Helpful Definitions

Humor: The quality of being amusing or comic, esp. as expressed in literature or speech. Sarcasm: The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Guest Post: Workouts on the Go

Today, I am excited to have a post from a special guest Lifestyle Guru: White Wave.  She blogs at The Adventurous Life of Mine .  This post originally appeared on her blog April 6, 2012.

Thanks, White Wave for this great travel tip!  If you follow her advice, you'll be bikini-ready for your trip to Como with George and the boys!  (Yes, I did it again!)

Workouts On The Go.

Literally millions of health conscious women ask me every day, pleading, begging to know how they can continue their regular strength training workouts while on vacation. I will now answer all of those desperate health nutties in one post. The answer is both simple and free: find a sporting goods store. This can be easily done in almost any city in the world. Any sporting goods store worth its salt will invariably have a display of free weights, and, if you're lucky, maybe even a treadmill and a gymball. These are there for YOU. Use them. You may have to swallow a little pride, but, hey, who among us can't use a little shot of humility? The store certainly won't mind your demonstrating their product in everyday use. They'll consider it a favor, I'm sure. Just go in and do your thing. Swallow your pride and remember your commitment to health. You'll thank me later.

Your Lifestyle Guru's Guide to Gift Giving

First off, sorry to have taken so long to get this posted. As you know, Lifestyle Gurus live busy, important lives, and since I'm now a Lifestyle Guru, I've been busy, doing important and fabulous things. I'd tell you all about it, but it's vital that we Gurus carefully trod that fine line of keeping you wanting to be like us, while not making you feel despondent about not yet having such a fabulous life.

An important step for you to take on your road to living a life like mine is to learn the fine art of giving gifts.  Accordingly, I have come up with the following tutorial to help you on your way.

Giving gifts is notoriously tricky. First of all, you have to ALWAYS assume that the very next person you see will present you with a fabulous gift, which means, of course, that you have to be ready to reciprocate with a slightly better gift. That's because gift giving is all about winning. I know, I know, there's all that mumbo-jumbo about how it's "better to give than receive" and "it's not the gift, but the thought that counts", but, those are just crap sayings made up by people who suck at giving gifts in order to try and make themselves feel better. Since you don't want to suck or get talked about behind your back, or worse, snubbed, you need to prepare yourself with a gift cache. 

I recommend setting aside the whole upcoming weekend to get your gift cache ready.  You should start by purchasing a wide variety of fabulous gifts such as fancy soaps, fancy candles, fancy tea towels, fancy tchotchkes, some cute framed affirmations, a couple of impractical serving platters,   several different sized boxes of Godiva chocolates, ten or twenty bottles of wine (NO Two-Buck Chuck!), a couple of bottles of champagne, and  a few pieces of semi-expensive jewelry.  Buy a nice cedar-lined trunk to keep these things in and an assortment of the fanciest wrapping paper you can find. You will also need silk ribbons, handmade flowers and gift tags, and the best quality boxes you can find. Once you return home, cut up the credit card you used because if it isn't over your limit, it's probably close by now. You'll also want to be on the lookout for that bill and hide it from your significant other.  

Now comes the "fun" part: open a bottle of the wine (I'd go with the "Girls Gone Wine" Black Tie, myself, found at ) and pour yourself a hefty glassful.  This is good wine, so be prepared to guzzle finish the rest of the bottle.  (Now you see why this is going to take the whole weekend.) Carefully and beautifully wrap each of your purchases. Be sure to attach a "favor" gift on top of each one and then, as an added bonus, stick a gift card or two in an envelope to attach later in case you need to boost your gift's value at the last minute.  
Wine Glass Clip Art

Once you've finished your wine, wrapping your gifts, stash them in your new trunk and sit back, fantasizing about what a great new fabulous life you are about to acquire. Picture yourself living it up at the Oscar's After Party and jetting off to Como to hang with George and the boys. (Yes, I did find a way to get more mileage, Genie.) You might want to open a bottle of the champagne you bought to celebrate. 

