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Mates, Dates Guide to Life, Love, and Looking Luscious (Mates, Dates Series)

Mates, Dates Guide to Life, Love, and Looking Luscious (Mates, Dates Series)

by Cathy Hopkins


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Time for a lifestyle makeover?
The Mates, Dates girls will show you how!

Four super-tight friends dish their secrets for dealing with life's little dilemmas...
Like boys, for start: what they want, where to find them, how to be a great kisser — you know, all the really important stuff. Once you snag that dreamy guy, the girls deliver the fashion 411 to keep you looking irresistible! But being a glamour goddess can sometimes get stressful, so there are plenty of tips on how torelax and hang out with your closest friends.
From creating the perfect bedroom, to spicing up your own personal style — here's an exclusive ticket to a more fabulous you! Just between mates...

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416902799
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 06/01/2005
Series: Mates, Dates Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 344,740
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cathy Hopkins lives in North London with her handsome husband and three deranged cats. She has had nineteen books published. The fifth book in the Mates, Dates series, Mates, Dates, and Sole Survivors, was recently released in the U.K. Piccadilly Press has launched a new series from Hopkins, based on the classic sleepover game of Truth or Consequences.

Read an Excerpt

Meeting The One

Some people believe in the romantic notion that somewhere out there is a very special person just for them. The One. Your soul mate. Someone who you'll recognise because you feel at your best with him, and you'll feel you were destined to be with them. We had varying opinions on this, but really it's up to you if you if you choose to believe in "The One" theory or not.

Nesta: Who says you only get One? If you're lucky, you will meet The One, The Two, The Three . . . and so on.

Lucy: Don't put off seeing other boys or waste too much time waiting for The One in case he lives in Outer Mongolia and never travels. If you do meet him, you will know him at once and can take it from there.

Izzie: If it's meant to be, destiny will bring you together in this life as it has in past lives.

TJ: It's all chemical. The One is just a way of saying you fancy someone and your pheromones are mutually attractive.

How to Spot a Rat

Basically, he doesn't phone when he says he will. Is totally unreliable. He lies. He's late. He's vague about what he does when he's not with you. He doesn't listen to you or looks bored or amused when you're pouring out your heart. He cheats. He doesn't respect you.

Don't get involved.

Trouble is, sometimes even the smartest of girls doesn't realize that a boy is a rat until too late. This is because often a rat looks exactly the same as a nice guy. (Both TJ and I got fooled into falling for the same love rat once and he really seemed like a nice guy at first. It almost broke our friendship up until we realized that being mates was more important than being with a boy we couldn't trust.)

As with their body language, sometimes boys are hard to read. Hard to understand. Which brings me to our next section.

So you've got him to notice you. He's got your number. Then what?

The general rule is that if a boy is interested, you don't have to wonder if he'll call or not. He will. In his own time, but he will.

Of course there are exceptions:

1. He's shy.

2. He's lost your number.

3. He put your number in his jeans pocket and those jeans went in the wash.

4. He's lazy.

5. He might fear rejection.

It can be hard for boys to do the all the running and asking for a date can be scary. In which case, you could always ask him. But remember...

  • Pick your time. Ask him when he's on his own as sometimes boys act too cool or embarrassed when with their mates.

  • Give at least a few days' notice—if you ask him out for that night, he may be busy. However, if he is busy but interested, he will probably say something like, "Oh sorry, I can't make tonight, but how about another time?" If turning you down, he won't give an opening for another time or will make an excuse. A genuine excuse is usually backed up with an alternative arrangement.

  • Be cool about it. Don't declare undying love and tell him you've been watching him for weeks. He might think, Whoa! Stalker!

  • Be confident. Don't start your invite by saying, "I don't suppose . . ." Be positive. Say, "Would you like to . . . ?"

  • If you think he might not be ready for a one-to-one date, you could ask him to join you with a bunch of mates. Keep it casual, like there's a bunch of us going to a concert on Saturday, like to join us? Or invite him to a party as you can say we need some extra boys.

  • If he declines and doesn't offer an alternative date, move on.

