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Susan's Spa

Your number one stop for beauty and blogging tips, all in one fabulous blog!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

L'Oreal - Cutting Edge Skin Care at Drugstore Prices There are two relatively new products from L'Oreal that I want to rave about. These are from L'Oreal's RevitaLift line. Having used most of the products from this line, I feel I can state, with confidence, that these products are very effective and a bargain, considering that their counterparts can cost quadruple the amount at more upscale stores. The first product I tried is the Intense Lift Treatment Mask. In this kit, you receive four individual mask, wrapped individually, to be used once a week (a month's supply). The wrap itself is saturated with super intense product, which is formulated to absorb into the skin rather quickly. You place the wrap on your face (which generously covers your entire face and chin/neck area) with openings for eyes, nose and mouth. Keep this wrap on for at least ten minutes (longer will help the product absord into the facial area). This is a very soothing and fragrance-free product. I've used two of these masks so far and my skin was left feeling moist and plump afterwards. The effects are cumulative. The full kit sells for around $13 or $14 depending upon where you purchase it. I also just started using the Revitalift Double Lifting gel/antiwrinkle creme product. This very unique product is dispensed from two sides (one has the lifting gel, while the other has the anti-wrinkle creme). It has a cooling effect on the skin upon contact and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling moist, but not at all greasy. My only complaint about this product is that the gel and creme don't dispense in equal amounts so extra pumping might be needed, which may result in a waste of product, but nevertheless, this is well worth the money for around $16 or $17 depending upon where it's purchased. You can click on the link at the beginning of this post which will take you to a page for a review of many of L'Oreal's other skin care products. Happy shopping!

Monday, January 30, 2006

For Beautiful Skin, Go East!

I just wanted to write a short post today, a very busy Monday! I've been wanting to review this skin care line for a while, but some folks have written me about it, so I thought I would share my own experiences. I first saw Wei East on Home Shopping about two years ago. I finally took the plunge exactly one year ago and ordered one of Wei's (the name of the developer) kits. The kit included items from her Chestnut firming line. After using these products on and off for the last year, I can confidently recommend them to my readers. Wei's products have been written up in fashion magazines. She developed these lines, mixing the philosphy of good skin care passed down from generations, using herbal products, with the cutting-edge technology from Western civilization. These skin care items are unique and, comparatively, very affordable to some of the other items you would purchase in a store for possibly three times the amount (i.e. Prevage, the new kid on the block, selling for $150.
My favorite products from the line are the Chestnut Firming Creme and Eyes Alive Eye treatment. She also has a wonderful lifting serum and the China Herbal Youth Recaptured serum, which it well worth the money. For extra moisturizing, try her White Lotus products, which now include a brand new serum. The White Lotus products are great over-night recovery products. For more information on Wei East, head over to Happy shopping!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder....yeah right! There are so many sound bites much like this one that, although we want to believe are true, we know society does not support. More and more our culture is clinging to the idea that younger, thinner and more beautiful is the way to go. Gossip rags are filled with stories of celebrities who either have had plastic surgery, too much plastic surgery, eating disorders and/or in various stages of losing weight. Then there are those rags that love to publish photos of our favorite stars at their very worst; walking their dogs in their pajamas, stuffing a burrito down their throats, fighting with their wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other in public or, the very worst, bending over while wearing a bikini at the beach. We love to see them all glammed up, but there's something about seeing them with greasy hair, a ratty baseball cap and sunglasses that is satisfying as well. We long to be like them (i.e. reality shows like 'The Swan' and 'Extreme Makeover'), but at the same time, we want them to be more like us. It seems we are all in a race to keep age and/or pounds at bay, but the bar is always getting higher and higher. At what point do we all say enough and just accept the status quo? At what point do we really count our blessings and prioritize what's really important? Maybe someday there'll be a reality show about people going out into world (celebrity driven, of course), doing volunteer work or something really worthwhile and that will become the thing to achieve.....nah, the show would probably tank after the first airing.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My MAC Attack

Today I went shopping with my daughter to a local mall (one of the largest in the USA). They have every store imaginable, including many upscale designer shops and three large cosmetic stores; the ever popular Sephora, Bare Escentuals and, of course, MAC. Sephora and Bare Escentuals I am all to familiar with and have dropped quite a bit of money in both establishments, but MAC was unchartered territory for me and because I am committed to writing about these things in my blog, I felt compelled to walk into this store, if for no other reason, but to report on my experience. My daughter, who is a cosmetic diva, commented immediately that she didn't like the store at all. I was kind of surprised since she's drawn to make-up like a moth to a flame. I asked her why and she said it seemed very confusing to her what with all the varied products and the many, many color palettes. Her observations were correct. While the store is a well organized and modern structure, it was a rainbow of colors far and beyond anything I've ever seen in any other store. There were make-up applications in varying stages going on to the right and left of us and, not surprisingly, a long line at the cash register. Although I looked at various products, I was not inclined to purchase anything...not even a lip gloss (my favorite thing to buy from any other cosmetic line). Their product was no better or worse than anything else I've gotten for less money anywhere else, but the name was catchy (lip glass...get it??). We left the store within ten minutes, with neither of us purchasing anything. I know there are oodles of MAC ladies (and maybe a few guys too) out there who live for their new colors and know their favorite numbers by heart. There are message boards all over the internet dedicated to MAC and their loyal followers, but I just don't get it and probably never will. Having said that, I'm happy that there is such a cosmetic line that has captured the hearts and pocketbooks of women everywhere....I'm just not one of them and, apparently, neither is my daughter.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Million Little Apologies

