1.Ask yourself what makes her, and the time you spend together, special.
2.Think about the specific changes you hope will occur in the relationship if she agrees to become your girlfriend.
3.Be clear about what it means to you to have a girlfriend and what your expectations are concerning mutually exclusive dating, living together or other issues that are important to you.
4.Prepare to communicate why you are seeking and offering a bigger commitment to your relationship at this time.
5.Find an intimate setting for your discussion.
6.Let your date know in advance that you want to discuss how each of you is feeling about the other. Be clear so she knows that you don't want to break up - and that you're not proposing marriage yet, either.
7.Make her, and yourself, as comfortable as possible. Encourage her to express her feelings without pressuring her to make a decision.
8.Give her time to reflect on your immediate future.
9.Keep your fingers crossed and your options open.
Try not to stress out about asking her to be your girlfriend. Although this is an important step, you can still be lighthearted in your approach.
Do your part to ensure that each of you feels heard, understood and respected no matter what the outcome.
Warnings: If she doesn't share your feelings - whether she wanted more or less from your current arrangement - one or both of you may be very disappointed, frustrated or hurt. Give each other time and space to at least remain civil, if not friendly or maybe even friends.
1.Gently gather the reins toward you, taking up the slack.
2.Squeeze both legs against the sides of the horse, behind the girth, and push your hips forward at the same time.
3.Relax the pressure of your legs when the horse responds, and move your hands forward slightly to prevent jerking on the horse's mouth.
4.Relax and follow the movement of the horse as you sit tall in the saddle.
Keep your legs under you, not too far forward or back, and your feet parallel to the horse's sides. Do not stick out your toes.
Keep your heels down and your arms, wrists and fingers relaxed.
Always wear a hard hat and proper riding boots when you ride.
Avoid riding alone.
Warnings: Horseback riding is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity.
1.Know that play kitchens are wonderful toys that encourage creativity in young children of any age. They are appropriate for both girls and boys.
2.Notice that Fisher-Price has two types of kitchens available.
3.Consider the Water Magic Kitchen. This toy is perfect if the child lives in an apartment or other smaller housing, because it is not freestanding like most other kitchens. It is designed to fit on a small tabletop.
4.Understand that the Water Magic kitchen requires the use of at least half a cup of water. The water bubbles in the pot on the stove. A drop of water makes the grill sizzle, and water is pumped into the sink when the faucet is used.
5.Know that this play kitchen, priced at about $30, includes a plate, bowl, knife, fork, pan, spatula, ladle, steak, eggs, bacon and alphabet noodles.
6.Purchase the Shop & Cook Kitchen for a child who has more space available - if you can find one. Production of this award-winning model was discontinued in March 2000 and will be replaced with the Cook 'n Clean Kitchen and the Talking Chef Kitchen in the fall of 2000.
7.Recognize that the Shop & Cook Kitchen is sure to be hit, because one side of it is a grocery store while the other side is a kitchen.
8.Note that children can shop for food at the store, where there is a cash register and shelving, and then cook in the kitchen with the oven, range top, sink and dishwasher.
9.Know that this kitchen set includes a plate, cup, knife, fork, spoon, phone, pan, coffeepot, spatula, four coins and a menu.
1..Notice that the Shop & Cook Kitchen is 42 inches tall and was sold for about $60. Some toy stores still have them in stock, or look for one that's second-hand.
Pass on the Water Magic Kitchen if you don't want to clean up spilled water from the floor or table.
Purchase some Fisher-Price play food or another brand of play food to accompany the kitchen you select. A variety of play food is available from Fisher Price. Each set costs about $5.
Add some dishes to the kitchen.
Additional Water Magic items cost about $9 each.
1.Use bribery. Everybody has a price, and if you're living in a ski town, chances are that price will be low. Sometimes a six-pack or a pizza will suffice.
2.Ask a friend who's injured and can't ski anyway. The downside of asking an injured friend is it may seem like you're rubbing the injury in his or her face. Your friend would most certainly prefer skiing rather than nursing a bum knee.
3.Plead ever so nicely with your significant other. While a friend can turn you down with no hesitation, your significant other may consider the possibility of attaining a favor to be cashed in later.
