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Throw a Bunco Party!

At Girlfriends Galore, we happen to be huge fans of the game Bunco.  So, we thought we would share you the basic rules for the game so you can give it a try for yourself.

A bit of the history of the game – It is a dice game that became popular in the 18th century in England.  Americans imported the game in to gambling activity in the mid-1800′s with gambling parlors or Bunco parlors became all the rage.  Because it was often associated with “swindles” we have “bunco squads” that investigate confidence scams or swindles. There’s even a movie from the 1950′s starring Robert Sterling, Bunco Squad.

Playing Bunco (the game) fell out of favor in the big cities until the late 1980′s when it started regaining popularity as more and more people have gone back to traditional family values, and the sense of desire and need for social interaction.

According to the World Bunco Association site the rules are as follows:

•  Take 12 score sheets and secretly draw a star on four of the sheets. Have each person pick a score sheet, this will tell you who will be starting at the head table. The remaining 8 players can sit at the “Middle” or “Losing” tables.

•  Each table is randomly divided into 2 teams. Team couples sit across from each other. Pick one person on each team to tally points during each round. Keep track of team points by using the tally sheet–these points are only used for each number round. To save paper, just cross out previous rounds tallies and continue with new round on the same paper .

•  The “Head” table controls the pace of the game. The game begins when the “Head” table rings the bell. One player from each table starts the game by trying to roll “ones” with the 3 dice. Always take your roll using 3 dice. If 1 of the die shows the number currently “up” tally 1 point, if 2 of the dice show the number currently “up” tally 2 points.

•  When you roll “three of a kind” of the number you are currently rolling this is a BUNCO!!! (21 points). Keep rolling and collecting points. Do not forget to give yourself, not your teammate, one  BUNCO!!! point on the bottom of your score sheet after your turn is finished.. If at this time or any other time a player at the “Head” table rolls a BUNCO!!! the bell is rung & the round stops. The other players currently rolling finish their turn and continue collecting points .

•  Remember, the fuzzy die is passed from player to player as BUNCO’S!!! are rolled.

•  If you roll “three of a kind” – of another number – give your team 5 points and keep rolling and collecting points until you do not roll the number that is “up”.

•  If you do not roll the number that is currently “up” the person to your left takes their turn.

•  When the “Head” table reaches 21 points or rolls a BUNCO!!! they ring the bell to signal the end of that round. The number currently up changes to the next number (1 to 2, 2 to 3 , etc.).

•  The winning team stays at the “Head” table. Have one teammate move over a chair so they will have different partners for the next round. The losing team from the “Head” table goes down to the “Middle” table.

•  The winning team from the “Middle” table goes to the “Head” table & the winning team from the “Losing” table goes to the “Middle” table. The losing team from the from the “Middle” table goes down to the “Losing” table & the losing team at the “Losing” table stays at the table but one player moves over one chair so they will have a different partner..

•  At this point write W or L (Winner or Loser) on your own score sheet for that round. Keep your score sheet with you at all times. Do not stay with your partner–your new partner will be one person from the winning or losing team joining you at the “Winning”, “Middle”, or “Losing” table.

•  The “Head” table rings the bell to signal the start of a new round.

•  If the teams have a tie score there will be a roll-off to determine the winner. ( See roll-off–BUNCO!!! Lingo)

•  Play continues for two complete sets. At this point, take a break for dessert and then continue the last 2 sets.

The game ends when all 4 sets of BUNCO!!! have been completed. Each person then adds up the their total BUNCO’S!!!, Wins and Losses from each round and writes the totals at the bottom of their score sheet. Prizes are awarded at this time.

Playing Bunco is a great way to maintain relationships and make new friends, and that is why it’s a favorite here at Girlfriends Galore  – What games do you like to play with friends and family?

What Makes a Fabulous Woman Fabulous

Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

Really? – A fabulous woman? – And you’re probably saying – “Not me…that’s for sure”.  To which we say, “Yes, you are fabulous”.  You don’t need to be a movie star or an earthshaking bomb-shell or president of a company.  What you do need to be, is you!

Do you have rough edges that you know you would like to soften? Or are you a little tense in social situations? Are you embarrassed by your appearance or the way you speak? Do you wish you were more spontaneous with the things you long to do?  All of these things can be overcome.

Here are items spotlighted in what makes up a fabulous woman:

Confidence – Being completely confident in the feminine woman you are, is absolutely necessary to succeed in whatever you choose to do. TIP: If you’re nervous about an upcoming event, take time to really concentrate on what outcome you want to have – then RELAX!

Centered Mindset - Being fabulous includes being focused on what you want.  TIP: don’t be afraid to study and emulate other powerful, fabulous women you admire.  Even role-playing with a friend can be a fun way to build on that focus.

Charisma – A truly fabulous woman knows how to be charismatic in any situation.  It’s in building your confidence that you will find yourself able to handle a situation with grace and charm. People will always want to know a person who is truly and sincerely charming. Some words associated with charming include lovely, delightful and fascinating. TIP: Above all is the key word “sincere”.

Poise - A fabulous woman is capable of being two times the woman of other women and able to smooth over any unfriendly situations, promoting cooperation and harmony. TIP: Watch how other women handle difficult situations and follow their lead. One of the most critical parts of a fabulous woman is her ability to share from a place of plenty and real power, without using mannish behavior and ways.

Look after yourself – A healthy diet, regular relaxation and exercise are all pieces of the puzzle to that step of making yourself over in to the fabulous woman we all know may be hiding right beneath that shy smile.

This is a video of a gal from Montana who went to reVamp! Salonspa in Minneapolis and it made a “wow” difference!  Even her husband could only say “wow”.  We have a favorite salon here in Phoenix, Patricia Burkhardt Mitchell’s Sincerely Yours Salon.  Do you have a favorite?

We’re here at Girlfriends Galore to help all women be the best they can be. We offer several opportunities every month for girlfriends to get together to encourage one another, have fun with one another, and to support one another in our endeavors in the social and business world.  If you want to open a Girlfriends Galore chapter where you live…Please contact us and we’ll get it going with you!

Aromatherapy And Your Busy Life

Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

Aromatherapy and Your Busy LifeThe idea that aroma is used to create healing and positive emotions has always been known, but in our busy day-to-day lives, we may have forgotten just how healing it is. Aromatherapy by definition is to find the special scents that are unique to each person, that provide positive feelings and emotions and bring back memories from a time when you felt safe, or warm, or even how you felt as a small child, a teenager, or that first hug with your new baby.

Aromatherapy has become a lost art in many ways. We walk in to department stores, drug stores, specialty shops and are immediately overwhelmed with the smells – and everyone is marketing their own “brand of smell”.  Many of the synthetic perfumes and oils are not only hazardous to you but to our environment as well.

But, how many times have you hugged someone and were immediately reminded of someone you love or the whiff of a scented candle that brought back memories of grandma baking cookies in the kitchen. How about the aroma when you’re walking through a garden of flowers – how that scent made you feel at that moment.

Today as in days gone by, there is a way that we can introduce those scents back in to our everyday lives providing relaxation, invigoration, balance, romance and the list goes on.  Through botanical aromatherapy oils, we can regain that balance and inner harmony.

Aromatherapy is a word we see everywhere today, but true aromatherapy is science and art combined. The art is in blending the scents and oils to create the exact combination, enhancing the oils into a synergistic blend. An aromatherapist also uses science to create that perfect blend for its therapeutic properties.

Aromatherapy and Your Busy LifeEssential oils are used in many ways including: massage oils, spray mists, diffusers, body creams or in the bathtub.

Subtle aromatherapy is also used in:

•  Meditation

•  Reiki

•  Healing sessions

•  Chakra balancing

•  Distance healing

One of the most common oils is lavender, known to give calm and balance. Lavendar is effective for sleep and is even recommended to spray on bed sheets before settling in for the night. Lavendar is also excellent to use directly on your skin for burns, cuts and even Aromatherapybreakouts. Lavendar, in a mist form is also wonderful as a facial mist.  It provides relaxation and a soothing sense of peace.

Looking for that scent that provides feelings of joy and happiness and is a wonderful oil for the kitchen – look no further than Citrus oils.  And for that pick-me-up while working out – try Peppermint oil in a mist form as well.

Be sure to look for experienced and recommended aromatherapists when you go out to seek out that wonderful fragrance you’ve been looking for!

Stop Procrastination in Four Easy Steps!

Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

So, here you are – the start of another day, week, month and you have a million things to do. It’s true, we all have too many things to get done every day, but we only have so many minutes in an hour and so many hours in a day and so many days . . . I Stop Procrastinationthink you get my drift. I am probably #1 at procrastination unless it’s something I really love to do and yet, even then, I find ways to sabotage myself.

Procrastination is defined as avoiding doing a task that need to be done . . . putting the activity off until tomorrow. So, here are four steps to help you break the procrastination trap. Do not judge yourself as you work through this. This is an assessment and judgements will only block your ability to change your focus and actions.

Step 1: Assess the task

For the most part, we procrastinate in areas where we are apprehensive about our ability to handle the talk effectively. We tend to put off the “doing” and usually end up waiting until the last moment when the pressure is on.

Assess the areas of your life that bring out your procrastination habit. Create a list of those areas that you resist taking action in. For example, you resist making sales calls for work (your issue) and you wait until the last-minute (how you procrastinate). Stop ProcrastinationReview your list and see what themes arise from your list. Most people will find themselves procrastinating because:

•  Fear of their ability to do the task

•  Misjudging the amount of time the task will take

•  Too many “to-do’s” on their list

•  Overwhelmed by the project

•  Don’t know how to break down the project in to manageable pieces

Step 2: Choice or selection

It’s best to start slow when overcoming procrastination. Choose an are you can focus on and keep it simple to ensure achievement – success builds success and this will help you decrease that need to procrastinate.

Stop ProcrastinationSay you have an issue with paying your bills, make the following changes:

•  Choose where to place your bills when they come in

•  Choose how often you will pay your bills, ensuring they are paid on time

•  Select a day/time period when you will sit down to pay your bills

•  Put the day/time period on your calendar every week/month so it is part of your scheduled activities

Trying to tackle too many tasks at once? Select three prioritized tasks each day and tackle them first. Have more time? Add two more tasks and compete them. Over time you will see a list of activities that are consistently being pushed to the next day. This is the time to do your assessment of their value and see if they are something you must do, or if you need to let them go. If they are important to you, you might consider delegating them to someone who would be willing to help you.

Step 3: Share it

We all love to hid that we don’t want others to know about us, we think that people will somehow think less of use if we share.

Let others know what you are doing and don’t be afraid to ask them for their support. Think about how they can best help you achieve your goals. You might be surprised to find you have a friend who is a procrastinator on something you revel in and they in turn love doing something you don’t love. You may have just found the perfect “procrastinator buddy”!

Step 4: Celebrate your success!

Too many times small victories in our day go unrewarded. As a procrastinator you may feel you don’t deserve a reward.

Make sure to reward yourself for accomplishing what you need to get done. Know what you will reward yourself with before you begin. As soon as you accomplish a small goal, celebrate that victory! Make sure the compensation is something you want to Stop Procrastinationdo for yourself. Time is an issue with most people, so your rewards must be realistic – something you can do in an hour. Some rewards to consider:

•  Take a bubble bath

•  Buy a new book

•  Take time to read a favorite magazine

•  Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea out on the patio or deck

We only have today; we are not promised tomorrow. Choose what is of value to you today. Remember, this is your personal journey through life and you are the one who will create more joy in your own life.

Increasing Your Self-Esteem!

Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

Do you build up your own self-esteem or do you tear it down? Negative thinking is the one thing that will diminish or destroy your own self-image. We do it unconsciously by thinking about the negative instead of the positive. Why we do this to ourselves, I don’t know – is negative easier than positive? Are we trained from early childhood to focus on the negative? Did our parents, teachers and peers teach us this? Here are some ideas on how to take control of your self-image and improve your own self-esteem:

Sit down and make a list of all your accomplishments and good things in your life!

Take an inventory of everything that you have accomplished – big and small! Grab a piece of paper and number it from one to 101 and start writing. You’ll be amazed at the things you have done and find great satisfaction in recognizing what your abilities and strengths really are.

This list will also help you to focus on places in your life that you want to develop and increase or change completely. Areas of change are some of our greatest challenges and these challenges will always give a structured way for you to continue to grow and that means excitement and ways to stretch yourself and become exactly who you want to become!

Make a concerted effort to improve the weak areas!

Once you have made your list of accomplishments and have discovered your areas that need improvement in your life, it’s time to focus on how you will tackle exactly what you want to change. Resolutions are NOT just for the start of the New Year, you can choose to make a resolution any day of the year!

