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By Carrie Bell
With only six shopping days left before Christmas, the pressure is on to find the perfect present for your special someone. This task can be even more difficult if the relationship is new, so Wonderwall sought the advice of "Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger on go-to gifts for the newly dating.
"For women, jewelry, always. It just depends which part of the body you are getting it for," she explained at the Disney on Ice premiere of "Toy Story 3" in Los Angeles. "[If it's for a] first date or someone you recently met, go with earrings. Necklaces are good if you are in a relationship and you are serious but not marriage serious. A bracelet means you're on a contingency plan. It says, 'I haven't decided if I really like you.' If you really want to get serious, choose a ring."
Women should think sartorial for their sweethearts. "You have to give the guy clothes, because you want him to look hot on your dates and most guys do not know how to dress," Stanger continued. "Go to Bloomingdale's, buy a couple of nice button-up shirts, a great pair of jeans -- stay away from the skinny jeans -- and a nice pair of shoes that go with everything. Then he has an outfit for your next date, and he will look cute enough that you'll want to jump his bones, which is his real present. So get clothes for him and you both win.”
She believes so wholeheartedly in her advice that she plans on following it herself this year. "I'm dating someone right now that has a collection of Hawaiian shirts, so you know what I'm getting him. I tried to tell him Hawaiian shirts can only be worn in Hawaii. He thinks they're vintage and cool, and I'm like, 'No, they're just bad.'"
The newly svelte Stanger also sympathizes about how hard it is to avoid putting on pounds around the holidays. Currently working on a diet guide and cookbook, she also had a few tips for avoiding a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. "Allow one cheat meal a week. Purge your house of junk food," she suggests. "Another tip is learning how to do substitutions for things like dairy. I had to cook for seven years for one of my exes who was kosher. I learned a lot of my tricks there. I learned how to use less oils and less butters without losing the flavors. I make a mean butternut squash soup. Most people make it with tons of cream. I put canned pears in instead, and that thickens it up and helps it emulsify. I also make a vegetable soup using a similar trick, and it gives it a little sweet tarty flavor. You can use apple butters and pumpkin butter as a substitute, and that helps cut the calories."
She also has a secret weapon regarding the liquid diet. "I'm a Splenda addict. I substitute it for sugar all the time. It's chemical, probably the worse thing in the world, and it will probably kill me, but I just love it. I use it in all my alcoholic drinks to make them less fattening. Splenda mojitos are delicious.”
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