift in the world of fashion: no longer is it focusing on trend-obsessed twentysomething girls to define and inspire what is fashionable; instead, there is a new and refreshing movement that embraces the class and confidence of women thirty-five and over to define what is stylish." With that said, an outfit that makes one woman shine may do another a great disservice, especially when trends that fashion experts consider age-sensitive are involved. So when it comes to the following types of

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  • Turn Her Off: The Worst Sex Tips from Men’s Magazines

    Let's be honest: Cosmo is, at best, a joke of a publication. I mean, did you see this month's main headline: "Untamed Va-jay-jays: Guess Which Sexy Style Is Back"? (We can finally let them run free again, ladies!) Garbage like that gives the rest of women's magazines a bad name, even though publications geared toward men aren't much better. Take Men's Health, for example, which routinely publishes articles titled "'Must-Know' Facts About Your Member" and "Why Men Cry." It doesn't have quite the reputation that Cosmo does, but if you look closely, it's actually just as ridiculous-especially when it comes to sex advice.

    Cosmo's certainly guilty of recycling the same 101 ways to please your man every month, but at least those tips are occasionally useful (the Rock-Him Hula has merit, people), even if they are mostly laughable. But open up any Men's Health magazine and you're likely to read advice, such as these tidbits below, that would send a woman running for the hills.


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  • The Ambien Defense: Sleeping Pills’ Scary Side Effects

    The Ambien Defense: Sleeping Pills' Scary Side EffectsThe Ambien Defense: Sleeping Pills' Scary Side EffectsBy now, most of us have heard of the "Ambien defense." A certain scandalous professional golfer used to text his mistresses requesting the sleep aid, and other people have reported performing a multitude of crazy actions under the veil of slumber that this drug and other, similar sleeping pills induce-ranging from binge eating to dangerous driving to uncharacteristic sexual encounters and scary hallucinations. We've all seen enough commercials to know that prescription meds can come with a bevy of side effects, but these drugs take things to a whole new level with strange, barely remembered behavior occurring in people of all ages and backgrounds.

    Ambien (generic name zolpidem) is a prescription sedative-hypnotic meant to temporarily treat insomnia. The drug decreases sleep latency, or the time it takes someone to fall asleep, and increases the amount of sleep the user gets in a given night. The official literature reads that patients shouldn't take such sleeping aids for longer

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  • 6 Things You Don't Clean – But Should

    6 Things You Don't Clean – But Should6 Things You Don't Clean – But ShouldI am a cleaning nut. If there's a surface to be shined, I'll shine it. If there's streaky glass, I'll polish it. I'll clean, wash, scrub, and disinfect just about everything in my house I can get my hands on, and I've even been known to not sleep well when I know dust bunnies are gathering under the bed. (My fiancé still hasn't decided whether my proclivity for cleaning makes him the luckiest or most tortured man in the world.)

    Regardless of whether your cleaning routine is a simple toilet-floor-dishes progression or one that borders on mania (like, umm, sanitizing your baseboards), there are likely some items in your house that are riddled with germs and need to be sanitized. Even those of us on high dirt alert can occasionally forget about these stealthy bacteria bombs.

    Read: Housework Equals Happiness, Dirt Equals Divorce

    Reusable Grocery Bags
    Many of us have gotten into the habit of taking our own bags when we do our shopping, but how many of us clean them after

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  • Giving Back: Philanthropic Fashion Designers and Brands

    Giving Back: Philanthropic Fashion Designers and BrandsGiving Back: Philanthropic Fashion Designers and BrandsThere's no worse feeling than coming home from a day of shopping and realizing you just broke the bank. Soon after the rush of buying that perfect black sweater has worn off, you're left feeling guilty and disgusted with yourself. You sit looking at all your purchases knowing that you really don't need that black sweater, or the $189 pair of designer jeans, or those shoes that you already own in two other colors. This is called buyer's remorse, and at some point or another, every woman alive has felt it at least once. Fortunately, there are clothing companies out there that may actually make us feel good about indulging. These fashion labels are stepping up, not only offering the season's most-wanted must-haves but also giving something back to the world.

    By far the newest player in the lot, TOMS boasts a simple business practice called One for One. For every pair of shoes a customer purchases, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need. Many children in impoverished

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  • Get 'em While You Can: A Regional Guide to Summer Produce

    Get 'em While You Can: A Regional Guide to Summer ProduceGet 'em While You Can: A Regional Guide to Summer ProduceThe moment we've been waiting for has finally arrived: summer produce is back at the markets. Carts and stalls are bursting with delicious, flavorful foods, and after a winter spent subsisting on root vegetables, it's not a moment too soon.

    Growing seasons vary, but summer is by far the most bountiful produce season across the entire country, when each region harvests and enjoys the lion's share of its particular specialties. Although conventionally grown produce is available in supermarkets nationwide, check in with your farmers' market to enjoy some of your region's best local offerings.

    Read: A Shopper's Dilemma: Buy Local or Organic?

    The West
    This region includes: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska

    California, the state that grows about 80 percent of our country's produce, is in full bloom in the summer, generating outstanding peaches, apricots, nectarines, and other stone fruits

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  • In the Blink of an Eye: Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?

    In the Blink of an Eye: Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?In the Blink of an Eye: Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?Do you ever have nights so filled with dreams that you wake up feeling like you haven't slept at all? I hate nights like that. But what worry me more are the nights when my head hits the pillow and it seems like one minute later, the alarm's going off and I have no idea where my mind has been for the past eight hours. Everyone experiences dreamless nights at least once in a while, so unless we're all terrible at remembering dreams, something else must be going on. Does it mean the dreams were too intense for our minds to handle? Is it possible we didn't dream at all?

    No Sleep Without Dreams
    Well, we can rule out one of the aforementioned scenarios. We have dreams every night, whether we remember them or not come morning. According to Scientific American, we have five dreams per night on average, which translates to 1,825 dreams per year. Why we don't remember all of them is less clear.

    In general, we tend to forget more than we recall. Unless we make a point of writing

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  • Hormones Effect on Affection

    Hormones Effect on AffectionHormones Effect on AffectionIt's said that women are prone to change their minds at the drop of a hat, which may have some truth to it, at least among many of the ladies in my life (myself included). But if men had the same surges of hormones month after month that women do, they'd be a little indecisive, too. Our monthly cycles introduce varying degrees of hormones into our systems that have an effect on mood, pain (hello, cramps and swollen body parts), and even attraction. We may have types we're drawn toward regularly-tall, dark, and handsome, or intensely pensive artists, for example-but all that changes with the flip of an estrogen switch. Depending on our cycle stage, we might go for masculine over sensitive or "Mr. Take Charge" over "Mr. Nice Guy."

    Read: Stress Less, Weigh Less? Cortisol's Role in Our Diet

    Near Ovulation, Estrogen Likes Testosterone
    During a woman's monthly cycle, various hormones are released at certain times to prompt ovulation. These include luteinizing hormone (LH),

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