But say he does call. He asks you out on a date. Fantastic. What then?

Dating: First Dates


Be cool and not too over eager if asked out, but do show that you're pleased.


He: Let's get together some time.

You: (big smile) Sure. Sounds good.

He: How about next Friday?


He: Let's get together some time.

You: Yes. Hold on, I'll get my diary. I'm free tonight or I could come over right now.

He: Um. I'll call you.

  • Be encouraging as it probably took the boy a lot of nerve to get the courage up to ask you. (Unless you're Tony, who is under the impression that all girls are gagging to go out with him. Not all boys are as confident as he is.)

  • Make some effort, but don't go over the top. Dress so that you look good, but are comfortable in what you're wearing—but not too comfortable, like in your pajamas.

  • Offer to pay your way. Usually whoever has asked you on a date should pay the first time, but don't assume. Offer to go "Dutch" and pay your share. He can always refuse to let you.

  • If he pays you a compliment, take it. Say thank you. Don't go into a whole thing about how short/fat/ugly you really are as a) it sounds as though you are dismissing his compliment and b) he might think, Oh yeah, I hadn't noticed before, but you are short/fat/ugly!

  • Keep your conversations light and fun.


  • Take a friend along.

  • Ask questions that are too personal in the beginning—like: Are you still a virgin? And don't make personal comments about his appearance unless it's complimentary—asking if he's always had sticky out ears isn't going to make him feel great, whereas asking where he gets his hair cut as it looks fab, is.

  • Steal his thunder if he's telling you a joke, by saying, "Oh, I've heard this," or finishing the punch-line for him. Let him get it out and laugh. It's his first date too and he's probably a bit nervous.

  • Make him feel bad if he says something dumb as sometimes the wrong thing slips out and you don't want to make him feel totally stupid.

  • Be too early and don't be too late.

Text copyright © 2005 by Cathy Hopkins

Things to Do on a Rainy Day

(Or Sunny. Or Windy.)

We've all worked on this section and decided to start with a bit of redecorating! Your bedroom is your own personal chill-out space—somewhere where you can close the door on the rest of the world, so it's good to make it a place that you really want to spend time in (and where your mates do too at sleepovers).

Redesign Your Bedroom

Step One: Research

Before you start, go to the library to get books on interior design or invest in a couple of magazines that specialise in bedrooms to give you ideas that you hadn't thought about. Work out how much money you can afford to spend and who might be able to help you with the time and labour.

Step Two: Clear Out the Clutter

Take a big bin bag and get rid of old books, scraps of paper, old magazines and clothes that you haven't worn for ages. See if anything is worth donating to a charity shop or can be recycled.

Step Three: Start Designing

Decide what look are you going for, then choose your color scheme accordingly. Remember that light colors open a room up and give a feeling of space whereas dark colors can close it in and make it look smaller (but cosier). Most big DIY stores sell tiny sample pots now so that you can try colors out on your wall before your final choice. It's worth trying a few, as colors rarely look the same on the wall as they do on a color chart. Watch how the color changes at different times of day as the color you liked at noon may look totally different in the evening. Once you've decided, have confidence in your style choice. Some effects are:

  • Cool colors: blue and green

  • Warm colors: red, orange, yellow

  • Minimal: white, shades of white or pale lilac

  • Bright: vivid pink, orange, turquoise, lime green or yellow

  • Fairy tale: pastel pink, pale blue, lilac, lavender or turquoise

  • Romantic: shades of pink and red

  • Exotic (Indian, Thai, Moroccan): honey gold, orange, yellow and reds

  • Stark: black and white

Once you've decided on your colors, invite mates over for a painting party and it will be done in no time. Cover everything that might get paint splashed on it with old sheets or dust covers: i.e. the furniture, floor and yourselves!

Unless going for white all over, use a lighter shade of your wall color for the ceiling (or if you're going for something really bright and colorful, in which case, use contrasting colors). For doors, skirting boards and radiators, use a darker or lighter tone of the same color as the walls or a contrasting one.

