Wednesday

Top 3 Grammatical Mistakes in the World of E-Communication - Are You Guilty?


Let's face it, dumb is a turn off, so before you send another txt or bbm to that hot guy, read this Savvy City Girl's take on the biggest e-communication blunders. I've pinpointed the problem and provided easy fixes to each.


Easy Grammar Guidelines To Help You Sound As Smart As You Are


Will see what happens.
Their doing fine.
Your right about that!


UGH!


In the world of email, texting and social media, now more than ever our grammar and writing is out there on display for everyone to see. It used to be that just our professors, co-workers, subordinates or bosses knew about our little grammatical shortcomings. But that's no longer the case. Personally, I am amazed at how many intelligent, educated, successful people out there make mistakes that would get a fifth grader a big red mark in writing workshop.


What gives? It seems to this SCG that it's the CONTRACTION that is messing everyone up. So, I pulled together the TOP 3 MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE USING CONTRACTIONS. I also outlined an EASY FIX for each, so savvy city girls won’t ever be guilty of making them again.


1) they're vs. there


they’re – a contraction of they are (example: they are doing fine = they’re doing fine)

their – a possessive pronoun (example: their dogs are doing fine)


Let’s use them both in one sentence: They’re doing fine taking care of their dogs.


EASY FIX: Stop contracting they are. Just write it out until you are sure you have it right. Or apply this easy test - if they are doesn’t work in your sentence, then it's either their or there that you are looking for.


2) we’ll vs. will


we’ll – a contraction of we will (example: we will see how things turn out = we’ll see how things turn out)


will – a verb or auxiliary verb to be used with a noun or pronoun; also a noun, but not for our purposes here (example: they will be going to the store so you will have to be patient)


EASY FIX: used as a verb (action or state of existence), will always needs a noun (person, place, thing) or pronoun (a replacement of a noun with general reference), which means you should never use will alone unless you are using it as noun (as in Last Will and Testament).

Note: will can be contracted with just about any pronoun (she will = she’ll; he will = he’ll; they will = they’ll; I will = I’ll; you will = you’ll; who will = who’ll) but only causes problems when contracted with we to make we’ll. That's because we’ll and will sound so much alike. Making a habit of pronouncing them correctly is a helpful reminder. Again, if you can’t keep them straight, stop contracting or use the easy fix above.


3) you’re vs. your


you’re – a contraction of you are (example: you are absolutely right = you’re absolutely right)


your – a possessive pronoun (I saw your dog wearing your shoes and your hat)

In the same sentence: You’re right, it wasn’t your dog!


EASY FIX: This one is so simple, but so many people get it wrong. If you are not sure which one to use do the you are test. If you are doesn’t work, it’s your.

Thursday

Savvy Hair Care: 5 Habits For Healthier Hair

Between the heat of hairstyling tools and the chemicals found in coloring and hair products, most women wreak havoc on their hair by stripping it of its naturals oils. After years of hair abuse, we are left with dry, brittle and dull manes instead of the healthy, soft and shiny ones mother nature intended us to have.
By making good hair care a habit, you can get the beautiful, healthy hair you've always wanted and deserve. Here are this Savvy City Girl's 5 HABITS FOR HEALTHIER HAIR:

1 Lay Off the Shampoo

Washing your hair everyday is way too drying and doesn't allow time for the natural oils - the ones your hair loves - to work their magic. Shampoo your hair every other day max. If you can go 2 days between washings, even better. Pin your hair up during your morning shower and keep it dry. If you think you hair gets too oily at the roots, pick up a Dry Shampoo (check out College Fashion's top 5 recommendations for every hair type and budget here) and use as directed. When you do wash, one shampoo is enough, never 'repeat'.

2 Cool It on the Heat

When blow drying your locks, you probably automatically set your hairdryer to the hottest setting, thinking that is the most efficient and fastest way to get your hair dry and get you out the door. But the truth is, taking the temperature down to the WARM setting will dry your hair in the same amount of time without scorching it. It'll work for straightening and smoothing curly or frizzy hair as well. And turning the heat down will leave your hair feeling smoother, softer and will do considerably less damage.

3 Make the Cut

If you blow dry, flat iron or use multiple styling products, you should be getting a trim every 6-8 weeks. Especially if you keep your hair long or are trying to grow your hair longer. The average head of hair will grow about 1/2" inch a month, so a 1/2" trim off the ends will still leave you with 1/2" of new growth to work with. Start with a fresh cut and make sure your stylist gets rid of all of the damaged ends. Then book your appointment for a trim in 6-8 weeks right there on the spot.

