How Americans Really Feel About Female Leadership

women leaders

With all of the focus on women in the workplace that the Lean In movement generated, a natural area for investigation is the lady boss. With all the encouragement for women to strive for the corner office, there is bound to be exploration into what it’s like to work for, and have a woman in charge. Luckily, there is Gallup poll data evaluating how people in 2013 feel about working for a woman instead of a man when compared to how they felt in 1953. As you’d imagine, there have been some noticeable changes.

The Atlantic analyzed the data, and found a few interesting trends. First, more than half of all people (in all of the demographic groupings) preferred a lady boss, as opposed to earlier times when 2/3 of people preferred working under men. Surprisingly, one of the two groups with the lowest percentage of people wanting female leadership was women. The other group, somewhat unsurprisingly, was Republicans. Finally, there are two groups who want a woman in charge more than the others: Democrats, and people who have previously had a female boss. That, to me, says once you try it, you’ll probably like it– all the more ammunition to give women more access to leadership positions.

Eat and Drink These Things to Stay Productive


It’s Monday, and it’s Veteran’s Day. Those of us who are stuck in the office instead of enjoying a day off to celebrate our nation’s heroes, may be experiencing a little drain on motivation from friends who are not at work today. You may be searching for some extra incentive to make it through the day. Luckily, The Huffington Post has a list of the food and drinks that can make you more productive while you’re at work. They can help keep your mind sharp, and give you a natural boost without needing a 5-hour energy. So, when you’re feeling sleepy or a little stalled, reach for one of these power foods and beverages:

  • Dark Chocolate: The flavanols found in cocoa will increase bloodflow to the brain, keeping you feeling energetic
  • Citrus Fruit: Even just the scent of citrus can give you a boost, but consuming the Vitamin C will give added alertness
  • Water: Dehydration zaps your focus and short-term memory. Keep your brain running like a well-oiled machine with lots of H2O.
  • Coffee or Tea: Most of us know this already, but having a cup of caffeine can improve your cognitive focus and concentration.

They just might make the difference between hitting a wall, and keeping on trucking. Now, go mark some things off your afternoon to-do list.

Counting a Night Out Dancing as a Workout


After a night out on the town dancing til dawn, you might wake up the next morning with sore legs from getting low on the dance floor. But how many of those aches are chalked up to the heels you were wearing, and how many are actually from exercising your muscles? My friends and I have often had the debate, if Zumba is a legitimate workout, is a night out grooving with friends giving the same benefits as logging 45 minutes on the elliptical?

Sadly, the answer is probably not. Women’s Health magazine experts say that if you are only moderately dancing for 30 minutes, it’s not enough activity. If you are dancing hard enough to break a sweat for more than two hours, then maybe you’re on your way. The only thing to keep in mind is the number of alcoholic beverages involved in helping you cut loose on the dance floor. If you’re drinking while dancing, you’re probably just breaking even. But at least that’s a whole lot better for you (and a heck of a lot more fun) than drinking and standing still. Just don’t skip your trip to the gym the next day because of it.

Self-Talk to Put a Little More Pep in Your Step

cyclingNext time you’re slogging away for those last 10 minutes on the elliptical, or feeling like slowing to a walk for the final half mile, try telling yourself that you’re not tired. According to a new study published in Medicine & Sport Science, it just might make it true! The study tried to get to the root of what causes physical fatigue. Is it when your muscles run out of energy via food or fluid, or is it a mental state? Previous research shows that physiologically, the body is often able to continue exercise even though the animal (or human in your case!) stops, feeling exhausted. But for some reason, your brain gives you cues that make you want to stop. Maybe it’s saving some reserves in the tank in case of emergency, but if it’s the brain, not the body making you stop, then the scientists wondered if changing the signals from the brain could impact exercise.

They monitored study participants while they cycled, and measured heart rate, pedal power, and pace. Additionally, they captured data on how difficult the exercise had seemed throughout. On a second visit, the bikers were split into 2 groups. One was to continue business as usual. The second learned self-talk that would help encourage themselves while exercising, saying things like, “You’re doing well,” or “Feeling good.” Then when the two groups were tested with the same exercise sessions, the group with the self-talk managed to pedal farther and longer while feeling less exhausted. Interestingly, though the group felt better, their bodies exhibited the same exact conditions of exertion from the first ride. I tried it out on my morning run on Tuesday. When I felt like quitting before I hit the 5k mark, I told myself, “If the marathoner’s can run 26 miles, you can easily run 3,” and “I’m not tired.” The weird things is, it worked, and I actually decreased my mile time from the previous day. So, next time you’re feeling like giving up, give yourself a little pep talk and see what happens. It just might make you suffer through your workout a little less.

Cute Animals to Make Mornings Less Painful

cute animals

If you’re definitely not a morning person, and love cute animals, then this Mashable post is for you. It pairs adorable little dogs and cats with sarcastic quotes about dragging yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off from some of your favorite famous people including Jim Morrison and Hunter  S.Thompson. While you struggle out from under the covers, to that first cup of coffee, check out the page. The pure adorableness of it all will make the daylight slightly less painful. While you’re at it, check out the cute animals category for more adorable stories to brighten your day.

How to Deal when Someone you Care About is a Jerk


Even the most perfect person is bound to do something that will make you sad at some point in your long and varied friendship, courtship, or family relationship.

Maybe they didn’t respond to your text. Or you thought they had changed an upsetting behavior, and there they are – falling right back into the same bad patterns. Quite possibly they did something terribly mean like skip your birthday party. Or you heard from an acquaintance that they said something snarky behind your back.

All of these things, taken in the wrong light, received at the wrong moment, could be friendship ending, relationship ruining, family-feud starting problems.

