Wednesday, July 16, 2008

JULY 16, 2008

Women are paying big money ($100-plus an hour) for tips like these from dating coaches ... But for you? Free! Take a look...

Breathe! And smile.
"My coach Patti kept drilling into my head, 'Just have fun -- no expectations!' On the phone, before our first date, my husband confessed, 'I'm really nervous.' Without even thinking, I repeated Patti's words back to him. He still says that it was the best thing I could have ever told him." --Meredith, 40, Atlanta

Positives attract.
"After I tried online dating, I hired a coach to redo my profile. It had said things like 'I don't want this' or 'I don't like that,' and he made me turn them into positives. The change in the quality of men was outstanding! Now, in general, I'm conscious of framing things positively -- it does affect who I attract." --Jennifer, 29, L.A.

See yourself as others do.
"As a dating coach, I'll occasionally spend a weekend with a client to see how she acts, including on a date. Hearing how others perceive you often brings huge changes. I also stress that unless you want a man to focus on your flaws, you should be more accepting of his" (oh -- that doesn't sound like any fun). --Evan Marc Katz, whose rates start at $1,500 for phone counseling

The kitchen is a mainstay in most people's homes and according to a recent Consumer Reports' poll, everyone has their own kitchen habits: who does the cooking and cleanup, how often they entertain, and what causes kitchen clutter. In conjunction with the magazine's Annual Kitchen Remodeling report featured in the August 2008 issue, the Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a poll of 1,009 Americans to determine what consumers have and what they what they do in their kitchens. Here are some of the highlights:

Dinner, Cooking & Cleanup
-- Dinner as a family is still a tradition, with over half (56%) always eating together.

-- Forty percent (40%) of adults eat dinner in the kitchen as opposed to the 29% who eat dinner in their dining room.

-- Eight in ten (81%) women do most of the cooking, with a little over half (54%) of the men pitching in and cleaning up afterwards.

-- Overall, adults are doing slightly more entertaining in their kitchens today than ten years ago, 44 percent entertain at least a few times a month, with over a quarter having guests spend most of their time in the kitchen.

-- Adults enjoy media entertainment in their kitchen: 35% have a music system and 24% television.

Appliances & Clutter
-- Dishwashers are prevalent in American homes, with 71 percent of adults owning one. Eight out of 10 (81%) of those with a dishwasher rinse their dishwashers before loading them into the machine. This is not always a seamless process, as 12% of adults say that loading and unloading the dishwasher causes disagreements in their home.

-- Among adults with cluttered kitchens, small appliances were the chief culprit. Small appliances rob counter space - microwaves, electric can openers, toaster/toaster ovens, and coffeemakers are the worst offenders. Over half of adults with these appliances keep them on their countertops.

Green Kitchens
-- Almost half of adults (42%) are being eco-friendly in the kitchen by having a designated recycling area.