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Celebrate your female friends in our Girlfriendology Contests! Now there's more ways to WIN! Submit your favorite female friendship story to Girlfriendology (via the form/email), leave a voice mail with your story at 206-202-9005 or post a comment on our iTunes site. For the voice mail, please leave your email address (spelled out please!) at the end of the message. (So, for example "Hi! This is Christine and I have a great story about my sister Penny ..." And don't forget your email address so we can contact you for a prize.)

And, we have lots of PRIZES! Visit Girlfriendology.com. Sign up for our newsletter and listen to our podcasts for the stories and inspiration others have shared!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Girlfriendology Updates!

Hi girlfriends from magnificent mile Chicago!

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Podcast Posted - Heather Hills, ChickVacations.com

As friendly and helpful as her photo looks(!), HEATHER HILLS is a genuinely nice person. So nice that she started a business just to help women plan special trips together with less stress and even less budget. (That's my kind of girlfriend!)

Heather started ChickVacations.com - a travel company dedicated to girlfriend getaways (aka: female friends and family fun!). Instead of lavish, expensive trips, Heather plans travel packages for domestic, nearby trips - which is perfect in today's $4+/gallon gas prices!

Listen in to Heather as she shares her travel wisdom and inspiring ideas on the new Girlfriendology Podcast. Then, start planning a trip (possibly with ChickVacations.com) with your favorite gal pals!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TIP TUESDAY #28: How to make a Girlfriend Laugh!

No, I'm not running for President (except President of Girlfriendology), but my hilarious girlfriend Jill sent me the above very viral marketing video. (THANKS JILL!)

Why not surprise your girlfriend with your vote for President? Or just send her a funny email with Monk-Email (from Career Builder) or ... (insert your comment/link here!)

Share your funny ways to say HI, make your girlfriend laugh or just make her day through online sites, jokes or other harmless antics!

What are your favorite funny sites to share with girlfriend?

Let's all share a couple favorites so we can pass them along to our girlfriends, who'll share them with their friends, and on and on! Just a bunch of fun, funny female friends - fabulous! (Hey - and we can all run for President!)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with MARSH ENGLE, Amazing Woman Iniatitive

You are amazing.

Yes, you are. MARSH ENGLE told me. Marsh actually sees how amazing each of us is - she started the "Amazing Woman Initiative" to help us focus on the amazing nature inside every one of us. From the "Amazing Woman" books she has written, to the "Amazing Woman's Day 2008" events that will start on July 19th in Palm Springs, Marsh is globalizing this powerful message to generate positive energy, transformation and self-recognition for all women.

Her energy is contagious and her message is empowering to all women who hear it. So, here's MY Lessons from a Girlfriend but, with the concept of 'amazing women' so unique to each woman, I'm sure you'll learn lessons that apply to you. Thanks Marsh for sharing these lessons:

* RECOGNIZE OUR OWN AMAZING NATURE - How powerful that Marsh took the experience of healing after losing her mother into a national movement of inspiration (and even recognized by Congress!). Marsh believes that every woman has an amazing nature within us - and thanks to her, we get the find the area deep inside of us that brings us the greatest joy. But it is really important that we recognize the amazing spirit within us!

* BE DARING AND BOLD - Step out. Marsh didn't just feel this amazing spirit within, and keep it to her self. She had a dream of sharing this passion for women and our amazing natures to be identified, celebrated and set free. Now she hosts events all over the world on discovering their, and other women's, amazing spirit.

* SPREAD THE WORD - Did Marsh keep it to herself? Did she recognize the amazing nature of women and just tell a few close friends? Of course not. Amazing women look for ways to build into other women, to inspire, to create opportunities for other women and to celebrate the beauty that lies within every one of us. Thankfully Marsh recognized this amazing spirit in women and used her talents to bring this powerful Amazing Woman Initiative to the world.

To join in on this Initiative, join Marsh and some amazing women on July 19th in Palm Springs for the Amazing Woman's Day 2008 event. Or check out her website for future events in the U.S. and abroad. Thanks Marsh! You're Amazing!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with SUSAN MALLERY, mega romance novelist

Do you read romance novels? Love a good love story? Crave an escape to a story about 'happily ever after' relationships? Then you probably already know our Girlfriendology Podcast guest SUSAN MALLERY!

Susan is an amazing author of over 100 romance fiction books and she keeps going, and going! She's writes books for women that women want to read. In fact, romance novels is the largest genre of books and even surpasses Major League Baseball for revenue!!

What does 'chick lit' have to do with Girlfriendology and female friendship? well, once you hear Susan's interview, you'll realize that Susan's girlfriends are core to her success and prolific writing!

So, what lessons did I learn in our conversation with Susan? Here's just a few - but listen in to see what inspiration Susan can offer you too!

* FOLLOW YOUR PASSION - Susan just took an eight week class and knew that she HAD to write romance novels. She never looked back. Many times we lack the courage to share what we dream of doing, but like Susan, we should just go for it! As girlfriends we can support and encourage our friends to go after their dreams. That's what girlfriends do!

* FIND LIKE-MINDED GIRLFRIENDS - Susan has a girlfriend group with other authors and gets together with them (even though they live in different states) on a frequent basis. It's THAT important. Together they share ideas and dreams, help each other through questions and struggles, and celebrate each others successes. What a wonderful way to have 'co-workers' and friends around who get what you do and help each other out.

* FRIENDS ARE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE - In Susan's words, if the guy doesn't work out, you can boot him to the curb! You're born with your family but you get to pick your friends. My girlfriends are my sisters who believe in me, challenge me, cheer for me and make me a better person. There is a world of women out there and finding some who become sisters are worth all the effort!

