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by Heidi Maines

1.Position your bed along the longest wall to make your space appear bigger.
2.To achieve a tranquil chic look, try a dusty periwinkle or cool sage on your walls and accessorize in neutral fabrics.

3.Hardwood floors? Add a plush area rug for a warmer, comforting feel.
4.Place real or artificial flowers in your sleeping space to add life and color.
5.Decorate with straw wall hangings or wooden frames in earth tones to add a rustic look.

By Meg Preston

1. Yes, Special Topics in Calamity Physics has a drab name, but stick with it. Marisha Pessl spins an intricate tale of deceit, packed full of literary references any bibliophile will appreciate.
2. It can take a while to adjust to Jane Austen’s style of writing, but the premise of Pride and Prejudice is timeless.
3. Agatha Christie, one of England’s best mystery writers, winds tales better than any CSI episode. Pick up a copy of The Mysterious Affair at Styles to experience her first Hercule Poirot novel.
4. Every Francophile needs Berlitz Publishing’s Hide This French Book. It starts with the basics, then moves to the bedroom for a truly Oh la la experience.
5. Admit it. You want to know all your friends’ dirty secrets. Post Secret can satisfy your curiosity with extraordinary confessions of everyday people.

By Dayelin Roman

1. Buy a cheap set of nice glasses.
2. Always have vodka, rum and tequila on hand for those unexpected visitors.
3. Invest in a cocktail recipe book to impress your friends.
4. Create a signature drink that people will remember you by.
5. Keep fancy fruits around – limes, strawberries, maraschino cherries and orange slices.

By Emily Opilo

1. Clean the carpets…for real. Renting one of those carpet cleaners from the grocery store is a pain in the ass, but having to wear shoes around the place is worse.
2. Spring for the bleach. That thing growing in your shower isn’t going away.
3. Throw some paint on the walls. Covering up those ten coats of dingy eggshell will definitely improve your spirits.
4. Adopt a plant. Someone at your local greenhouse can recommend one that requires minimal care.
5. Buy a welcome mat. Say hello to your neighbors and keep your shoes clean with one simple purchase.

By Dayelin Roman

1. Cook your own meals. Going out to eat takes a big bite out of your pocket.
2. Never buy an outfit at regular price. Everything goes on sale eventually.
3. Accept dates from guys you’re not really interested in. Nothing like a free meal and a movie.
4. Print out online coupons. File them in a little pouch, and use them at the grocery store.
5. Make your own coffee. Those $4 brews can really put a hole in your pocket.

By Koren Temple

1. Go to bed early. Mom’s old rule of implementing a bedtime and sticking to it is key to being punctual in the morning.
2. Make sure your clocks are set five minutes ahead of time. This way, even if you think you are late, you will really be on time.
3. Do those watches and clocks have adequate batteries? You better check those Energizer Bunnies out.
4. Google those directions ahead of time. Make sure you have print outs of the directions just in case.
5. Check Mother Nature out via the weather report. Bad weather can cause several delays such as traffic and might cause a bad hair day. Plan ahead accordingly.

By Dayelin Roman

1. Check out a bar you’ve never been to before, and take some friends.
2. Once you get there, don’t stay close to your friends all night. Mingle around. Meet new people.
3. Catch up with old friends you haven’t talked to in ages.
4. Find a cause you’re passionate about, and volunteer three times a month.
5. With all these new friends, don’t forget the old ones! Host a potluck dinner and introduce friends who may not know each other while getting a free meal out of it.

By Carrie Chantler

1. Tidy up your desk. A clean workspace goes a long way toward making any job less complicated.
2. If time permits, draw up a plan of attack. This may involve devoting one day to research, or an afternoon to collecting pertinent components of the project and writing to-do lists.
3. Similarly, parse out your time. Give a solid, focused 15 minutes to writing, a solid 15 minutes to collating, or whatever is required of the project.
4. Get a good night’s sleep. Hard to do, but make sure you arrive at the project ready to go.
5. Turn off the distractions. Make a rule that while you’re working on your project, you don’t have a television on, you turn off your iPod, and even your phone.