But they don’t have to be. When I put the effort into fostering relationships, it’s usually for keeps. I have more than a handful of people that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years. I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary of friendship with my closest college pals. I send Christmas cards to a frighteningly high number of relatives, and I am still friendly with quite a few exes. Most of these people have really hurt my feelings, or made me a little peeved at certain points.

The reason we’re still tight? It’s not that I don’t get upset, or hurt by stupid little things – I do. It’s learning how to deal in the moments when you’re feeling upset, then moving forward. Here are some tips that help me figure out what to do:

  • Relationships are Long: I remember a time when I tried to give a friend money for a round of drinks. They declined, saying, “Our friendship is long, I am sure it will all even out.” While it’s easy to get annoyed in that second if one person is always shorting you on the check, it’s much more relaxing to just remind yourself that in the scheme of a long relationship, things are bound to come full circle. Stop keeping score in the moment.
  • Put Yourself in their Shoes: While this is the most clichéd piece of advice you can read, here’s why it’s important. When you’re obsessing that they didn’t  respond to your facebook invite because they hate you, think about two things – the history of your relationship, and what they have going on in their life right now. Is it a crazy week at work for your friend? Do you know they have a phone that’s on the fritz? While it’s easy to take one occurrence as a world-ending personal insult, there could be a circumstance totally unrelated to you that’s making them act that way. Most people-even our most valued friends- care more about their own lives than they do about yours. Remembering that they have their own stuff can make the difference between being upset, and just getting it. Then think about how they’ve treated you in the past. Have they gone out of their way to love and support you and be a good friend? It just so happens that little thing about RSVPs are their one weak spot? Then maybe you can let this one thing slide. If this is the final notch in a one-sided relationship, that’s another story.
  • All Relationships are Not Equal: There are different levels of relationships. Some are the drop you off at the airport, hold your hand at a funeral type that wouldn’t ever intentionally do anything to hurt you. Others are the people you meet for happy hour occasionally, and wouldn’t tell that your goldfish died. Adjust your expectations on how much you value the way they treat you accordingly, and keep them in your life. Who cares if some of your friends are flaky, if the people that count are always there? Take all the happiness you can out of spending time with them, and leave all the temptation to want more from them than you should at the door.
  • Give Them the Silent Treatment: I don’t mean this in the middle school way, but the easiest way to stop being upset about something is to focus your time and energy actively on something else. It works on toddlers all the time – take the toy they want out of the room, and they easily forget. Follow their lead. Sitting and thinking about how upset you are won’t make you feel anything but more upset. Hanging out with a different group of friends, or finally taking that new class at the gym will only give you the space and time you need to come up with a solution. And it might make them realize they did something crappy before you even have a chance to tell them you’re upset.
  • Is it You or Them? Take stock of your mood. Are you feeling extra sensitive, and taking it the wrong way? Is it you, not them?
  • Just Let it Go: Some things are worth arguing about, and others aren’t. Even if you tell people how you feel, sometimes they won’t react the way you wish they would. If you make it a point to be clear about how you’re feeling, and make an effort to come from a place of love with the people you care about, it’s hard to be upset with the outcome. Even if things don’t go down the way you had hoped, you can rest easy knowing that you did all you could, and won’t feel even worse for harboring hard feelings. When in doubt, just assume they didn’t mean it that way. It will save you so much heartache just assuming they had good intentions even if they really didn’t.
  • Complete Yourself: When you’re looking for validation from other people or other things to feel 100% a person, you’ll always fall short. Fill up your life with things you value, and learn how to be happy even when you’re all alone. While your relationships should enrich your life by making it fuller, tastier, funnier – they shouldn’t define it. You make yourself who you are, and deciding that on your own without looking for cues from others on how you should feel will lead to a whole lot more happiness, and a lot less squabbles about why they didn’t want to hang out with you last Saturday night. Cashmere sweaters, friends, and soul mates don’t make you complete – you do.

And top all that off by being a good friend, relationship partner, sister/mother/uncle/cousin yourself. When you’re in doubt about whether you should call/send a card/show up, always make the effort. You never know how the person is feeling who’s receiving your gesture – maybe it will be the tipping point between a horrible day and an awesome day. Why not buy the thoughtful gift, over-tip, or go the extra mile? Even if it doesn’t work out in the long term, you will know you gave it your best shot.

Keeping Skin and Lips Soft All Winter Long

winter skin

The weather in NYC went from warm enough for bare legs Thursday to pulling out the uggs and fur ear muffs Monday. While I am not quite ready for winter yet, I have the gear to keep warm. The main thing about dropping temps that drives me nuts in the dry skin and lips that come with it. To fight it, I have a spring/summer set of beauty products, and a fall/winter arsenal as well. To keep my skin soft year round, I use a mixture of Queen Helene’s cocoa butter combined with Aveeno Daily Moisture with colloidal oatmeal when it’s warm and humid. When the radiators kick on, and all the dry heat is sucking the moisture out of my skin, I switch over to my winter moisturizing regimen as soon as the temps drop. The Body Shop body butter in Brazil Nut is my favorite for keeping my hands soft against the winter chill.

I upgrade my standard face lotion to a cream formula and step it up with lotions around my eyes  which tend to dry out more quickly. I like the Boots No7 set for day, night and eyes. But you can’t forget to take care of your pout when you’re putting on all that lotion. Look for a lip balm that has three key elements. First you need a hydrating agent to keep lips smooth – think shea butter, vitamin E, or coconut oil). Then, to keep them from being damaged once you step outside, look for a balm with SPF to block sunburns (especially if you’re going skiing or hiking), and a physical block that will seal in the moisturizing ingredients while blocking out wind. While Blistex does the trick most of the year, I like The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick and Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in mango to fight against the icy winter wind.