Susan Mallery is obviously prolific and talented at writing. With 100+ romance novels, she's successful at what she loves. But, in this great conversation with her, I found out her passion doesn't come to life just on the pages of her romance fiction, but in her gratitude of her girlfriends and their impact on her life. Wow. Thanks Susan for your time to talk and for the inspiration you shared with our podcast listeners.

Thanks too for your gift of several copies of Sweet Talk, your new novel with the Bakery Sisters. To possibly win one of our 50 PRIZES in the July Girlfriendology Contest (including this new book by Susan Mallery), send your girlfriend story in to contest (@) girlfriendology (dot) com, fill out our form at Girlfriendology, leave a comment on our iTunes site or send us a photo of you in a Girlfriendology shirt. Lots of prizes! Lots of ways to win!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with JODI NELSON, founder of "Play It Forward Adventures"

In a small township in South Africa, we built homes, planted gardens and loved on children. A very smelly district of Cologne, Panama found us rebuilding a church. Both, no matter the hardships and fears (and, believe me, both had some scary moments) were challenging but experiences I will never forget and that will shape me for the rest of my life.

had similar experiences. She traveled to remote locations to offer aid and assistance. The relationships were incredible but extremely emotional. She also has taken adventure travel trips to exotic destinations where she found the scenery and activities challenging and invigorating. Leave it to this creative, passionate traveler to combine the two for the ultimate travel experience.

PLAY It Forward Adventures was born from these travels to allow travelers to: "Volunteer. Explore. Connect." Combining the emotional yet equally rewarding experience of humanitarian efforts with the beauty and exhilaration of active excursions, travelers balance their emotions with the culture, climate and citizens of a foreign country in a memorable manner.

Listen in to the podcast with Jodi for more about Play It Forward Adventures. You'll pick up your own lessons like these I learned:

- Jodi recognized the exhilaration and emotional impact of traveling both for adventure and to help others. She took her project management skills and applied them to making a huge difference in her life and the lives of her travelers as well as the people they meet and help. She didn't sit by and just go on her own trip once or twice a year - she shares them with others!

* GET EMOTIONAL - Helping out a family in Guatemala who has no home, is great. Seeing all the other neighbors who also live in shacks, is overwhelming. Jodi knows the emotional weight of making difference to people whose lives are so much different than our own. She balances this with adventures like hiking or kayaking. These excursions lift spirits and balance the heaviness of witnessing people's struggles.

* BUILD A COMMUNITY - One person (like Jodi) can do amazing things. A group of people can accomplish life-changing results. And, when we bond into a community, we have others who share in our joy and emotions, who celebrate and cry with us, who care. These Play It Forward Adventures are forming a community of caring and adventurous travelers.

For me, memories of South Africa and Panama remind me to be thankful for all that I have - a home, friends and family who are relatively healthy and safe, opportunities to earn a living and anticipation of good things ahead. Interested in experiencing life and adventures in a foreign country? Want to go somewhere with your family or friends where you'll make a difference and experience an unforgettable adventure? Listen in to Jodi Nelson of Play It Forward Adventures. Just do it.

Girlfriendology video interview with DIANA ZIMMERMAN, author of "Kandide and the Secret of the Mists"

Meeting inspiring girlfriends is always kind of magical! Author DIANA S. ZIMMERMAN, author of "Kandide and the Secret of the Mists," was in town recently for her national book tour. Diana had a spectacular 25-year career as "America's Foremost Lady Magician" and some of her magic acts are still being performed by her friends Lance Burton and David Copperfield! Now she is taking this mystical talent into a land of faeries and lessons on accepting others and ourselves.

I had the privilege of doing a video interview with Diana on her recent book tour. Kandide is written for 9-12 year olds but the story reaches all ages. Sneak peak:

What if everything you feared suddenly became your only hope?
What if everything you loved was suddenly taken away?
The book is inspiring but so it just being in the company of Diana!

Check out her new book for children (but with lessons that apply to all of us and with a 25% off code!).

Thanks Diana for your amazing interview! Remember girlfriends, like Diana, keep INSPIRING, appreciating and celebrating each other!

Legendary magician LANCE BURTON agrees: "Kandide is pure magic!"


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grillin' Girlfriends share their secret recipe to female friendship!

Karen Adler and Judith Fertig met as potentially competing 'foodie' authors in Kansas City. What could have been a recipe for disaster, soon turned into the menu for success. They started grilling and competing in "Battle of the Sexes Barbecue Contests" and writing barbecue cookbooks together. Many years, cookbooks and grilling adventures have come and gone and their friendship has been seasoned to perfection.

Foodie's just can't stop themselves so Karen started Pig Out Publications, a barbecue cookbook publishing company. Judith is a food writer and cooking teacher. But when they get together, they grill up some great girlfriend time together - and some bodacious barbecue!

Listen in to the latest Girlfriendology Podcast for Karen's advice on grilling and girlfriends. Both are perfect ways to spend your summertime!

Send in your girlfriend story for the June Girlfriendology Contest and you, yes YOU!, can win a copy of "The Big Book of Barbecue" by BBQ Queens, Karen and Judith. Visit Girlfriendology for the rules but send in your story and soon you'll be grillin' like the Queens!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

May Girlfriendology Contest Prizes are coming!

Boring photo (sorry!) of just some of the book prizes from the May Girlfriendology Contest. (A few more winner addresses needed then they all be sent!) Coming your way (if you're one of the 30 winners!): "The Angel" by Carla Neggers (from our video), "Real You Incorporated" by Kaira Rouda (from our podcast), "Novel Destinations" by Joni Rendon and Shannon McKenna Schmidt (podcast) and "Paper Crafting with Carol Duvall" (podcast with TV star and 'the Queen of Crafts'!).