Now, I realize that this advice scares a few of you who just don't really have the stomach for an instant Life Makeover and refuse to go into debt to achieve a fabulous new life.  I understand.  I, too, don't really enjoy being poor.  For you, there are still ways to be pretty good at gift giving.  What you have to do is go to the "vintage" shops (aka "Goodwill" and "Salvation Army") in your hometown.  There you can purchase lots of really fabulous items for practically nothing if you search long and hard enough.

I must warn you, however, to clean the items before you wrap them. (I say this because twice in my life I have been the recipient of "re-gifted" items that were obviously well used. Presenting someone with a hot roller set with strands of hair entwined in the curlers is, well, just tacky.) Also PLEASE for the love of all things wonderful and fabulous, no matter how cute you think that doll dressed like Mrs. Claus sitting on a toy sleigh in Santa doll's lap is, DO NOT buy it for your gift cache. People will actually laugh and point at you as you walk down the street if you give one of those to someone as a "gift". They will not thank you, then or later. 

And, yes, you should still spring for the expensive papers, handmade goodies, and, of course, the wine. You can buy fewer bottles of the wine if you are planning to forgo giving it for gifts, which is always an option, but you really shouldn't skimp on the quality of it.  You are fabulous, after all, and who better to treat well than yourself?

And, of course, You'll Thank Me Later. (While I love me a good bottle of wine, I'm not like some folks. I don't see a thing in the world wrong with people gifting me with hard, cold cash. Or, a cute check. My name is spelled SHERRY, just in case you were planning on sending me a little token of your appreciation.)  

Happy gifting! 

Party Planning 101

As promised, today's post is all about how to plan and host the perfect party.  Now, you're going to want to take notes, no doubt, so I'll wait while you go get a fancy personalized notepad, clad no doubt in its own fancy leather jacket, and a gold embossed $200 Cross pen.  (What? You don't have those things? Well, you best be getting yourself on down to the stationary store and picking them up. They are an absolute MUST for living your best fancy life!)

The Ballad of the Journal Bandolier
 Now, for those of you still with me, here are the rules to planning and hosting the perfect party.

1) For the best, easiest party, you must always talk someone else into having the party at their house. And, get them to provide all of the food and drinks. Tell them you'd do it, but your house is under renovation. Offer them money, if you have to. (Note: Your house should ALWAYS be under renovation. It will save you a lot of hassle and give you excuses for not having it clean when unexpected company or, say, your mother-in-law, drops over.)

2) Come up with a complicated dress code that only you can possibly understand. You want to be the best and most appropriately dressed woman there. Go into debt to buy a killer outfit if you have to. You want all of the attention to be on YOU, right where it should be!

3) As a corollary to step two, under NO circumstances should you invite anyone who is prettier, smarter, richer, nicer, better-liked, or funnier than you.  It's YOUR party; no one should out shine you!

4) On a similar note, theme parties are fun, no matter what that snotty woman in the fourth cubicle said last time you were in charge of the office holiday party. I recommend that you come up with one that coordinates with your expensive outfit. And, that you invite everyone in the office but her. Parties, after all, are perfect vehicles for getting revenge!

5) At the party be sure to name drop extensively. Trade on EVERY and ANY slight connection you have to someone rich and/or famous.  "Oh, yes, Jim played baseball with George when they were kids back in Cincinnati. I keep telling him we should stop by and say "hey" to George next time we're in LA. Of course, last time we were there, George was over in Italy. I sure hated missing him."

6) Most importantly, remember: No Two-Buck  Chuck. Spring for the half-way decent stuff. Or, if you really can't afford it, then get a local restaurant to save up a bunch of empty wine bottles for you. Use a funnel to re-fill them.  Don't worry that they're all open. Just claim you're "letting the wine breathe".  No one will ever know the difference, unless you are stupid enough to invite over a wine expert, that is.