4.Find somebody who doesn't ski or snowboard but likes hanging out with skiers and snowboarders. Word of warning: Any person who thinks that conversations peppered with "Dude, that line was sick" are normal and doesn't ski may have some other issues.
5.Rotate drivers. If there's enough people crammed into the vehicle, you'll only have to drive every third or fourth run.
If and when you find a driver, don't refer to him or her as the shuttle bunny within hearing distance. You could wind up with an upset friend and, just as bad, no driver.
Thank the shuttle bunny profusely. Driving around crazed snow sliders so they can get their fix takes a kind soul with plenty of patience.
1.Purchase or make envelopes to fit your cards.
2.Cover work area with newspaper.
3.Use blank cards or card paper that does not have a smooth, shiny side. The paper will better absorb the paint.
4.Cut sponges to desired shape or buy precut shapes.
5.Pour paint into a flat lid or pan for easy dipping.
6.Use a damp sponge.
7.Lightly blot sponge on pan or paper towel to remove excess paint.
8.Press sponge flat onto card. Do not move sponge or the image will smear.
9.Lift sponge straight up.
1..Let paint dry completely before embellishing your sponge design.
Dip a child's hand or foot into paint and press to card. Read "How to Finger Paint" for an angel made from handprints.
The flat craft sponge blanks are easy to cut. They will "puff" when placed in water.
Where to Shop
1.Go to a reputable piano and keyboard dealer if you are looking for competent help.
2.Check out the big chain stores such as Wal-Mart or K-Mart if you are looking for bargain prices, but don't expect any advice from the sales representatives other than guiding you to the right aisle.
3.Buy mail order or from a Web-based dealer if you know exactly what you want and you don't need to try before you buy.
How to Buy
4.Take your time shopping. Don't be rushed into any purchase.
5.Find a sales representative who can explain all the buttons to you. Don't give in to "techno-intimidation" because you don't want to look stupid!
6.Ask the sales representative to get the owner's manual so that you can simulate the learning experience you would have at home.
7.Find out whether the keyboard is configured in a user-friendly fashion. Spend some time fiddling with the controls.
What to Look For
8.Find out whether the keyboard is touch-sensitive (see Glossary). Keep in mind that it is impossible to play a piano musically when the notes don't get softer or louder depending on touch.
9.Make sure the keyboard screen is easy to read and large enough to clearly spell out what function you are using.
1..Determine whether you like the keyboard's sounds. You will usually have plenty of electronically produced sounds to choose from, and you want to make sure that they don't drive you crazy during extended use.
1..Check whether the auto-accompaniment (see Glossary) provides the musical styles you like. Pick and play the styles you will use most heavily. Make sure the auto-accompaniment is flexible enough. Ask whether you can easily change the tempo and the key you're playing in.
1..Play the built-in demo songs to test the overall sound.
1..Make sure there are left-hand controls that you can use to determine the chords played in specific style arrangements. The better keyboards will give you several choices to do so.
1.Contact Polish relatives or Polish pen pals via the Internet. Ask how they celebrate Christmas and to share their memories of Christmases past.
2.Read stories about Christmas in Poland and share these with your family. Some Polish tales describe the story of Christ's birth in a Polish setting.
3.Buy recordings of Polish Christmas carols ("koledy"). Polish carols, usually based on lively folk tunes, incorporate folklore, legends and religion. Popular Polish carols include "Midst Quiet Night" and "Let Us All Go."
4.Send Polish-language Christmas cards. Wish friends and relatives a "Wesolych Swiat" (Merry Christmas) via e-mail with a Polish Christmas card at Polish World.com (see Related Sites). Or find Polish cards in specialty stores or catalogues, or on the Web.
5.Celebrate Christmas Eve ("Wigilia") with a traditional tree trimming, 12-course dinner and gift exchange.
6.Compile a folder of Polish traditions, folklore, song lyrics, holiday recipes and stories.
Tips: Peruse the Related Sites, which provide great information about Polish holiday traditions, to find links for ordering Polish recordings, foods, books and other materials.
1.Select a guidebook with a distinct focus on the intricacies of your destination area. Make sure the guidebook covers food, drink and lodging as well as sights and tours.