JOIN IN ON THE JUNE GIRLFRIENDOLOGY CONTEST for "Twenty Wishes" by Debbie Macomber, "Comfort Food" by Kate Jacobs, "Big BBQ Cookbook" by the BBQ Queens, "Attraction Action" by Jody England/BuzZen, "Trust Me" by, Brenda Novak, "Jumpstart the Art" by J.J. Virgin and our Starbucks and Girlfriendology Journal top prizes! Check out www.girlfriendology.com for more info.

Videos: http://www.youtube.com/girlfriendology

Podcasts: http://www.girlfriendology.libsyn.com/

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TIP TUESDAY #27: What's your favorite women's blog?

The internet, and blogs in particular, have given women a voice and a way to connect with other women. From 'mommy blogs' to WAHM (work at home moms), from shopping sites to product reviews, from personal messages via email or twitter, we're connecting and making friends with women in a new way that expands our universe of girlfriends.

Recently this happened in my town when I heard about other cities where women who were on the internet (generally bloggers but also podcasters, social media users, etc.) formed groups - like the Denver "Mile High Mommies" or the "Silicon Valley Mommy Bloggers." So, why not in my city? I found some girlfriends on Twitter and one, ShannanB (of MommyBits blog) helped plan the event for this past Saturday. A total of nine women showed up for the first meeting of the "Cincinnati Women Bloggers." I thought that was a great turnout (and several had responded they want to participate, but had prior commitments). The discussion was fun and interesting. It was great to learn about each woman's blog or if she was just interested in finding out more. And, wonderful Shannan even set us up with a website to connect us all!

There is something special about when women connect. Yes, it helps to have something in common, but after that, we're comfortable, helpful, supportive and great cheerleaders.

There is also a treasure in finding like-minded girlfriends in any way. Blogs are helpful because so many of us share our true self online. (Okay, so that can be good or bad but when it's good, it's great.) Check out these blogs from my new girlfriends from the Cincinnati group:

* MommyBits - Shannan B's "life in the testosterone jungle" blog
* World's Best Burger - "print, politics, pop culture ... served up hot" by Laura
* Wine Me, Dine Me (Cincinnati) - One woman's take on dining, eating and cooking in Cincinnati.
* Amy In Ohio - Ramblings and whinings from the heartland
* Working Moms Against Guilt - Susan and friends are WMAG (you guessed it)

Plus Jacinta, Jane and Diana joined us who are just entering the blogosphere. We're looking forward to our next meeting on July 26th. (For more info, check out the site.)

So, what is this week's TIP TUESDAY question? We learn so much from each other and the internet does provide us amazing resources for connecting with other women. So...

What are your favorite women's sites? Which blogs by women do you follow? Why?

Let's all share a couple favorites to introduce each other to our online 'girlfriends.' And, if you're a woman and have a site you'd like to post, please do. You never know what you might learn from your friends and friends of friends!

And, speaking of, I'm leading a discussion this Saturday at PodCampOhio on women in the blogosphere. If you're attending, I'd love for you to join in the conversation and share what you've learned from being online that might help other women. See you there girlfriends!
I'm speaking at PodCamp Ohio, June 28, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with J. J. VIRGIN, fitness and nutrition expert

Fitness and nutrition can overwhelm me - do they you? I know I should eat and do certain things, but sometimes even if I do, nothing happens so I just go back to my previous eating and exercising habits. After years of low-fat/high-carb, low-carb/high-fat and every other diet in between, my body seems to do whatever it wants to do.

Okay, and even if you have the whole fitness/nutrition thing figured out (or you just got really, really good genes!), there still is the desire to be healthy and look young, right?

Our guest on the latest Girlfriendology Podcast has the answers! MENSA member, PhD in holistic and clinical nutrition with studies in bio-mechanics, sports medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition and aging, J.J. VIRGIN is an accomplished trainer, teacher and author. Her new book, "The Art of Losing It: Mastering Weight Loss in an Expanding World,"(with co-author, Dan O'Dowd) offers the help we need to get past diet resistant bodies and near-sleepless schedules, to find the healthy lifestyle that will give us balance in all areas of our lives.

J.J. has done post-graduate work in bio-mechanics, sports medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition and aging. She's a member of MENSA and appeared for several seasons as the fitness and nutrition expert on the Dr. Phil Show. She also was the "nutritional trainer for Superman" - how cool is that?!

We can all learn a lot from this smart, beautiful, amazingly-inspiring woman. Just a few of the lessons learned from J.J. Virgin:

* NO ONE SAID IT WOULD BE EASY - J.J. doesn't provide a quick 'magic' solution to weight issues, but she does simplify it and make it applicable to a realistic lifestyle. "The Art of Losing It" has taken her 25 years as a health care professional and celebrity nutritionist to the next level with her supercharged, clinically proven weight loss system.

* SLEEP! - We push ourselves too many hours every day, then so many of us struggle with getting a good night's sleep. J.J. has done the research and recommends sleep as one of the major factors in a healthy, long life. Her level of importance on this was impressive and impactful. Plus, that is one area of nutrition and fitness that is a good change in our life and has great results.

* YOU NEED YOUR GIRLFRIENDS - As J.J. says, "You HAVE to have a circle of support." She tells about girlfriends who met on a diet website and, through their friendship and support of each other, were successful in losing a lot of weight. Together we can accomplish our goals - with our girlfriends!

J.J. provided her new audio book, "Jumpstart The Art!" (companion book to "The Art of Losing It: Mastering Weight Loss in an Expanding World") as a prize in our Girlfriendology Contest. It was obvious in talking with her about toxins, sweeteners, the chemicals our body needs/produces and more, she is knowledgeable and someone with the answers. I appreciate that she offered these answers to us in her podcast and book!