4 Hold Off on the Highlights


Highlighting your hair every 6-8 weeks at the sight of new growth is color overkill. Get your highlight habit under control by alternating a root flash with each highlighting process. For a flash, your colorist will use your base color on the roots for the full process time, and just before rinsing will pull the color through your hair to the ends. During the summer consider alternating 2 root flashes with each highlight process. It'll save your hair and save you money.

5 Trust Your Genes

It's not just the color, texture and amount of hair on our heads to that we are genetically predisposed to. Our hair length is dependent on our rate of hair growth (average is 1/2" per month) and the length of the active growth stage (anywhere from 2-6 years). So even if don't cut your hair or have any breakage, your hair will grow to a predetermined length based on those two factors. At the end of the growth cycle, the hair is shed and the whole process begins again. Determine what your maximum hair length is, and work with that when selecting a style.

Monday

Savvy Skin Care: UV Protection - 5 Ways To Save Your Skin


















The Spring/Summer fashion season has always been my favorite of the year. The light weight, barely there fabrics in candy colors have always set my heart a flutter.


But as the amount and weight of the clothing we wear during the warmer seasons decreases, our skins exposure to damaging and cancer causing UV rays increases. And for SCGs, the warmer months mean more time outside soaking up that urban mojo.

Here are 5 simple things you can do to keep your skin safe and sound whether you're heading to work, jogging in the park or having brunch with your gal pals at your fave outdoor spot.

1 Wash In UV Protection
Laundry additive SunGuard, a revolutionary approach to UV protection, when added to your wash will add the sunscreen Tinosorb(R)FD right into your clothing. Let's take your average white cotton T-Shirt that has Ultraviolet Protection Factor (or UPF) of 7. Add SunGuard to your wash, and the same white T's UPF jumps to 30. And it last for 20 washes. Talk about a safe, easy and economical way to protect your skin.

2 Daily SPF
Keeping your skin soft and hydrated is a no brainer for any SCG during the colder months. But your skins needs change with warmer seasons. Make sure you upgrade both your face and body moisturizer to your favorite brand with SPF 15 or higher. If it comes with a tint, so much the better - it'll add a healthy, natural glow to your skin.

3 Get a Sunless Tan
The technology behind sunless tanners has come a long way in the last 5 years. You can get a streak free, natural looking tan without ever exposing your delicate skin to harmful UV rays. The best news is sunless tanners are available for all skin types. Make sure you grab a non-rinse version, with SPF 15 or higher and exfoliate before using.

4 Pass On The Spray
You've seen him, you know you have. The guy who sprayed on the sunscreen in a what looks like a Pucci print. And burned in a Pucci print. Sunscreens in aerosol spray cans are all about convenience. But fact is there isn't anything convenient about a sunburn. Especially when you consider that five or more sunburns doubles your risk of developing melanoma. And the guy with the Pucci tan? Yeah, he's going to have that all summer. From one SCG to another - skip this one.

5 Sunscreen Like You Mean It
Seriously. Treat yourself to a yummy smelling, moisturizing and fast drying sunscreen. Something that makes you feel delicious. Anytime you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, use it. Slather it on, making sure to hit every inch of your exposed skin. Or get your guy to help. And re-apply after swimming, sweating or just for the hell of it. C'mon, it's sexy, smart and your skin deserves it. (Check out Savvy Skin for some great sunscreen ideas, like the Sephora Sun Safety Kit. Cost $25.)

Savvy and Cheap Eats in San Francisco Compliments of SF Food Dude


Planning a trip to San Francisco? If you're a Savvy City Girl hitting "The Sanctuary City for the Rich" whether for work or pleasure, you'll want to have some great go-to ideas for economical great eats.

Meet The San Fransisco Food Dude, a passionate, savvy and obsessively anonymous foodie who "is all about finding quality food that won’t break your bank in San Francisco." When it comes to finding delish economical eats, he's done all the work for you. The perfect dude for any SCG.

MILLER'S EAST COAST DELI
Just because you're in San Francisco doesn't mean you can't get an authentic East Coast style deli sandwich, knish or kreplak. Robby Morganstein at Miller's East Coast Deli, 1275 Polk Street, brings East Coast street food to The City by the Bay
with all of the mouthwatering classics, all reasonably priced.




THE FOOD COURT AT SAN FRANCISCO CENTRE

If you're in San Francisco on business, there's a good chance you'll find yourself at the Mascone Center, the city's largest conference center located in notably one of the most expensive areas of the city to dine. If so, let SF Food Dude guide you a quick block and a half away to the Food Court at San Francisco Centre, 865 Market Street, Concourse Level for bargain priced quality food.




