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THE DATING REPAIR KIT, How To Have a Fabulous Love Life By Marni Kamins and Janice MacLeod, $14.95, Conari Press (www.redwheelweiser.com)

It’s tough out there for a single gal. The road to love is usually paved with good intentions but all too often it gets bumpy, which can leave us feeling bruised and afraid to venture forth again. But lucky for us, Marni Kamins and Janice MacLeod, authors of “The Breakup Repair Kit”, have teamed up for a second time to bring us THE DATING REPAIR KIT, How To Have A Fabulous Love Life, which is filled with winning tips and heartfelt advice for finding love that will not only last, but be fulfilling as well.

The pre-requisite to finding the perfect boyfriend, we are advised, is to “…feel good about ourselves from the inside out, with or without someone else.” In order to guide us on this possibly unfamiliar path, Kamins and MacLeod pave the way with “How to Have a Great Love Life in Five Easy Steps”, the initial “cheat sheet for the impatient” and the roadmap for our journey. We are asked to follow an emotional and spiritual regimen for 30 days which incorporates five basic tenants: 1) Remove baggage, 2) Fantasize, 3) Take baby steps, 4) Confront your excuses, and 5) Date smarter. During this time we should see vast improvements in the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us, by implementing this series of practical daily exercises designed to help us release, among other things, old beliefs, old clothes and old dreams, after which the real work can begin.

The authors, who happen to be close friends, believe in the power of the list and encourage us to create several, chief among them a “Dream List”, writing down the things, both large and small, we would like to incorporate in our daily lives and a “Lover List” which asks us to get very specific about the type of man we want to attract. Once the lists are in order, our next step is implementing the goals we so painstakingly assembled and this handy manual will not leave you wanting when it comes to practical suggestions for doing just that. Flirting 101 is a great little section, encouraging us to “Stand tall” and “Make eye contact” among other things and Chapter 5, “Dating 101” finishes the job nicely, discussing everything from spotting red flags (another opportunity for list-making) to the truth about high heels, and how long to wait before sleeping with the new man in your life, (if you want to keep him).

THE YOGA FACELIFT: The All Natural, Do-It-Yourself Program for Looking Younger and Feeling Better By Marie-Veronique Nadeau, $19.95 Conari Press (www.redwheelweiser)

Living is a stressful proposition in a youth-obsessed culture. We are accosted at every turn with ads and articles about Botox treatments, as well as peeling, re-surfacing, lifting, nipping and tucking our faces in the hopes of erasing the lines that time and experience have etched. Of course, it’s natural to want to maintain the sense of vibrancy and healthy glow we had in our youth, but we tend to do so at the expense of celebrating ourselves just the way we are. Now, thanks to Marie-Veronique Nadea’s new book, THE YOGA FACELIFT: The All Natural, Do-It-Yourself Program for Looking Younger and Feeling Better, we can do both and maintain a youthful appearance without going under the knife.

A licensed aesthetician and developer of a natural skin-care line, Ms. Nadeau sets forth a daily regimen of yoga exercises designed specifically for the neck and face. Beginning with a series of stretches and deep breathing exercises, the well-written instructions and photos will walk you through each one from beginning to end. Some of the poses and exercises are done in a standing position but may be modified to a sitting one if you are more comfortable. After all, the entire idea of following this regimen is to create a sense of peace and balance within that will radiate from without.

Specific exercises such as the” Chin Lift”, “Neck 1 & 2”, “Jawline Sculptor” and “Cheekbone Creator” are arranged in several groups that may be done together or on their own. We are encouraged to incorporate the entire set of exercises, which takes about an hour, into our daily routine, but may also pick and choose a few exercises that focus on specific trouble-spots and take a quarter of the time. Results are reported to be rather fast, sometimes within just two or three week’s time and after a couple of months, you’ll be able to achieve the same results with a daily maintenance routine. Just like any other muscles in our bodies, the facial muscles have a kind of memory and when they get a work out they respond just like our abs and glutes. A healthy diet and plenty of rest and water are also recommended for lasting results.