If you want to use bold colors, but feel uncertain, the general rule is that opposite colors (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple) look great together and shades of the same color family look great together. Experiment on paper before hand to see how different color choices will look.

Step Four: Soft Furnishings

(e.g. curtains, blinds, bedspreads, cushions). It's always a good idea to get fabric samples before your final choice that way, you can see how the color looks in the room. Most fabric stores will give you a small strip from the end of a roll.

Don't mix too many contrasting patterns as they will all fight for space and give your room a confused look. When you add your pictures or posters, you want them to be the main focal point.

Here are some effects you might like to try:

  • For a simple, uncluttered look, blinds at the window look clean and unimposing and if you keep your soft furnishing colors within the same color family as your walls, the whole effect will be easy on the eye, i.e. if you picked blue for the walls, choose soft furnishing in the same color group (pale blue, turquoise, sky blue, navy). If you chose green, the cushions and curtains should be in shades of green.

  • For a bold bright look, go for contrasting soft furnishings. e.g. if you have blue walls, pick cushions in shades of yellow. If the walls are yellow, choose, cushions in shades of blue and purple.

  • For a soft look, choose pastels and use fine muslin draped at the window.

  • For an exotic look, choose spicy colors such as, red, orange and yellow. Drape sari material on a curtain rod over the window and have cushions made out of similar material for the bed.

  • For a romantic look, have a canopy over your bed and use shades of pink and red.

Step Five: Lighting

Bedside and table lamps can make the room look soft and warm in the evening. Again, choose the color of your light shade to complement your color theme. Candles and nightlights can also be used to make the room look atmospheric in the evening (but be careful not to place them anywhere they can set fire to something!).

Step Six: Pictures and Posters

These are completely a matter of individual taste, but think about what you want to look at morning and night for the coming months or years. Pick the frames to complement your general look.

Step Seven: Personal Touches

Personal touches around the room will finish your look. Boxes to hold your jewellery, your favorite books, magazines, photos of friends. Save up for one fabulous piece—whether it be a jewelled mirror, some sort of nick-nack or a beaded cushion—and display it somewhere that will draw the eye.

Step Eight: Scent

Don't forget one of the most powerful senses, the sense of smell. Make your room smell wonderful with essential oils, room sprays or joss sticks.

Lucy's Room

I redecorated my room over a year ago when I realized that I had outgrown my girlie pink phase. I'd been into it in a big way and everything was P-I-N-K. I wanted something a bit more sophisticated so chucked out all my fluffy toys (except for my favorite teddy bear, Mr. Mackety—no way could I ever get rid of him. We've been through too much together). My room looks fab now. I spent ages trying out different colors and finally settled on lilac mist for the walls and a powdery, pale blue on the woodwork. Mum and I went down to Brick Lane in the East End of London and bought some gorgeous sky blue sari material with embroidered silver borders. We used it to make curtains and put a swathe of it over a curtain rail at the top of the window. That was the finishing touch and really brought the room together. The room looks soft and pretty now and I've started a craze for buying sari material for people's windows.

Izzie's Room

My bedroom has turquoise walls and I have deep-purple scatter cushions and curtains. I chose turquoise as it's supposed to be a healing color so I thought, what better choice for my personal space? I also like using scented candles so my room always smells lovely. At the moment, I have a mango one and it's divine. If I had my way, I'd like to build some sort of pyramid shape on the ceiling (like a pyramid shaped mosquito net!) as it's supposed to be a healing shape to lie to sit under, but Mum said no way, Jose. If I want to see the pyramids, she says I have to go to Egypt. Mum's an accountant and not big on creativity, which is why the rest of our house is cream, safe and immaculate.

Nesta's Room

Mum did my room. I trust her taste completely as she did a course in interior design and has a real flair for it. She chose a strong lavender for the walls and put pink muslin across the windows. My bed is like a princess's as it has the pink muslin draped from the ceiling down to the head. It looks romantic with all the muslin floating round it, but not too little girlie. I also have some red velvet heart-shaped cushions on the bed which look fab and are a good focal point for the eye. Plus, like Izzie, I like my room to smell gorgeous so I use exotic room sprays, like rose or lily.