Listen in to J.J.'s interview with Girlfriendology on our latest podcast, check out her website/book and sign up for her newsletter for a free report on weight loss myths. I know you, like me, will learn life-changing information!

Stay healthy girlfriend!

Girlfriendology May Contest Winners Announced on new podcast!

From Paula in South Dakota to Jane in Missouri to Debbie in Florida to Cathy in Georgia to so many others ... the map of all our winners would be spotted all over the place! We had so many wonderful, inspiring, funny and touching stories about girlfriends (and sisters who are also great girlfriends!) who sent in and won in our May Girlfriendology Contest. Listen to the NEW podcast for these inspiring stories and the winners of the 30 books plus Starbucks gift cards (to take you and your girlfriend out for coffee on Girlfriendology) and the Girlfriendology Journal.

We're in the midst of the June Girlfriendology Contest so send in your girlfriend stories (about any subject you'd like - any inspiring story about a female friend or a group of friends) to Girlfriendology. We have over 30 books to award for prizes in June. Winners will be established by a drawing of all contest responses. And, drumroll please! The PRIZES for the June Girlfriendology Contest are:

* Twenty Wishes - a wonderful, inspiring book by mega author DEBBIE MACOMBER.
* Comfort Food - a new novel by KATE JACOBS (author of The Friday Night Knitting Club) and a lovely story of a cooking channel chef and her adventures with food, family and friends.
* Trust Me - the new romantic thrilled by BRENDA NOVAK. First in 'The Last Stand' trilogy , follow these female friends though crimes, investigations and, of course, some romance.
* JumpStart the Art: The Art of Losing It - audio book by J.J. VIRGIN. Inspiration on The Art of Losing It! Mastering Weight Loss in an Expanding World.
* BBQ Cookbooks - A BIG and little (perfect size for a gift!) book so of Barbecue by the BBQ Queens themselves, KAREN ADLER and JUDITH FRETIG.
* BuzZen - The Law of Attraction meets Girls Night Out! Written by JODY ENGLAND, this book will bring your and your girlfriends, and you and your dreams, closer!

All these amazing authors have graciously given their time recently for podcast interviews! Listen in for wonderful women inspiration!

So, send in your girlfriend story NOW for one of our over-a-prize-a-day prizes!

And, if you'd like to tell this story yourself, please call 206-202-9005 and you can tape a message which will go on the contest podcast! We'd love to have your story in your voice on the podcast!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Birthday, just because you're you, special surprise GIFTS for Girlfriends!

My first job out of college was in Houston TX. Not knowing anyone and having minimal funds, I spent almost every weekend at my girlfriend's apt. on the other side of town (which in Houston means it was an hour away). Neither of us had much discretionary income but we enjoyed just hanging out together, exploring our new home town and doing anything free we could find.

Paying college bills as well as adjusting to the real world, Paula and I had no money for Christmas gifts so we made up our own version of gifts. Before the internet and virtual worlds, we had virtual gifts. We didn't go shopping or hang out at a mall. We gave each other little symbols or cut-outs of gifts that we would have bought for each other, you know, like if we had won the lottery! It was a memorable holiday because we put thought into the 'gifts' and creatively presented each one.

Last week was my friend Cath's birthday. I love Cath and would enjoy nothing more than to give her a trip to somewhere with a fabulous beach or pay for something special that would make her days even sunnier like a gardener or weekly florist delivery. However, with $4/gallon of gas and other economic 'challenges,' those gifts will have to wait.

What do you do when you're unable to spend as much as you'd like on girlfriend gift? What gifts have you received from a creative girlfriend that didn't cost a bunch but meant so much? Please share in the comments.

Thanks Paula for that friendship and for being my thrifty friend when I really needed one! Thanks Cath too for understanding about the handmade necklace and recycled gifts!

NOTE: The photo above, Circle of Friends, is a gift of our girlfriend Caroline's site: HealingBaskets.com. We interviewed Caroline for a very inspiring podcast. Listen in for ideas on gifts especially for girlfriends in trying situations like loss, health issues, etc. She gives great girlfriend advice! And, her site has wonderful girlfriend, caregiver, sister, mom, coworker gifts!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reduce stress and make it a lot more fun! When is "Take your Girlfriends to work day"?

Today is "Take Your Dog to Work Day." Okay, here at Girlfriendology, every day is take your dog to work day! It is a wonderful environment to relieve stress, bring some humor (and sometimes unpleasant smells knowing my dog Brando!) to the home office, etc.

USAtoday wrote about what your dog can teach you about business in this article, like great lessons on loyalty, patience, acceptance and being grateful.

What can we learn about business from our girlfriends? I'd love your thoughts but I'll get us started:

* Relationships - There's so many books on the business relationships we have to develop with our coworkers, clients and colleagues. Why do we need the books? We don't 'get' it. Girlfriends do. Female friends understand' the importance of relationships. We value the personal bond between women that allows us to be ourselves and puts us not in a competitive situation, but a supportive, helpful, "I'll cheer for you no matter what" role. Like "man's best friend," this gets down to the real stuff like loyalty and affection.

* FUN - At my previous job, I would stop periodically throughout the day to visit with Carole or Katie - my girlfriends in the office. (After Lisa, Angie and Beth Anne left us!) I need the break in my day to relax, de-stress and laugh. Often my girlfriends are my sounding-board and assist me with problem-solving and brain-storming. I couldn't make it through an hour or two in the office without them. They kept me sane through many a seemingly sans-sanity situation!

