Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Sundries

The sun comes out, the temperature rises...beckoning you outside into the fresh air...only to dry your hair, burn your skin and fade your nail polish. Ah....summer! So, how do you protect and maintain your appearance in the hot summer months? Here are some tips:

Protect Your Hair From the Sun:

Hair stylists used to advise customers to switch to a clarifying shampoo in the summer to remove impurities like chlorine and product build-up. But that's all changed now. Instead, skip the clarifying shampoos that dry out the hair and opt instead to:
  • Pre-soak your hair before entering the pool to reduce the amount of chlorinated water your hair takes in.
  • Give your hair a summer shampoo break. Opt for an every other or every third shampooing day during the dry summer months.
  • Increase your conditioning. On non-shampoo days, you can still condition. Or, apply conditioner to your hair before swimming or relaxing in the sun.
  • Rinse your hair with cool or cold water at the end of your shower to seal the hair cuticle.
  • Apply jojoba oil to the ends of your hair to soften and soothe them.
  • Cover up - pick out a pretty summer hat, a cool bandana to cover your hair while in the sun. Or, sit in the shade under an umbrella.
Get Pretty Hands and Feet -- Top Nail Polish Colors for Summer 2010:
What's more sweet than a fresh manicure and pedicure. Try one of these hot summer colors on your next trip to the salon.
Serious Skin Savers:
Dermatologists recommend applying at least 2 teaspoons of sunscreen to your face alone. And, don't forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours and each time you emerge from the pool. I personally love the spray on sunscreens. Try Coppertone Sport in 30 all the way up to 70 SPF.

Have you seen the new powder sunscreens? Very cool! Why not give this one a shot - bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural sunscreen

Or, maybe use a tinted sunscreen for light coverage and sun protection. I use Dr. Brandt UV SPF 30 Face Tinted sunscreen.

What are your favorite summer beauty tricks?

Photo Credit: (top)sciondriver's photostream on Flickr (middle) jronaldlee's photostream on Flickr

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Summer Escapes

Sometimes in order to get away from it all you need do nothing more than crack open a good book...or download one to your Kindle, Nook or iPad.

Find a quiet place where you can spread out and lounge, bring a cool drink and the freshest summer fruit to snack on, and tell your friends and family to buzz off for a while so you can escape.

I've been searching for that great summer read and crossing a few recent finds off of the list. Looking for something good to read? Why not give a few of these page turners a try:

Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger 
Ah...the drama! Before there was Brangelina there was Liz and Dick and the worldwide scandals they created.

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.
Such a good book they made it a movie! If you haven't found it already, it's a thrilling ride of a read!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell.
If you love Sex and the City, you definitely will enjoy this "pre-quel" about a teenage Carrie pre-city.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer
Calling all "Twihards"...a must read before the new Eclipse movie comes out.

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
If you haven't yet discovered this author, you're missing out on these hysterical, fast-paced stories about a bumbling divorcee turned bounty hunter. Start with her first book, One for the Money, or if you're already addicted like me, her latest hits bookstores on June 22nd.

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Who can argue with all three books on the New York Times Bestseller's list for this long?

What other books do you recommend for this summer?

(Photo credit - TheCreativePenn on Flickr)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Incredulous Shrinking Woman

A while back I posted about my recent "shock and awe" experience with my post marriage weight. So, now a month later...it's time for an update.

As I mentioned I signed up for Weight Watchers - a program I'd had good success with back in the early 1990's when I lost 20 pounds of college partying weight. Over the last sixteen post-college years however, my weight has yo-yo'ed up and down the scale to frightening heights and satisfying lows. My biggest challenge - the inability to lose and then maintain a healthy weight.

So far, my experience on Weight Watchers has been very good. The program has changed a lot since I tried it last and does a much better job of accomodating people like me who struggle with sticking to a weight loss plan due to:

1) Being constantly on the go, which makes it tough to thoroughly plan foods ahead of time.
2) My love of eating out at non-chain restaurants (most diet plans only seem to provide food values for chains).
3) My love of ethnic foods that most diet programs seem to have never heard of.

The expansion of the discussion of these programs on the Internet - in chat rooms, food web sites and message boards - really helps someone like me to be able to stay on program AND continue to eat the things I like to eat (so I don't feel deprived).

For example - last weekend we were invited to have dinner at the home of another couple. They wanted to share their love of a local Pho restaurant. I scoured the Weight Watchers Web site and no mention of a points value for Pho. But...thankfully I found several message boards and online communities that addressed how to count this innocent seeming food. Those sites have been a Godsend to my ability to diet AND continue to stay a part of my social world. Some great sites to be sure to bookmark:

Dottie's Weight Loss Zone - the points values for hundreds of restaurants!

Health Discovery - great message boards and chats for people doing Weight Watchers to discuss just about everything.

Calorie Lab - a site that lists the general nutrition information for just about every category of food - including ethnic foods.

In addition, I've become a big fan of the Weight Watchers E-Tools - which allows you to track the Weight Watchers points values that you've consumed, your activity points and how many weekly points you have remaining. There's something very satisfying about inputting everything into the computer and letting the machine track everything for you. (many people also enjoy and have similar success with the Fit Day web site, which is great as well).

All in all, I'm thoroughly pleased with my progress so far. After weighing in today I'm down 8.5 pounds and still striving to meet a 10 pound loss by the time I head to the beach next week. Say a prayer, will ya?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Summer is officially here and I want new Shooz. I want new sparkly sandals, wedges, thongs, peep-toe pumps...I want it all.  Have you checked out the trends this year? Quite funky!