THE EVERYTHING DOG OWNER’S ORGANIZER: Calendars, Checklists and Schedules to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy By Kim Campbell Thornton and Debra Eldredge D.V.M., $16.95, Adams Media (www.adamsmedia.com)

If you are a seasoned dog owner or have just brought a new puppy into your home, you know how important it is to keep track of the general well being of your pet. Vaccinations, feeding, training and grooming are all a part of a dog’s life and now, with the release of THE EVERYTHING DOG OWNER’S ORGANIZER, the often-daunting task of keeping all your ducks in a row, so to speak, just got easier.

“Preparing for your Pup”, the first chapter in this great organizer, covers everything from supplies you will need such as food, bedding, and toys, to the house training of your new bundle of fur and the need for regular exercise. The authors even supply you with handy charts to track your puppy’s progress and also address some possible problem areas you might encounter using a series of great bullet points.

Subsequent chapters deal with everything from Veterinary care to exercise and socialization of your pet, both with people and other animals, as well as information on the types of leashes and collars you have to choose from and how to teach the basic commands “Sit”, “Come” and “Stay”. Journaling your pet’s progress in this and other areas is encouraged, and several special pages are included so you can do just that.

Also included here is a glossary of “Frequently Asked Questions and Vet Answers” which covers a lot of territory and is a good resource if your dog is displaying signs of discomfort from an illness or injury. A series of pages for photos of your canine cutie and contact information for your vet, groomer and emergency numbers rounds out this excellent book. A handy list of resources for breeders, web sites and other books about dogs, is another welcome addition here, making this a must-have, all-in-one tome for you, your family and the Fido in your life.

IF WOMEN RAN THE WORLD SH*T WOULD GET DONE: Celebrating All The Wonderful, Amazing, Stupendous, Inspiring, Butt-Kicking Things Women Do By Shelly Rachanow, $12.95, Conari Press (www.redwheelweiser.com)

It’s a man’s world, or so they say, but I would hardly call it a bragging point for the “stronger sex”, considering the state of the world these days. So, if you ask me, the timing couldn’t be better for the release of Shelly Rachanow’s new book IF WOMEN RAN THE WORLD SH*T WOULD GET DONE: Celebrating All The Wonderful, Amazing, Stupendous, Inspiring, Butt-Kicking Things Women Do.

Starting with the funny, yet true “Things Women Do For Their Families (Between 7:55 and 8:00 am.)” Rachanow runs down a list of tasks that would make super-hero Jack Bauer beg for a nap! From there, we are treated to several true-life-tales of ordinary women doing extraordinary things. For instance, Anna Jarvis, who is credited with putting Mother’s Day on the map, did so in 1905 after the death of her Mother who had, throughout Anna’s childhood, lamented that the hardest working women, Mom’s, were not celebrated for all the service they gave to their families. And then there’s Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder who, during her tenure from 1972-1996, wrote such legislation as the “Family Leave Act”, which took five years to pass and the “Military Family Act” which was passed into law in 1995.

Throughout this amusing and inspiring book are other true-life tales of less famous women as well as places to journal your own heroic ideas like “Three ways I kicked butt today”, “If I ran the world, here’s what I would get done…” and “Butt-kicking what-ifs.” Want to thank a friend who took care of you when you needed it most? You can do so with a “Do-A-Gram” which is a pre-made certificate (there are several in the book) that will honor her for her pampering ways. “10 Things Women Intend To Do For Themselves…(and the 10 things that happen instead”) round things out and include familiar scenarios such as hiring a cleaning service, only to spend time cleaning the house before they arrive or drawing a bubble bath for yourself and bathing the kids instead. Great fun to read and to share, this book will remind you that it is awesome to be a member of the “fairer sex”, just in case you were too busy to give yourself a pat on the back!

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 70 - September 9612
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