NOE VALLEY FARMERS MARKET
Looking for some top notch California grown organic produce while in San Francisco? Check out the Noe Valley Farmers Market at 3826 24th Street every Saturday, 8 am - 1 pm.



Want more great ideas for economical eats in San Fran, check out www.fooddudesf.com for where to go and what to eat.

Tuesday

Looking for Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas?

In case you haven't heard, Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9th. That doesn't leave a busy SCG who hasn't already found that perfect Mother's Day gift much time. To help out, I've scoured the web for gifts and put together a few sites that are guaranteed to have exactly what you need.

MXYPLYZYK Lives up to its claim of toting "a quirky mix of well designed but affordable items from around the world." Fun and kitschy to classy and cool - you won't find this amazing selection anywhere else.


Tech-Grass Charging Station For moms who love green but don't love charging cords. When she's not charging her cell, iPod or camera, she has a cute little patch of indoor green.
$28






Bath Tub Caddy Includes 2 wine glasses, candle and book holders, for a long and relaxing soak.
$65





Mille Fiori Artistic, creative and always unexpected
. Their loyal clientele list reads like an A-list party guest list. And this Mother's Day, they'll work for you too.



Bouquets These over-the-top beautiful arrangements will make mom gasp. Starting at $65






Gift Ideas Original, personalized perfection, Mille Fiori delivers your gift to you wishes. And they deliver internationally. Who could ask for more? Call for pricing (212) 714-2202





All Modern
Known for its furniture and lighting, www.allmodern.com carries amazing accessories from some of the world's top designers. And when you're done shopping for mom, you may want to look at some home furnishings ideas for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

Blomus Esto Finger Food Set, 7 Piece Porcelein bowls and plates sit atop a stainless steel tray, making serving guests a stylish breeze.
$44.45 each





MENU Henriette Melchiorsen Rubber Vase This funky, functional rubber vase is the perfect gift for any mom with small children. Available in a rainbow of thoroughly modern colors.
$29.90 each








Uncommon Goods A wide selection of gifts, you can "find anything but ordinary." With so many options you're sure to find one mom will love.


Sky Planters An innovative alternative to mom's plant hangers.
$35 each








Gardener's Sea
t With Bag Perfect for the mom who loves her garden.
$28







Friday

Savvy Tip: Spring Clean Your Personal Life

If you're anything like me, your annual "spring cleaning" has become more than just a seasonal pastime. As a Savvy City Girl, clearing out the clutter in my home is a ritual of wiping away the proverbial cob webs and setting the stage for rebirth through reorganizing, rethinking, and getting rid of those things that are no longer working in my life. Skipping a spring cleaning will inevitably lead to the accumulation of the unwanted and unnecessary.
As women, we excel at being attentive to our physical surroundings, and spring is always a wonderful time to think about reinventing oneself, physically and spiritually. But without the sanctuary of sound and meaningful personal relationships, we are selling ourselves short on the happiness we deserve.

For many women, diligence to our personal relationships is often overlooked. We don't see the repercussions and damage conflict in our day-to-day relationships are causing to our spirits and well being. We often feel guilty when we aren't getting along famously with someone in our personal lives. We even blame ourselves when things go awry with the professionals whom we pay for personal services.

This season, treat yourself to a fresh start by spring cleaning your personal life with Dump 'Em: How to Break Up with Anyone from Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser by Jodyne L. Speyer (HarperCollins 2009). In this funny, insightful and fast paced book, Speyer will guide you step by step through processes that will help you to graciously put an end to those personal relationships that are no longer meeting your expectations. The operative word being "graciously".

When it comes to discontentment in your personal relationships, if you feel like a well kept "Welcome" sign doormat, or a volatile firing squad taking aim at the intolerable, Dump 'Em is for you. It will help you clearly express your disappointment, and tactfully end any personal relationship in a professional yet empathetic manner, leaving you feeling empowered and liberated. So you can get on with your fabulous life.

Thursday

Go Green for Earth Day: 10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Live Greener

Over 140 countries around the globe celebrated EARTH DAY on April 22nd. For all of you Savvy City Girls, being green doesn't mean you have to trade in your pumps for a pair of Birkenstocks. There are easy ways for busy urban women to make a huge impact on the environment by taking some very small steps.


Here are 10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now To Live Greener that are so simple and effective, you can't NOT do them. Start today and cut back on your energy consumption and waste production, show your love for the planet, and live a greener life.