Things to look for and guide your shopping:

Go-Go Gladiator:
Yes, the Gladiator sandal look is still here. I'm really on the fence about this because it's very tough to pull off. Ankle straps are pretty unforgiving unless you're a 6 foot tall, 100 pound woman.  Here's what's in store:
Cole Hahn
Loeffler Randall

Bewildered and Bejeweled:
These are great - especially if you aspire to have a recurring guest role on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sparkly, stones and baubles bring bling to your feet.

Enzo Angiolini

Calvin Klein

Thong Song:
Flat and flirty, I've been seeing these everywhere. I especially like the thong sandals that have some kind of sophisticated embellishment. These are definitely my favorite trend of the season. Some of my faves:

Tory Burch

Sam Edelman 

Pardon Me Sir, Is it 1985?
You heard it here first - jellies are back. I was in New York last week in an elevator going to the 53rd floor and there they were...jellies. Oy!

Vera Wang 

Calvin Klein 

And, the "No, You Didn't" Shoo of the Week goes to.....Dolce Vita, who has succeeded in producing a whole line of frightening footwear.

What are your favorites this season?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sand & The City?

Have you seen the new Sex And the City movie?

For months I waited in anticipation to see this film. I really enjoyed the fun, emotional roller coaster ride delivered by the first one and frankly expected no less from round two. Then the reviews came pouring in and unfortunately, they weren't good. I sighed in disappointment....and then went to see the movie anyway.

So, here's my take. While the reviewers are correct - the second Sex And The City movie has a seriously weak plot line - I have to say that the fashion in the second movie has been significantly amped up! Just about every scene is a serious fashion WOW moment. Clearly, the writers went a different route this time - most likely egged on by opportunities for serious product placement and the money that comes with it. So, instead of telling a great story that just about all women can relate to, this version is two and a half hours of  total "fashion porn" for women.

High Points:
- I did love that this version of the film finally explains how Carrie met her three best friends (with great shots of them in the 80's together).The details of their early friendship puzzled viewers for a long time and we all really wanted to know more about how they came together.
- Miranda was a total hoot in this version of the film. She takes on the role of "Julie the Cruise Director" for the girls while in Abu Dhabi and sets up some really amazing excursions for them. Between Miranda's planning and the hotel and air travel accomodations, it's a real DREAM trip.
- Samantha, desperately clinging to youth, shows up to a red carpet event in the same outfit as Miley Cyrus.

Low Points:
- Aidan, while formerly super hot, seems to have lost his mojo. I was looking forward to having him back in the story, but he looked kinda old and leathery this time around.
-  Oh Liza Minelli. When I saw that you'd be in the film, I thought it would have been a cute cameo. But your version of "Single Ladies" was just plain painful. At every moment I was cringing waiting for you to have cardiac arrest. Eeek!

All in all, I will say that I enjoyed the movie. There were a LOT of laughs to be had, great fashion and it was nice to see the SATC franchise focus on marriage for a change. That said - I do hope they focus more on the storyline next time around (if there is a next time around).

What did you think?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Disappointment TV

Warning - possible spoilers ahead!

All across the nation this week you can hear the sound of crickets chirping in the silence. That silence is caused by millions of Americans sitting shaking their heads in disgust. Three top shows, three disappointing endings.

First, let's talk about LOST. I don't know about you, but I really, really was expecting more from that finale. I mean for the last few years skeptical people have been placing bets that the Losties were either already dead or it was just a dream all along. Well, we didn't end up that far off, did we? For six years, we devoted ourselves to this series - the mythology, the characters and the mystery. I was just hoping for a little bit of "wow" and I feel that instead I got "wah, wah waaahhhhh".

So then, that takes us to Dancing with the Stars. I've been a faithful viewer since the beginning. It's always been a fun show. But really, to put a professional dancer on the roster and then have her win. No offence to Nicole Scherzinger, but it really wasn't fun to watch her this season. This should is all about growth, starting off a novice and going pro. But, instead she dominated all season and took all the fun out of the show for me. Dancing - I gave up on you about halfway through the season...if you can't do a better job with casting, then I'll be taking you off my DVR's season pass list.

And, finally that brings us to American Idol. I can at least say that I am not an avid watcher of this show. And that's has less to do with the talent and the production and everything to do with how LAME America is. What is going through the heads of the viewing public? Why oh why do you keep preventing the RIGHT contestant from winning? You keep voting for the absolute most boring singers! Adam Lambert should have won. Crystal Bowersox should have won. Why does the candidate who most seems to be carved out of cream cheese always win? Snore! Maybe someday America will be able to see past someone who seems a little different and instead see the amazing talent they possess.

Well, summer is just about here and with it a soft television line-up. I guess I'll be turning back to Netflix for my summer entertainment.

What did you guys think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Sometimes it's the va-va-voom in life that makes it all worth while, right? Well, here's a small dose to add to your life.

I came across an ad for the Conde Nast online store while reading my favorite magazine - Vanity Fair.  Curious, I navigated to the address and was instantly captivated. While many of the items are a bit pricey, they are SO worth it. The site is filled with standout art pieces for your home or office. Whether it's a framed vintage photograph or magazine cover to sophisticated note cards and gifts...you've got to check out this site.