7) If you can't talk someone into having the party at their place, you might want to have a lawn party. Lawn parties are fairly easy. Just keep in mind these few items.

  • Tents are all the rage for parties these days. Do not, however, allow your significant other to take care of this step. The last thing you want is an army green pup tent and a plastic tarp set up in the backyard. 
  • If your S.O. is like mine, you will also want to banish the grill from the premises. 
  • And, do not ask him/her to tidy up that pile of debris that's out back under the oak tree. You might end up with a 12 foot high bonfire and a tree missing half its leaves. Just saying.GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR GI US ARMY PUP TENT. USED
There you have it, part one of my tips on planning and hosting the perfect party.  You'll thank me later. 

(Part two will be available for a mere $3 in the form of an e-book sometime later this month. Look for it on a sidebar close to you.)

How to Lose Weight by Doing ABSOLUTELY Nothing

One of the most important functions of a Lifestyle Guru is to tell you how to lose weight. It is especially important for said guru to give you "new" and "different" and "better" advice than the other so-called Lifestyle Gurus out there in Guru land.  So, in keeping with tradition, and based on extensive research (I watched 10 minutes of The Biggest Loser, skimmed through Health magazine, and ate a low-fat chocolate bar.) I am here to give you the best weight loss plan ever.  If you follow this plan, I am sure you will lose a huge amount of weight, although my lawyer informs me that under no circumstances should I promise that this will happen because Lord knows the last thing I need on my hands is a lawsuit.  Therefore, you should be aware that results may vary, blah, blah, blah, legal mumbo-jumbo, and all that jazz.

The first plan is courtesy of celebrities who have big piles of cash at their disposal, so I realize that many of you are not going to be able to afford to follow it. In the event that you wish to make a sex tape and jump right into their midst, here it is: surgery.  I know, this is drastic, but come on, those women are either not having their own babies or they are having surgery shortly after birth. No one I know, even the most dedicated dieters/exercisers, were out prancing around in bikinis mere days after giving birth selling stories to magazines about how they did it all through healthy dieting and moderate, safe exercise.

Here, my friends, is a much more realistic plan, direct from the fictional planet gitong and shared with me via my communication (gurus, as Genie will point out in a comment, are widely known as being expert channelers) with their leader: gionrangtio'anognrao'gnraongta'poingn o'vaerng oae'r gora'e   gratg'ontgron t!

See, I told you! Best. Plan. EVER. As soon as you decipher it, let me know.  I was seriously confused by that last step!  As Genie will also point out, the key is to forgo food while repeating the mantra over and over until it makes perfect sense. At that point, you will be either skinny or stark-raving mad due to being crazy-hungry, in which case you won't give a dang about losing weight and you'll be ready for the chocolate recipe I've helpfully included below.

You'll thank me later.

I should remind you that the other major function of a lifestyle guru is to provide recipes for insanely rich and delicious chocolate confections so that when you get sick and tired of dieting and exercising, or when you need to reward yourself for losing a pound or two, you know where to turn.  Here's one to try:
Hot Fudge Pudding (recipe from Food Editors' Favorites Treasured Recipes) (This has a cakey layer on top with delicious chocolate gooey magic stuff on the bottom. It is highly addictive.)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided (I like the dark chocolate powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs melted butter (use the real stuff)
1 tsp vanilla (again, use the real stuff)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup cold water

Sift flour, baking pwdr, 1 1/2 tbs cocoa, salt, and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Stir in milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour into well-buttered, 9 in square pan. Combine remaining sugars and cocoa. Sprinkle liberally over the batter. Carefully pour the cold water over this. Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes. This is AMAZING with a scoop of good ice cream just after you take it out of the oven. It's also delicious with homemade whipped cream. Or plain. Or cold, if there are leftovers. To see a picture of what it looks like, click on this link.  I didn't want to steal her picture without permission.

And, for this one, you'll be thanking me as soon as you stick a bite of it into your mouth!!!!!