* Learning
- I learn so much from my girlfriends (and also from Girlfriendology Podcast guests!). My friends Katie and Angie are fashionistas so I'd often get style ideas and shopping pointers from them. Carole had been at the company much longer and understood a lot of the helpful history that was a great asset in strategizing and deciding the best course of action.

Dedication, passion, mentors ... so many things we learn from our girlfriends that easily apply to our business decisions and relationships. If Girlfriends ran businesses, it would be a friendly, social, successful and savvy world! So, what business lessons have you learned from your girlfriends?

Girlfriendology interview on SBTV.com

Connect with Girlfriendology on this interview on SBTV.com (Small Business Television)! Listen in as Girlfriendology founder, Debba Haupert (aka: me!) is interviewed on the online community for women called Girlfriendology, how I am using social/new media to marketing Girlfriendology and how my online girlfriends (and guyfriends) are helping me building this community based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of girlfriends.

Thanks SBTV.com! Check out the FULL interview at: http://www-sd.sbtv.com/

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Finding female friends when you move to a new city

Moving to a new city is tough. I know. I've done it over a dozen times. (Can you say various cities in OH, MN, TX, IN, NC, IL, AL, KY, FL and MI?!) And, I know that the biggest thing I miss when I've moved is my female friends - so it can be lonely (at first!).

So, a little girlfriend advice for moving and losing/finding female friends.

First, stay in touch with your female friends from where you lived previously. You moved so it is your responsibility to make the effort. It is great when they put an effort into staying in touch with you too, but don't lose those friendships because you lost touch with them. And, it will be wonderful to go back and visit with your old gal pals.

New friends in a new city can be a challenge. I worked in an office with all guys once and struggled with finding new female friends. Get active - in the community and physically. I started walking in my neighborhood, took classes (pottery, yoga, etc.) and took a book up to the neighborhood coffee shop. I had to pretend to be more outgoing than I am and ask other women I met for the best local stores or other advice on neighborhood things (new restaurants, upcoming events in the city, etc.). Ask your neighbors if there is a neighborhood book club. If not, start one!

Getting involved is a great way to make friends. Join a gym, volunteer with a local non-profit (often the Sunday paper lists volunteer opportunities), take a cooking class or sign up for a running group. Try the internet and social media ways to connect. Sign up for twitter and find/follow locals - ask them for things to do when you're new to town. Act like a tourist and spend weekends trying out local festivals, museums, parks. Join or plan a tweet-up to meet new people.

And don't discount older or younger women as possible girlfriends. They give a different perspective and can have fun ideas (and friends younger/older than them who would make great potential friends for you). Have fun exploring!

If you have any great girlfriend stories from your move and meeting new friends, please send them in to Girlfriendology.com (my female friendship site). Each month there is a contest for girlfriend stories and you might get some inspiration from the blog and podcasts.

p.s. I found some helpful moving info (and the photo above) at Moving Mage. Good luck girlfriend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

8 ways to encourage a friend, by Jon Swanson

Jon Swanson featured this list of eight ways to encourage a friend. (Love guys who recognize the importance and value of friendship - Jon, you rock!) Thanks to Jon for sharing his list:

1. Take a picture (of your friend, of the two of you, of a cow, of a sign). Print it out (snapfish, flickr, walgreens, your own printer). Write a note telling them specifically how they are making a difference in lives. Mail it to them.

2. When they are in the middle of a busy day, send them a text.

3. Remember their birthday (Facebook, your birthday email from last year).

4. Take five minutes and make a mindmap. Here’s what that is: Put their name in the middle of a piece of paper. Around it make five lists: odd things they do; ways they care about others; objects or activities they love most; things THEY want to do better (NOT what YOU want them to do better); people who speak well of them. Put this paper next to your computer and include items from it in your notes and emails and conversations with them. (It tells them you thought about them).

5. Gossip good about them to a mutual friend.

6. Forgive them (don’t tell them about it, just forgive them).

7. Reply to their emails, even if just to acknowledge receipt.

8. Never assume they know you care.

I love his ideas and encourage you to share more ways to encourage a friend! So girlfriends, how do you make your friend feel as special as her friendship is to you!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girlfriends ... Remember Who You Wanted To Be!

Why not remember who you wanted to be ... and then become that?! As girlfriends we have the opportunity to inspire, encourage and support each other in the journey of life as we hopefully strive for happiness and the possibility of being the person we wanted to be as a sweet, innocent child.

Listen in to the newest Girlfriendology podcast with JODY ENGLAND, from BuzZen for inspiration on how to achieve your goals and live your best life. Or as she describes it, experience what happens when the Law of Attraction meets Girls Night Out!

Have a perfect week. Make progress on your dreams and share the journey with a girlfriend.

p.s. For extra girlfriend support, Jody offered a two-month free membership in "The Hive" - the community of BuzZen girlfriends. Visit The Hive for your free membership.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with JODY ENGLAND, BuzZen Co-founder

It's no 'secret,' the Law of Attraction caused quite a buzzzzz a few years ago. Where did that energy go? How did/can women use the Law of Attraction to make 'real' changes in their lives?

JODY ENGLAND, co-founder of BuzZen, joined us on the latest Girlfriendology podcast to help us put the Law of Attraction in action! Hear how BuzZen provides community, conscious gifts and coaching - all key elements in making the rest of your life radically different than had you not heard the 'buzz.'

Jody studied the Law of Attraction and, along with her girlfriend Kim Yardlay, decided to make the Law of Attraction a reality for all of us who aspire to living life to our potential. A successful entrepreneur and former therapist, counseling at-risk families, children, and individuals, Jody has transformed her unique blend of experience as a leading voice in both the business world and the nonprofit arena, to empowering women to grant themselves permission to unlock their personal power.