By Naomi Pearson

1. Find something to be thankful for.
2. Look for the beauty.
3. Think of at least one thing that you do well.
4. Stand in the sunshine.
5. Play a childhood game.

By Nichole Nichols

1. Start a prayer journal to help you to reevaluate and reflect on the elements that create your life.
2. Meditate every morning before you begin your day or every evening as you end the day to keep your mind clear and your spirit calm.
3. Take a walk on a nature trail to revive after a particularly hard day.
4. Visit to explore different points of view on spirituality.
5. Give. Donating to your local Goodwill or volunteering at your local soup kitchen will always be warming to the soul.

By CJ Lin

1. Bring CDs or an iPod for those long stretches of road where there’s no radio reception.
2. Bring snacks, drinks, canned or dry food for when you have the munchies, or to cut back on the food budget. Don’t forget a can opener if the cans don’t have pop-tops.
3. Pack an ice cooler for perishable foods. You can buy ice on the road or if you’re staying at a hotel, you can fill up on ice to keep the food fresh.
4. A GPS navigation system makes things easier for the times you want to explore…or for when you’re lost.
5. A pillow never hurt anyone!

Want to cut road trip costs more? Visit Evan Sweeney’s blog to learn about couch surfing.

By CJ Lin

1. A good phone plan is key. Make sure you have unlimited minutes or that you’re on the same network for those free mobile-to-mobile minutes.
2. Talk often, and talk a lot. Try to set aside some time if you’re both busy—like a date. Kind of.
3. Get a hands-free headset for those long conversations so you can do other things while you’re talking. Just don’t get too distracted.
4. Invest in a webcam for some virtual face time.
5. Take turns visiting each other. If you’re around other people during visits, plan a nice getaway for some precious alone time.

By Dave Canfield

1.Use online resources like MySpace and players like Pandora to find artists you’ve never heard of.
2.Find a local independent record store, where the employees live for music and love to talk about it. It’ll beat FYE any day.
3.Trace the new artists you like back in time and listen to those who influenced them.
4.Try to find something that you like in every song you hear, of any genre. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
5.Take up an instrument and learn some music theory. Seriously—your appreciation for what you hear will skyrocket.

By Dave Canfield

1. Read. A lot.
2. Know who your audience is.
3. Proofread and edit yourself frequently.
4. Understand rhetoric. What you’re saying is often no more important than how you’re saying it.
5. Whether through vocabulary, punctuation, or a penchant for wit, develop your own recognizable style.

By Heidi Maines

1. Give your hair a break – wash it every OTHER day.
2. Eat foods rich in vitamin B6 to improve your hair’s color and luster.
3. Dry or broken hair? Use hot oil treatments regularly to soften it.
4. Use a wide-tooth comb or brush to detangle wet hair, fine teeth will pull it out.
5. Go organic for your locks – condition with jojoba and marsh mallow extracts.

By Heidi Maines

1. Avoid UV rays and wear sunscreen to maintain healthy, young skin.
2. Don’t smoke – it speeds up aging and decreased blood flow.
3. Wash your skin gently – avoid strong soaps and hot water.
4. Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
5. Don’t shave dry skin and always use a clean, new razor.


By Koren Temple

1. Turn Jerry, Tyra or Dr. Phil off and hit the street running: literally. There’s nothing better for your body, heart and mind than exercise.
2. Ignore the McDonald’s on every corner. Even if that Big Mac is screaming your name, walk away slowly.
3. Take an afternoon snooze if time permits. Running your body ragged is no way to stay healthy.
4. Make that yearly trip to the gyno, dentist and to your primary care physician. You never know what can be lurking, and eventually make you sick.
5. Fruit is a girl’s best friend. Not only does it keep you regular, it gives your complexion an awesome glow.

By Heidi Maines

1. Clean or replace make-up brushes often to reduce the appearance of oily skin.
2. Use a sponge applicator for pearly eye shadows to minimize flaking during application.
3. Store your lipstick in the refrigerator – it’ll last longer!
4. Always use liquid concealers. Solids don’t hide blemishes quite as well.
5. Use blush and bronzers sparingly to achieve a fresh look– you’re not auditioning for the circus.

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