2.Avoid traveling to more than two countries or regions. Plan to spend the bulk of your time in one place instead of on trains or buses.
3.Develop an itinerary together. Make a list of must-sees. Plan to visit all of the must-sees without overextending yourselves.
4.Mingle tours and sights with more leisurely, romantic activities. Plan a beachside picnic or a long stroll between activities.
5.Choose tours that cover several of your must-see sights in one fell swoop.
Tips: Take advantage of fellow tourists to photograph you as a couple when touring and sight-seeing.
Warnings: Beware of pickpockets and thieves, many of whom prey upon visitors to popular tourist locations.
1.Ensure that the dough is chilled and has rested for at least 30 minutes, unless otherwise directed in your recipe.
2.Have your other ingredients ready to finish the recipe, such as pie or tart pans and fillings.
3.Clean off your work space to allow enough room to roll the dough.
4.Ensure that the work surface and the rolling pin are clean and dry.
5.Lightly dust the work surface with flour.
6.Unwrap the dough and turn it out on the work surface.
7.Lightly dust your hands, the dough, and the rolling pin with flour. Only a little is necessary; too much and you'll have a mess.
8.Pat the dough down with your hands if the dough is not already shaped in a thin patty.
9.Position the rolling pin in the center of the dough and roll it away from you to slightly flatten half the dough.
1..Reposition the pin in the center of the dough and roll towards you to slightly flatten the other half.
1..Use even pressure on the rolling pin.
1..Always roll from the center of the dough.
1..Use several passes to roll it to the desired thickness. Don't try to flatten it all the way in one pass.
1..Keep the dough at an even thickness as much as possible. Make sure it's at one even level of thickness before flattening it further.
1..Dust with more flour as necessary.
1..Work fast but don't rush. Try to roll out the dough before it has a chance to warm up.
The key is to ensure that the dough has had enough time to rest and chill. Cool dough is easiest to roll out. It will start to stick and become unworkable as it warms up. If this happens, get it back in the fridge for a few minutes before continuing.
Extra-cold dough, however, is also difficult to roll. If the edges crack as you roll it, it could mean it's too cold. Let it warm up slightly before continuing.
Tears can often be "glued" back together with a little water.
Try to use as little dusting flour as possible, because you will work that flour into the dough as you roll. Too much and you'll change the proportions of your recipe.
Dough that contains yeast (such as pizza dough) is much easier to roll.
Roll the dough as little as you can to keep it tender. The more you roll it, the more you develop gluten (as in kneading bread) and the tougher the results will be.
1.Use a glass or metal loaf pan or any other container you can coat with cooking spray to prevent the fabric from sticking.
2.Spray the outside of the container with cooking spray.
3.Melt 1 lb. beeswax. Use a double boiler or melt in the oven at 230 degrees F.
4.Place the mold bottom side up on waxed paper.
5.Cut a piece of fabric to cover the mold. The thicker the material used, the sturdier the box will be.
6.Dip the fabric piece into the melted wax. Completely saturate the fabric with wax.
7.Drape the fabric over the mold and gently shape it with your fingers.
8.Cool the wax completely.
9.Turn the mold over. The waxed fabric should pop right off.
1..Trim the edges of the gift box.
Wear gloves when dipping the fabric in the wax to prevent hot wax from sticking to your fingers.
Store your gift box out of the sun.
A solar oven also works well for melting beeswax. Crumble wax into a coffee can and place in a solar oven to melt.
Warnings: Don't get the wax too hot - it can catch on fire. Steps:
1.Cut along fold of card, making two halves.
2.Trim a half-inch off one side and end of one of the card's halves.
3.Flip the card halves over so that the printed sides are facedown. Then, with a ruler, draw diagonal lines between opposite corners of each card half, making a large X.
4.Fold in both sides until they meet in the center and crease.
5.Fold in each end until they meet in the center and crease.
6.Unfold the card halves to expose each X.
7.Start at each corner and cut along the X until you reach the new fold lines.
8.Fold sides to the inside.
9.Fold end points to the inside.
1..Fold ends over side points.
The half of card you trimmed will be the bottom of your box.
Older children can use a hot glue gun for quicker dry time.