TJ's Room

You have to be joking. My parents only know one paint color and that's magnolia. Boring and a half. My room looks really old-fashioned. It's even got patterned wallpaper—cream with pale green leaves on it. I hate it. Hopefully, next birthday they'll let me decorate and I'm going to go for all the Eastern colors. Deep orange, red and gold curtains and loads of exotic-colored scatter cushions so that it looks like a sultan's harem. Mum and Dad will probably have a heart attack.

Once you've got your bedroom sorted, here are a few fun things to do in there!

Find Your Pop Star and Your Romantic-Fiction Writer Name

For your pop star name, you take the name of your first female pet if you're a girl, male pet if you're a boy, then your mother's maiden name:

Izzie's: Zizi Malone

Lucy's: Smokey Kinsler

Nesta's: Sooty Costello

TJ's: Bubbles Bailey

For your romantic-fiction writer name, you take your middle name and the name of the street where you first lived.

Izzie's: Joanna Redington

Lucy's: Charlotte Leister

Nesta's: Suzanne Lindann

TJ's: Joanne Laurier

Quiz: Find Out What You're Really About!

1. Write down your three favorite animals in order of preference. Say why you've chosen them, e.g. cats because they're independent, penguins because they're funny, owls because they're wise.

First choice reveals how you see yourself.

Second choice reveals how others see you.

Third choice reveals how you really are.

It's the adjectives chosen to say why the animal has been picked that are more revealing than the animal.

2. Make up your own book titles and authors. Here are TJ's favorites, for a start:

Pusscat's Revenge by Claude Bottom

Poo On the Wall by Hoo Flung Dung

The Revelation of St. John by Armageddon Ottahere

Bubbles In the Bath by Ivor Windybottom

Text copyright © 2005 by Cathy Hopkins

Table of Contents


A Note From Us






PART ONE: Boys and Relationships


Where to Find Them

What Boys Want

What Boys Say They Don't Want

Types of Boys

How to Get Noticed

Top Tips on the Art of Flirting

Reading Body Language

Meeting The One

How to Spot a Rat


First Dates

The Art of Good Conversation

Tony's Top Romantic Places

How to Be a Great Kisser

How to Get a Second Date

How to Keep Him

Mrs Lovering's Top Tips for Relationships


When Relationships Go Wrong

How to Tell Him It's Over

Dealing With Rejection


Boys and Astrology

Spells to Handle Boys


Ground Rules for Being Out With Mates

PART TWO: Beauty, Health, and Fashion

Looking After Your Skin

Routines for Different Skin Types

Finding Your Skin Type

An Aromatic Facial Routine

For Bathtime

Problem Areas

To Tan or Not to Tan?

Hair Care


Hairy Bits



Eating to Survive and Thrive: Health and Nutrition


The Essential Wardrobe

Lucy's Top Tips for Making the Most of Yourself

PART THREE: Survival Tips for Every Occasion

Surviving at School:

Dealing With Bullies

Study Tips


Survival at Home:

Things to Do When You'e Grounded

Dealing With Parents


Dealing With Siblings

Surviving Social Occasions:

TJ's Tips for Being Streetwise

Things to Do If You Get Stranded With No Dosh

Surviving Financially: Managing the Dosh:

£££, $$$ — Or Lack of It

PART FOUR: Relaxation and Fun Time

Things to Do on a Rainy Day


Sleepover Special Report

Mrs. Williams's Tips for Dinner Parties

Nesta's Tips for Dinner Parties


An A-Z of Party Themes

Our Favorite Party Games

Non-Alcoholic Cocktails for Parties

How to Give Someone a Special Day


The Essential Summer Holiday Wardrobe

Some Other Things You May Find Useful

Tips for Taking Great Holiday Pics

PART FIVE: Riding the Roller Coaster


Izzie's Visualisations to Take Your Mind off Bad Times

Yoga Meditation




Bye For Now!

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