1 Take the Stairs

Small steps make a big difference. As an urbanite, taking the stairs is one of the simplest lifestyle changes you can make that impacts both energy usage and your health. If you work in a office building, consider making the trip down the stairs for lunch part of your daily work routine. At home, make taking the stairs a family affair, especially when heading down to the lobby.


2 Keep Your Kitchen Green

In addition to buying organic, there are small, common sense things you can do in the kitchen to reduce your energy usage AND be a more efficient cook:

  • keep your metal burners clean so they work more efficiently
  • turn burners from high to medium when boiling pasta
  • use a lid to keep heat from escaping
  • use rice cookers and Dutch ovens - they're more efficient
  • thaw frozen foods before cooking them
3 Say Hello to the Market Tote

Keeping a reusable shopping bag in your handbag and using it each time you shop will save between 400-500 plastic bags a year. Talk about a no brainer! Not convinced plastic bags are a problem? Check out these Twenty-five Reasons to Go Reusable.



Here are some fun Market Totes on
Etsy.com:


4 Hoof It to the Market

Fresh Direct is a model of the conveniences we city dwellers adore. And while their trucks run on biodeisel fuel, they still double park on city streets, contributing to increased congestion, which in turns adds the to fuel consumption of every other (non-biodeisel) vehicle on the road. And don't forget the noise pollution. Be kind to your neighborhood and your neighbors, walk to the local market for your grocery needs.


5 Load up the Dishwasher for a Greener Clean

A European Comparison of Cleaning Dishes by Hand study done at the University of Bonn, Germany revealed that hand washing dishes uses 6 times more water and 2 times as much energy as a dishwasher. Hand washing dishes also uses considerably more soap than a dishwasher. So rinse, load and run.


6 Cut Out the Meat 1 Day a Week

Did you know that 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the livestock industry? Consider cutting meat out of your diet 1 day a week. It'll do every-body good.


7 Get off the Treadmill and Get Outdoors

Have you ever considered that running on a treadmill uses more energy than just that of the machine? There's the TV you watch to save your sanity while running in place facing a window or wall, the lighting, and the A/C that is needed to cool down the space because the extra heat being produced by you, the treadmill, TV and lighting. When you pile on all of the factors surrounding treadmill use at the gym or even at home, it starts to add up in CO2 emissions, especially for you faithful runners. This spring, get out of the gym and get outdoors to your favorite park, path, or neighborhood.


8 Water 101: Tap, Filter and

Pour

Americans throw away an astounding 2.5 million plastic bottles in an hour. This year, put an end to your participation in the plastic bottle dilemma by purchasing a filtered pitcher and reusable stainless steel water bottle. Fill your pitcher with tap water, keep it in the fridge, and use it to fill your stainless steel bottle to take with you on the go.


9 Go Green TV: LCD over Plasma

Plasma is a bit of a power hog,

eating up to twice as much energy as a LCD model of the same size. Plasma TVs also produce more heat, so you'll be turning up the A/C in the warmer months and consuming more energy. For the most green TVs keep an eye out in 2011 for OLEDs in sizes that make sense for TV viewing. In the meantime, stick to LCD models.


10 Bring a Mug to Work

Bring a reusable mug or glass to work and use it every time you head to the watercooler or coffee maker. And lay off the disposable cups once and for all.



Tuesday

Great Gift Ideas for Administrative Professionals Day

In the US, National Administrative Professionals week is April 18-24, with Administrative Professionals Day on Wednesday, April 21st. As tempting as it may be to give a gift certificate from Barnes & Noble or make a call into 1-800-FLOWERS, please don't! This year, set yourself apart by showing your administrative assistant your appreciation with a gift that is a little more personal.

Whether you're just starting out or are the hea
d honcho of the office, you'll definitely want to check out Etsy.com for handmade, one of a kind gifts that fit every personality and budget. Get moving today, and you can still place your order online, and get it delivered in time.

Here are my top Administrative Professionals Week gift ideas from
Etsy.com:

For the gadget lover:
Pictured: Nook, Kindle or Sony Reader Cover by Elizabeth David Designs; iPad Sleeve by byrdandbelle

For the hip computer geek:

Pictured: Computer Key Push Pins by redesignedbyk; Circuit Board Pen by creativebark


For the fashion minded:

Pictured: Copper Falls necklace by carolina bleu Infinity Scarf by Necklush

For the gal who loves to cook:


Pictured: Retro Chic Apron by SugarPieChic

For the hobbyist:


Pictured: Sterling Silver Charms by SilverCityBeads

For the yoga lover: