Doesn’t Hurt to Flirt!

Flirting isn’t so much about batting eyelashes but about giving a guy good attention and being yourself. Most of all? It’s about confidence! Here are a few tricks that’ll make you feel like you were born with the flirting gene … without going over the top. Because when it comes down to it, less is always more!

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
You know those hokey opening lines? For instance, guy goes up to girl and asks if she’s tired. She says, “No, why?” He says, “’Cause you’ve been running through my mind all day.” Do not go there! A simple “What’s up?” or “Did you see that new Facebook quiz?” will do.

Clean out Your Ears, Dears
So the guy you’re into tells you he’s stoked about his championship soccer game that’s coming up or that he loves a specific band. He’ll totally appreciate it if you remember these little details about his life. Next time you see him, ask about the big game or if he’s heard the band’s new CD.

Complement With a Compliment
You know how great it feels when a guy tells you he likes your smile? Here’s a shock: Guys like to get compliments too. So if his new swim shorts are super rad, let him know! Did he dazzle you with a tricky dive off the board? He’d love to hear that you think his skills are impressive. His ego likes to be stroked, because believe it or not, he needs to know you think he’s great.

Have Some Text Control
OK, so texting comes second nature to you. But when you see your crush in person, the cute banter you had over text is obsolete. Text is great to ask a quick question if it’s too late to call, but save the flirty jokes for face-to-face interaction. Never underestimate the power of good conversation and eye contact.

Let’s Not Play Make-believe
The most important rule of flirting? Never pretend to be someone you’re not. You want a guy who’s a good fit for you, not some “avatar” you’ve created. If you want to make a genuine connection with the right boy, you need to feel comfy in your own skin. Otherwise, he’s not worth your energy. Next!

Kick Boredom to the Curb!

“I’m booooooored….” Oh, puh-leeze! We’ve got plenty of ideas to keep you from dozing off in the middle of the day. You can do any of these activities with friends or by yourself. And you can do many of them indoors or out, rain or shine. Get ready for the excitement plan!

Have a picnic Whether on your bedroom floor or in the backyard, spread out a blanket and eat lunch.

Make papier-mâché Blow up a balloon then make a paste by mixing water and flour until it’s a goo. Dip newspaper strips into the paste, and cover the balloon. Let dry, pop the balloon with a pin and paint.

Do push-ups How many can you do? Next, try sit-ups.

Plan a sleepover Make an invite list, brainstorm party ideas, figure out the menu and set a date!

Plant a seed What’s in the fridge? Oranges, apples, cucumbers? Cut one open and take a few seeds out. Let them dry on a paper towel then plant them in a pot or outside. See if they sprout.

Make a smoothie Mix yogurt, juice, fresh fruit and ice cubes in a blender until smooth. Drink up!

Play hopscotch Use chalk to draw alternating single and double squares on the sidewalk. Then hop, skip and jump!

Attract birds Use needle and thread to string o-shaped cereal and popcorn into a garland. Decorate a tree and watch feathered friends flock to your yard.

Paint your toenails Grab some polish and head out to the porch. Slide a tissue between each toe to keep them separated and paint away.

Pick wildflowers Pluck dandelions, honeysuckle -- whatever you can find and put them in a glass of water.

Read a book Curl up on the recliner, porch swing or lawn chair, and take in a good story.

Have a dance-off Crank up the music and get your groove on!

Wash the car Break out the hose, a bucket, some mild soap and a sponge, and watch your parents’ jaws drop.

Play cards Challenge someone to a game of rummy or just play solitaire.

Sing your heart out! Belt out your favorite tune in the shower, in the rain or into a hairbrush. Loud!

Spiff up Your Space

Is your bedroom a disaster area? Or just a tad cluttered? Either way, you’ll feel tons better once it’s tidied up. Crank up the music to get yourself pumped!

In the Trash
OK, first the obvious: empty soda cans, wads of tissue, half-eaten, petrified peanut-butter sandwiches -- in the garbage. Next, carry all dishes, silverware and cups to the kitchen sink. Then chuck dirty clothes in a hamper or laundry basket.

Brace yourself: Here comes the hard part. Time to say buh-bye to stuff you no longer use. Blow a farewell kiss to the pile of faded polka dot headbands you haven’t worn since pre-K. That cheap bracelet with the broken clasp? The cluster of dried-up markers? Your Dora the Explorer poster? Kiss, kiss, kiss.

If you have things in decent condition that you’ve outgrown, put them in a box for donation. Uh-oh, getting sentimental? Read on.…

What to Stash
You can’t squeeze into that teeny, tiny T-shirt from your first year at day camp, but it just holds so many memories and you don’t want to part with it….Get a box or bin to store items to which you have an emotional attachment and pack ’em away in a closet.

As for all your belongings that you currently use, two words: Get organized. The best way to attack it is to put similar items together. Group stuffed animals into one corner. Put all books on a shelf. Line your shoes along the closet floor. Toss hair accessories into a basket.…you get the picture.

In a Flash
Almost done, hang in there. Grab a rag and give a good swipe to all exposed dusty surfaces -- the top of a dresser, your desk, the bedside table. Then get the vacuum cleaner and give your floor a clean sweep. (Yes, your parents might pass out when they hear it whir, so be prepared.)

And we saved the best for last: Make your bed by smoothing out the sheets, pulling up the comforter and fluffing your pillows. Whew! Tired yet? So fall back onto your mattress and crash!

Games Girls Play

News flash: Video games don’t need to be all karaoke, makeup and mall hopping to appeal to girls. Here are our fave games -- and don’t be surprised if your best guy friend digs ’em, too.

Nancy Drew: Phantom of Venice
A series of thefts have taken place, so Nancy Drew (meaning, you) is on the case. A new culture and skilled thief stand in the way. (PC)

Animal Crossing: Wild World
Customize your town, your house and yourself. The game progresses as you make furry friends and go fishing -- you know, normal stuff. (Nintendo DS)

Cooking Mama: Cook Off
OK, so you can’t actually eat what you cook. But you won’t have to clean up the kitchen. Your remote is the ultimate utensil -- it slices, dices, chops and stirs as you whip up recipes. (Wii)

Sony has a new concept called “zen gaming.” Instead of gritting your teeth while clutching a controller, the idea is to relax and enjoy -- you are the wind, guiding flower petals at your own sweet pace. (Playstation 3)

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Don’t worry, no tricky geo probs here. We just hope you don’t have too much homework, because it is insanely addicting. This version has three new modes. (Xbox LIVE Arcade)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Hey, drama queen, like your games with an epic storyline and action galore? Save the land of Hyrule by solving puzzles, engaging in intense battles and interacting with characters. (Nintendo GameCube, Wii)

You’re the boss, so be ready for some decision making! This is a limitless adventure with adorable critters and a funky handcrafted feel. (Playstation 3)

Mario Kart Wii
Who doesn’t like to go fast? Pick a character (we love Princess Peach), select your vehicle and off you go! Race your BFF…or up to 11 people from around the world.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution
This sequel to “First Departure” is kind of like anime in orbit. It’s Space Date 366, and you’re on a mystical planet with the Hero of Light, who’s on a mission. (PSP)

Wii Fit
It’s incredible what you can do on the balance board: strength training, aerobics, yoga (we felt the “tree pose” burn for days). It also calculates body mass index and weight -- and is brutally honest.

Be a Green Teen

Being a BFF to the environment isn’t always about rallying for big global changes. You can tweak simple things in your day-to-day drill to help save the environment. Get with the green routine!

Good Morning, Sunshine!
• When you wake up, don’t reach for the light switch. Let the sunlight in.

• Don’t linger in the shower. Cutting just two minutes saves gallons of water, plus the fuel it takes to heat the H2O.

• Don’t scrimp on brushing your teeth, but shut the water off while you’re doing it.

• Is your school close (and safe) enough to bike or walk there? Good exercise and kind to the planet.

The Lunch Bunch
• After your lunch is perfectly prepped, put it in an eco-friendly reusable bag.

• While you’re at it, ditch the sandwich baggies. They don’t biodegrade, so try a plastic container you can use again and again.

• Toss used cans or bottles into a recycling bin. No recycling program in your school? Make it happen!

After-school Cool
• Homework? Use scrap paper when possible before you recycle it. It’s perfect for working out math probs or printing your history rough draft on the unused side.

• When your computer is at rest, nix the screensaver, which is an energy waster.

• No. 1 rule? If you’re aren’t using it, shut it off. Do you really need three lights on and the TV as background noise?

What’s for Dinner?
• Go veggie once week. Turns out, the meat-producing process is tough on the environment.

• Switch to cloth napkins -- classy.

• Don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s full. If yours has an energy-saver mode, use it.

• You do dishes the old-fashioned way? Don’t leave the water running while you’re washin’. Fill the basin, scrub away the ick, then rinse.

Into the Night
• If you like to read before bed, use a fluorescent bulb. It lasts 10 times longer than a regular bulb and uses 65 percent less energy.

• Shut off your computer, TV and radio. Better yet, unplug all electronics. Standby mode uses up lots of unnecessary energy.

• Layer up so you can turn down the heat. Lights out!