Profile for Joanne Hinkel

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National Best Friends Day: 8 Types Of Friendships To Help You Grow As A Person

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Happy National Best Friends Day! (No, really. It is!) When it comes to major life transitions and decisions about careers, romantic entanglements, sexual dilemmas, health, and possibly marriage or motherhood, who’s got your back, ladies? That’s right, your girlfriends. In our lives we can’t cast the perfect variety pack of girlfriends, as the creators of “Sex and the City” did – nor would we want to, as gradually getting to know each other is the best part of a relationship – though, if we’re lucky, we do have different kinds of friendships we’ve accumulated over the years to suit the very different aspects of our complex lives. There are eight types of friendships I’ve cultivated that have been essential to my growth as a person. Too bad all these ladies don’t live locally (because a posse would be so nice!), so that I could get them together at the Sunday brunch table, but I can keep them on speed dial. Keep reading »

10 Things Not To Do At Your First Holiday Dinner With His Folks

Whether you’ve been dating for weeks or years, the first holiday meal you spend at his family’s house is unnerving. Hopefully, you’ve met his family before this big day, though maybe you haven’t. Regardless, the premiere Thanksgiving at his parents’ house is an entirely new adventure –who knows what you’re walking into? Each family has its own set of rituals, customs, and holiday expectations, not to mention unique ways of communicating, joking — and making stuffing. Here are 10 tips to help you minimize any potential awkwardness so that you won’t feel like the odd (wo)man out, and can instead focus on the marathon eating. And if you’re a liberal vegetarian and his parents are meat-worshiping Tea Partiers, maybe read this list twice.
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8 Ways To Instantly Revive Your Romance

The minister who performed the ceremony for our wedding six years ago required all couples to take counseling sessions with her before their big day. So my guy and I did – we took personality tests, talked about our approaches to solving conflict and our plans for the future, and we got a lecture on the importance of “feeding the tree.” At the time, we giggled, thinking we were getting sex advice from a seemingly asexual woman of the cloth. But “feeding the tree,” she explained, was about treating our relationship with care, nourishing it, so that it could grow sturdy roots, limbs, and leaves. Kind of a hokey metaphor, I know, but, it turns out, that minister gave us the secret to keeping our romance alive … Keep reading »

Joanne’s Favorite Things Of 2010

The blog Your It List has asked a bunch of cool tastemaker types to reveal their favorite things of 2010. They didn’t ask us for ours, but we’re going to share ‘em anyway. You’ve read Julie’s and Amelia’s, now here’s Joanne’s … Keep reading »

Woman Who Doesn’t Experience Fear Could Help PTSD Treatment

Wow. Imagine if nothing scared you. You could ask out that guy you’ve been crushing on, try skydiving, not panic while driving in a snow storm: the possibilities would be endless. Well, the science blogs were abuzz today with news of a 44-year-old woman who really doesn’t experience fear. University of Iowa researchers write about her in the new issue of Current Biology, saying that even when she was the victim of a near death-causing domestic assault and robbed at gun-point, this woman only reported feeling angry and upset — never fear. Why? Because she has a rare brain condition, Urbach–Wiethe disease, which has destroyed her amygdala, the part of the mind that generates fearful responses. “My hope is to expand on this work and search for psychotherapy treatments that selectively target and dampen down hyperactivity in the amygdala of patients with PTSD,” says Justin Feinstein, one of the researchers of the project.

A possible treatment for all those suffering from PTSD, from soldiers who’ve returned from Iraq and Afghanistan to rape and abuse victims? Now that’s something to hope for in the new year! [MSBC via LiveScience]
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Top 10 Celebrity Names That Irritate Copy Editors

Yesterday, just after Ami’s post “What Was Your Best Day Of 2010?” went live, a friend kindly emailed me to tell me that Miike Snow was misspelled. I appreciate her keeping me on my toes—as a Copy Editor tending to lots of posts throughout the day, there are things I miss sometimes. But the band Miike Snow is actually spelled that way with two i’s. “That’s so dumb,” she replied. And she’s right! There are a lot of dumb spellings for band names, but even more annoying, to me at least, are the celebs who spell their names in silly, strange ways just to be different. Those celebs can really ruin my day. Here are the top 10 offenders of recent memory.
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Are You Into Sexual “Simmering”?

When we talk about our sex lives, it’s usually in terms of how often, where and when we’re doing the actual deed. But some sex therapists contend that getting each other sexually aroused at random moments is just as important to a couple’s bond as lovemaking. Dr. Stephen Snyder blogged about this idea for PsychologyToday.com earlier this month, calling the technique “simmering,” when couples engage in sexually arousing each other — through an embrace, stroking each other’s hair, looking into each other’s eyes, having an intimate conversation — as a way to maintain their intimate bond during a busy day, and as a way to build up sexual interest for when they do find the time to get busy. Keep reading »

10 Tips On How To Have A Sexy Christmas With Your S.O.

When you think about it, all the decadence and pleasure wrapped up in Christmas make it a rather sexy holiday. So many yuletide activities—eating chocolates, spending time in front of a roaring fire in your pajamas, gift-giving—naturally lead to romantic moments. At least they do in holiday movies like “When Harry Met Sally,” “Love, Actually” and “The Family Stone,” where falling in love is the true Christmas miracle. If you’re already in love, though, how do you rev up the Christmastime passion? We can think of at least 10 ways for you and your partner to put the x in your X-MAS this year. Keep reading »

The Possibility Of Wrinkles, Not Cancer, Gets Women To Quit Smoking

The irony is that vanity is what gets a lot of us ladies to start smoking. We take it up most likely ’cause we think we look sultry while puffing away, or we like that lighting up keeps us from snacking so our jeans look sexier on our rumps. Well, according to a study just published in the British Journal Of Health Psychology, said vanity is perhaps the most effective tactic for getting women to quit smoking, too. Staffordshire University researchers used state-of-the-art age progression technology to show 47 women, between the ages of 18 and 34, what their faces would look like in the future if they continue to smoke. The horrifying sight of smoking-induced wrinkles on their future faces prompted two-thirds of the subjects to vow to quit. Keep reading »

Don’t Let Santa Bring You Debt This Year For Christmas

Even though it’s less than two weeks until December 25th, I’m experiencing a small Christmas miracle: I’m not feeling the holiday panic. Why? The day after Thanksgiving I put together a gift-giving plan for my loved ones and accompanying to-do list and I’ve been chipping away at it — both online and by shopping here and there — ever since. But in terms of my wallet? Yeah, I’m feeling a little anxiety there. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American spends around $700 on Christmas. And for a lot of us, myself included, I think that’s a conservative estimate …

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