To stick to your resolution, focus on just one small piece of the goal at a time. Failure for resolutions usually happens when you try to change too  many things at one time. Starting small will help you see your life change one bit at a time.

Be clear in your goals!

When you determine what you want changed, formulate your desire clearly. Say you want to lose weight – don’t just say you want to “lost weight” but rather say, “I want to lose 10 pounds”. It is okay to start small – you’re not going to lose 30, 40 or even 100 pounds quickly, but when you start with just 10 pounds and you achieve success the next 10 will be that much easier to focus on.

It allows you to track your progress, create better strategies and reach your goal faster. Clear goals help you focus on other things in your life as well. You will find that everything seems to fall into place and even find that situations and people will help you stay on track to meet that goal.

Life is a passage or journey!

Remember the saying “the journey is more important than the destination”? Life is our journey – so enjoy where you are and know that life only gets better when you believe!


The Economy is Picking Up BUT You Still Need to Save More Money!

Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

Even as the economy picks up (and they’re telling us it is), we have things we do day in and day out that we know we can do without or ways that we can make changes to save money. Much as none of us wants to admit it, we’re not getting younger and retirement for some of us is closer than we care to think about. Even small changes you make today in your spending can have a huge impact years down the road. So, here are some ideas you can use today to make “change” for tomorrow . . . and not all of these are “chump change” either.

Something you probably have done in the past, but now is a good time to do it again – Record your spending! All you have to do is write it down in a small notebook and keep it handy so that you can record your spending over a two-week period. Make sure to write down every time you take money out of your wallet or use that debit or heaven-forbid credit card. This will help you see what you are spending frivolously and what those essential expenses you can’t live without are. Here are some tips you can use to save money.

All-Purpose Tips:

•  After you’ve done your two-week review, pick two or three things that you can do without. Is it that extra latte you get every afternoon?

•  Do you have a membership to a health club or another monthly fee that you pay that you don’t use? Cancel it! If it’s a health club, remember that a walk in the sunshine is a great way to get your exercise and all the vitamin D you need!

•  Keep your car tuned up and in good running condition and don’t forget your tires – keeping them inflated to the right psi will save you money on gas!

•  Everyone dreads it, but pick up the phone and make a couple of calls:

•  Call you credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rate. They may say “no” but it is definitely worth the phone call. This can add up big over the course of a year.

•  Call your cable or internet provider. They are all after your business and don’t want to let existing customers slip away. By bundling your services, such as cell phone, cable, internet and home phone you may be able to realize some huge savings.

• Remember to unplug your appliances and your cords for your chargers from the wall. Even when you have disconnected the device from the charger, the charger still pulls energy.

Food and Dining Out Tips:

•  Shop for your food and household products once a week. And, always take your coupons with you so that if you do have to run in for one item, you will be able to save even on that single purchase.

•  Don’t be afraid to buy generic – it is almost always cheaper (unless you have that coupon with you for the name-brand) and DO ask your favorite store if they accept other store’s coupons.

•  Short on time every week? Check out grocery services online – you may find that between time, gas to go to the store and the unexpected impulse buying we all are famous for, you may actually save money with a service instead of shopping yourself.

•  Invite friends over, but instead of you preparing the entire meal, do a potluck where you provide the main course and have your friends bring over other dishes  that would go with it. Everything from vegetables and salads to desserts are all things you can use to involve everyone in the fun! One thing to make sure of though is that everyone doesn’t bring dessert. Ask your friends what they want to bring and record it so you know immediately if you have too many of one thing and not enough of another.

•  Instead of a night out at the movies, consider going to your local library and checking our their choices of videos. Can you say “free”? And, while you’re there, pick up a good book to read when you eat your sack lunch in the park instead of sitting in the dreary lunchroom at work. (Get the added benefit of exercise – walk to the park or where you’re going to eat and get some of that vitamin D from the sun at the same time).

•  Visit your local community events page online and see what is going on in your community. Many times they will have free concerts and other fun events that will get you out of the house – BUT bring case and leave the plastic behind. If they will let you bring in bottled water and snacks, take advantage of that because those vender prices can rack up pretty quickly.

•  And, last but not least remember the old adage: Wait and if you still want something in 30 days then go out and buy it.