Together Jody and Kim founded BuzZen. BuzZen is a company founded on the principles of contribution and inclusion, designed to appeal to women of all backgrounds, religions and ethnicities and welcome one and all. They believe that through connecting at our deepest level of “sister,” we are all empowered and enriched.

Before we share any more, let's look at these 'lessons from a girlfriend' from our podcast interview with Jody England of BuzZen:

* REAL CHANGE HAPPENS WITH GIRLFRIENDS - As Jody mentioned in the podcast, we can make change on our own but often it doesn't make a difference since there is no one to hold us accountable, encourage us and help us through the process. Unless, of course, you make the change in your life WITH your girlfriends. BuzZen does this by creating a program for small groups of women to go through the process in the BuzZen box and make the transformation together. (The BuzZen Box was featured in the Academy Award Nominee bags!)

* HAVE FUN! - I'll just stereotype here ... when women get together, we almost always have FUN! Of course the same is true for women in "The Hive" (the BuzZen community). Not metaphysical or magical, they're really all about the friendships and fun (oh, and bee-ing transformed which is a wonderful change to accomplish with your girlfriends!). As they describe it, it is like the Law of Attraction meets Girls Night Out!

* PUT THE LAW OF ATTRACTION TO ACTION - The popularity of 'The Secret' was made hugely popular on Oprah. It wasn't just the celebrity endorsement, the Law of Attraction is powerful - that is, if it is actually put into practice. So many of us didn't quite grasp how to use this way of manifesting our dreams into a real, day-to-day practice. BuzZen is a practical guide to putting the Law of Attraction into action in our lives on a daily basis. Now that's powerful!

Listen in to our wonderful conversation as we explore how the Law of Attraction is actually put into action to make a wonderful transformation in our lives. And, hear how having other women on the same journey can be part of 'The Hive' and inspire and challenge each other to reach greatness!

You can be part of the 'The Hive' too! Jody generously offered a free two month membership to 'The Hive' (the interactive online community of women BuzZen members!). So try it out and see what all the Buzzzz is about!

Thanks Jody! Check out BuzZen and I'll meet you at The Hive!

On our next podcast, the winners of the May Girlfriendology Contest share their inspiring stories! And, don't forget to enter the June Girlfriendology Contest! We have over 35 prizes and just ask for you to send a story about an amazing girlfriend or a friend who has gone out of her way for you to contest@girlfriendology.com or leave a message (with your email address spelled out) at 206-202-9005. Check out all the great prizes and send in your girlfriend story!

Spend time with the 'right ' Girlfriends!

Funny, but the more we explore 'girlfriendship,' the more we realize the value and importance of our friends. Whom we chose for friends and who we are as a friend, has wide impact on all aspects of our lives.

Read the following blog for Lessons Learned from Girlfriend podcast interview with DEBI SILBER. And, read this article that Debi shared with us:

Who You Spend Time With Determines How You Feel
by Debi Silber

Tell me who you spend your time with and I’ll tell you how you feel. Sounds impossible? It’s really not. You see, we often take on the feelings, behaviors and attitudes of those we spend time with. For example, let’s say you have a friend or coworker who’s always complaining. She’s speaks negatively about her body, her job, her relationships and her life. She looks forward to spending time with you because it gives her an opportunity to vent and find relief. Once she’s through, she feels lighter, freer and ready to go on with her day. She enjoys speaking to you because you’re a great listener, enabling her to be heard and valued. That works for her but how do you feel? Chances are you feel drained, deflated and uninspired. Although your intention was to be a good friend, once you became involved emotionally in your friends negativity, you were brought right down with her.

Now on the other hand, let’s say you have plans to see a friend who is lighthearted, enthusiastic and embraces life with eagerness and zest. Just thinking about this friend brings a smile to your face because you know you’ll be having fun and enjoying each other’s company. After your time together, you’re excited about the rest of your day. You want to capture every moment and see all the beauty that’s around you. Your friend may not have intentionally tried to alter your thinking but her positive approach and attitude was infectious.

Which person is better for your health? Studies show that positive thinkers have a 55% lower risk of death from all causes and 23% lower risk of death from heart failure. That’s not to say that the more positive person doesn’t experience anything unpleasant. In fact, the positive, optimistic person may have experienced more unfortunate situations than the negative, pessimistic person. The result of these experiences however leaves the positive thinker with a greater appreciation, perspective and sense of gratitude. They are grateful for what they see and have because they may have something less pleasant to compare it with. When they encounter a stressful situation, they look for ways to improve it versus letting it consume them. When a problem arises, they use it as an opportunity to find the most appropriate solution, rather than dwelling or magnifying all that’s gone wrong.

The negative person works much differently. They expect negative results and when it happens, it only confirms what they’d originally predicted. They’re more comfortable judging, gossiping or criticizing because putting others down offers them some relief from their pain. The negative person maintains the role of “victim” in a script she’s written for herself. She feels other’s are responsible for her “lot in life” and often uses it as an excuse to stay exactly where she is.

Within each of us is a broad range of emotions. An optimist doesn’t only experience joy and the pessimist doesn’t only experience negativity. It’s just that the optimist chooses to expect happiness, success and pleasure and as a result, that’s what they find. The pessimist chooses to replay negative thoughts which lead to negative results. It’s a choice. We choose how we want to think, feel and act. Although we may be conditioned to think or react a certain way, if we don’t like the results it is our choice to change. That’s why if we’re working towards changing the way we think, feel and react, it’s important to be careful about the people you’re spending your time with. Look for like minded people who support, encourage and inspire you. Limit your time with people who drain, upset and frustrate you.

This is your life. You are the driver of your car on the road to fulfillment, greater purpose and happiness. While there may be many detours, you have the power to steer yourself in whichever direction you choose to go. If you want to feel good, steer yourself towards an optimistic perspective and let your relationships support your cause. If you choose pessimism, misery loves company and you’ll find many people welcoming you into their negative club. Life is a journey and we don’t travel alone. Who are you bringing on your ride?

Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach and the President of Lifestyle Fitness, Inc. For nearly 20 years, Debi’s worked exclusively with moms to encourage them to become fit, healthy and happy through gradual, lifestyle change. Debi’s also known as “The Mojo Coach” because she inspires and empowers overweight, overwhelmed and unfit moms to “get their mojo back!” For more information on the Lifestyle Fitness Program, please visit Lifestyle Fitness Inc.


Thanks Debi for the great podcast interview and your inspiring article and book. And thanks for positively impacting our mojo!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lessons from a Girlfriend - Podcast with DEBI SILBER, 'the Mojo Coach'

Stress, work, life, hormones, finances, health, weight, relationships ... so many elements affect our 'mojo.' Thankfully we have our girlfriends to help us adjust it and bring up our mojo when we can't do that on our own.

DEBI SILBER, MS, RD, WHC is a Registered Dietitian with a Master's degree in Nutrition Science. She's a certified personal trainer, whole health coach, lifestyle expert JUST FOR MOMS and busy mom of four children. Debi has been working exclusively with moms for nearly 20 years, inspiring them to achieve greater health, fitness, wellness and happiness through her Lifestyle Fitness Program. (Check out her new book, The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best!) She's known as "The Total Mojo Coach" because it's her mission, passion and greatest thrill to inspire unfit, overweight and overwhelmed moms to get their mojo back!

In our podcast with Debi, I had to access my mojo and what areas of my life aren't in sync with my goals and supporting the life I want to live. Listen to Debi's podcast to track your mojo and hear these 'lessons from a girlfriend:'

* LIVE YOUR BEST WHOLE LIFE - Debi takes a holistic approach to life - physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, fitness and stress control. Debi gives a great example about six holes in a bucket and how each one needs to be filled. She helps women look at all the areas of our lives that need to be in balance for a healthy, happy life.

* REALISTIC & DO-ABLE - As a mother of four kids (and four dogs) and a Whole Health Coach, Debi understands my and your situation. No more "you just don't understand" excuses - Debi understands. In the 20 years that she's worked with busy moms, Debi knows the challenges and struggles but, fortunately for us, she has 'do-able' solutions for every lifestyle and situation.

* GIRLFRIENDS LEARN FROM EACH OTHER - Debi has learned from the moms she has worked with, as they have learned from her. This podcast hopefully introduces some ideas to positively impact your mojo. (It did mine!) I'm just thankful for inspiring girlfriends like Debi who are there helping us "become the woman we always hoped we would be." (As Debi shared in our podcast.)

Actually, I could go on and on about lessons learned from Debi but I think you'll learn your own lessons from Debi's site, her unique charity and Debi's book.

Thanks Debi for the great podcast interview and for inspiring us to take charge of our mojo (and sharing the tools to do that!). I love how you inspire women to change their lifestyle to look, feel and live their best!

Body Image - How can we be better friends to ourselves? Other women and girls?

Do you remember when you were a teen? Did you have issues with being seen in a bathing suit? I did, so when I read the following blog on Busy Mom's Blog, I thought it would be a great blog to share on Girlfriendology. (And am including it with author Esa's approval.)*

With Memorial Day coming up, J and I invited some close friends and their kids (who are also H's close friends) to come over to the house to swim and grill out. We've had a pool for about 6 years, and have great memories of the kids having a blast in the water while the parents get together at the same time. This year, the mom of one of H's best friends said her daughter doesn't want to swim. When I asked why, she said it was because she doesn't want to wear a bathing suit in public. That breaks my heart.

I remember eighth grade as being probably the most awkward year for me, appearance wise, and I can see that in H's friends as well. Not that they look bad, it's just the year that their bodies change drastically from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Their skin goes crazy, their bodies grow like never before, and clothes don't fit the same way that they have for most of their lives. H had difficulty with the size NUMBER, when she outgrew some of her jeans and we went shopping for new ones. This is a scary time for me, as a mom. I want to teach H how to eat right, exercise, and stay healthy, but I want to avoid things like this short video...

Despite fears of diminishing influence over their children's lives, research shows that parents continue to be essential role models, in both positive and negative ways. A 1991 Yale study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, found that women who began dieting at early ages were more likely to have daughters who would engage in binging or have problems with eating. These mothers were also more likely than other women to agree, when asked, that their daughters should lose weight.

"It's my impression that parents are not sending negative messages deliberately. They're doing it unconsciously," says Debra Franko, PhD, director of the Harvard Eating Disorders Unit at Harvard Medical School. "A mother might say, 'Oh, these pants used to fit last winter and now they're too tight.' The mother doesn't have a sense that she's saying anything wrong, but that statement, in combination with all the other messages a child is getting, might leave an impression that how you look means a great deal."

"I wouldn't tell a child that appearance doesn't matter, because in our society it does," says Rebecca Manley, director of the Massachusetts Eating Disorders Association. "But it's about looking at what (qualities or attributes) you do have, and focusing on those things."

So, what are we supposed to say as parents, when our daughters try to wear the jeans that "used to fit" and now are too tight? What do we say when they say they want to "firm up" a little for the swimsuit season? Should we give them advice on making good food choices, or portion sizes, or should we try to change the subject, and say they're fine as they are, go ahead and eat that jumbo sized muffin at Panera?

I know there is a a happy medium in there somewhere. I have been super-cautious as H grows up not to let her see ME obsess about weight, or exercise, although I'm sure she sees it subliminally. I've tried not to tell her that any food is BAD, but to balance out nutritious food with the sugary, fatty stuff that bombards them every day.

I read countless articles that say to teach our girls to "celebrate their bodies individual strengths and vitalities, regardless of dress size", and that "numbers on a scale or jean size or breadth of their hips must not determine their self-esteem". That's all well and good, but when every TV show, magazine article, and teen movie shows girls who look like Barbie dolls, those ideals just kind of seem like empty words.

I hope H's friend changes her mind and swims on Memorial Day. I want to see her beautiful smile, laughing with her friends and enjoying an afternoon of fun.
* What does this have to do with 'girlfriends?'
LOTS. Girlfriends, at every age in our life, impact our self esteem, body image, vocabulary, ambitions ... so much of whom we are. When we are young, like these teenage girls going to the pool, we can accept ourselves and our friends, or we made poor decisions and comparisons. Unfortunately this doesn't end in our youth, we carry our opinions and attitudes with us to our friends as we grow and even pass it along to our girlfriends and daughters.

Past podcasts with ROSIE MOLINARY (author of Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image and Growing up Latina), emotional eating expert, ELLEN SHUMAN and as our latest podcast guest, DEBI SILBER, all gave expert, knowledgeable, educated confirmation on the role that girlfriends have in our self acceptance and body image.

Be a girlfriend to your girlfriends, your daughters, yourself. Love yourself, love others. Don't judge or stand by when others do. I don't want to sound preachy. I just want to learn from others and be more accepting of myself and others. I want to go back and be the chubby girl in the bathing suit my mother made that had enough fabric to cover up me and a few others - but this time to be okay with who I was and who I became. I want to be a better girlfriend to my friends and to myself.

Thanks Esa for sharing and inspiring. And thanks to my girlfriends for accepting me as I am and for showing me that you love me, just as I am.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

NEW PODCASTS - Carrie Runnals and Marybeth Bond

I'm on the road right now (lovely storms over Milwaukee today, I was in a Beading show locked in the convention center!) and unfortunately the audio files for the newest podcast didn't travel quite so well. So, come back on Wed. evening when I'm sure we'll be back in business for the inspiring video with DEBI SILBER, the Mojo Coach. Get your Mojo Meter rising!

But, neverfear! We have posted two new and improved versions of previous podcasts. (The audio/intro were improved so it is much better listening - listen in to hear for yourself!) So, if you haven't heard them or if it has been a little while, come get some inspiring from these amazing girlfriend authors and experts:

* CARRIE RUNNALS - Founder of Words To Mouth, a website with book reviews and behind the scenes chats with great authors. Carrie is also one of the Diva Cast, a podcast with five, fun, fabulous, forty-something friends who share their lives and laughs with thousands of online girlfriends!

- Author of The Gusty Traveler and several other women's travel books talked with us on the growth of women's travel and fun ideas for girlfriend get-aways.

Listen in! And come back next week for Debi and her wellness plan that can make your life, health and mojo better!

June PRIZES - Lots! Like the May Girlfriendology Contest Prizes!

* CONTEST: Share a girlfriend story via email, leaving a message at 206-202-9005 (be sure to spell out your email address!) or on the Girlfriendology Contest Form.

* PRIZES: We have over 30 books to award for prizes in June, in addition to the five $10 Starbucks giftcards (to take you and your girlfriend out for coffee on Girlfriendology) and the Girlfriendology Journal. Winners will be established by a drawing of all contest responses. And, drumroll please! The PRIZES are:

* Twenty Wishes - a wonderful, inspiring book by mega author DEBBIE MACOMBER. (I just read it and it was the reason the last newsletter took so long to get out to you - I had to finish the book first!)
* Comfort Food - a new novel by KATE JACOBS (author of The Friday Night Knitting Club) and a lovely story of a cooking channel chef and her adventures with food, family and friends.
* Trust Me - the new romantic thrilled by BRENDA NOVAK. First in 'The Last Stand' trilogy , follow these female friends though crimes, investigations and, of course, some romance.
* JumpStart the Art: The Art of Losing It - audio book by J.J. VIRGIN. Inspiration on The Art of Losing It! Mastering Weight Loss in an Expanding World.
* BBQ Cookbooks - A BIG and little (perfect size for a gift!) book so of Barbecue by the BBQ Queens themselves, KAREN ADLER and JUDITH FRETIG.
* BuzZen - The Law of Attraction meets Girls Night Out! Written by JODY ENGLAND, this book will bring your and your girlfriends, and you and your dreams, closer!

All these amazing authors have graciously given their time recently for podcast interviews! Listen in for wonderful women inspiration! Thanks Kate, Debbie, Brenda and upcoming interviews with J.J., Jody and Karen!

So, send in your girlfriend story NOW for one of our over-a-prize-a-day prizes!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Girlfriends ... Pursue Thy Dreams!

Just a little Friday bumper sticker wisdom. As girlfriends we are here to support each other in pursuing our dreams. What do your girlfriends dream of doing and how can you cheer them on? Have you called lately to check in on a friend and her wishes? (Like the wishes in the Twenty Wishes book in our June Girlfriendology Contest and recent podcast with author Debbie Macomber!)

What have you done lately to go after your dreams? Shared your goals with a girlfriend?

Forsake your inhibitions and pursue your dreams!
And, encourage, support and celebrate your girlfriend's going after their dreams as well. Reaching for your dreams together can change your whole life! Dream BIG girlfriends!


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p.s. And don't forget to check out my designer superstar girlfriend JILL MACKAY and her wonderful jewelry! And listen in to the podcast where Jill interviewed me and I turned it around and did a little interviewing as well!