This is a departure from my usual format...writing about beauty products, but I just felt like I wanted to share my thoughts about Oprah's show with James Frey, author of "A Million Little Pieces". To catch you all up, James wrote this book as a memoir regarding his journey from massive drug and alcoholism to sobriety. The book was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club selection and, like most of those books, took off in a hurry on the best sellers' list. Oprah and her crew were all very taken with Jame's story as evidenced on the first show on which James appeared after everyone had finished reading the book. Fast forward a few months later and the watchdog website "The Smoking Gun" came forward reporting that James Frey had told several lies in his best seller. Apparently, James had distorted some of the actual events in order to dramatize the story a bit more (probably to make it more interesting to publishers). In any event, James came forward and admitted to doing so, but downplaying the whole debacle to make it look like it was really no big deal. On "Larry King", when he appeared to defend his reasonings for the lies, Oprah even called in to say that the message of the book was still valid. Apparently, she had major second thoughts about this (who knows why), but took the opportunity to apologize profusely for her mistake and then sat with James Frey, on her beautifully appointed leather couch and proceeded to rip him to shreds in more than a million little pieces. I actually found the whole thing rather embarrassing (it was televised live). She sitting there seething with anger while James appeared to hope that the couch upon which he sat would open up and swallow him. Oprah, in a great departure from her annoyingly unbiased self, went to great lengths to prove her point about the enormity of the lies that she had several videoed sound bites from reputable journalists from "The New York Times"(like they never lied). I actually ended up turning it off at one point because I found myself disgusted by the whole thing. What's worse is that all her other guests praised her for her bravery for coming forward and admitting her grave mistake in validating Jame's book even with it's lies. I have to say, I really think she got it right the first time. Afterall, James was still a major addict who had to hit rock bottom before getting and staying clean. Who couldn't learn a valuable lesson from that experience? I would love to know just how many other people who penned their memoirs, took the liberty to exaggerate and/or change a few names, details, etc. to either protect the innocent or make their story more marketable to publishers. In the end I think Oprah did herself a great injustice by taking the whole show to prove her point. She could have just made a simple statement with an apology and done a makeover show instead, which is probably the only other time I really watch her anyway.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yoga, Pilates??? What's the difference??

I've been questioned by one of my readers about the difference between yoga and Pilates. I'm no expert in either, although I've practiced both over the years. I will start with what's similar about them. Both are grounded in exacting excercises (Pilates) or postures (yoga). Pilates exericses (as precisely performed) will not only achieve a long, lean posture (much like yoga will), but serves to strengthen the core of the body (your abdominal area) in order to primarily protect the back against any injury). Both forms of exercise are rooted in a mind, body connection, while yoga is also focused on connecting spirit as well. Both can be performed by most people in some form and both have been adapted to be performed by those who have limitations. Both are usually performed on a similar kind of mat through a series of exercises that were developed to achieve a certain result. How they differ is both big and small. Again, yoga serves to achieve a connection between mind, body and spirit incorporating meditation (the most important part of yoga) with the postures. Postures vary depending on variations in forms of yoga. Yoga has also been around alot longer than Pilates. Pilates was actually developed within the last century by Joseph Pilates, originally to help ballet dancers to help protect themselves against any further injury that may have resulted from years of strenuous performances. Through a series of exercises, Pilates serves to achieve a strong core, which not only results in a longer, leaner posture, but also protects the back by developing strong abdominal muscles. Again, both yoga and Pilates are similar inasmuch as both should be performed with exacting precision. However, while Pilates is useful in developing a strong core, yoga is very helpful in developing balance. I hope this has been helpful to you and all I can say, is try both if you can. You will surely be hooked on at least one of these!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


For those of you who are not familiar with Amerimark (, this company offers great discounts on name brand perfumes and cosmetic products (up to 90% off). You can just go to to see what's available from month to month and also sign up for their Beauty Boutique catalogue.

Look Out For Those Shipping Costs

Yesterday, I was sitting with my daughter watching TV (our other favorite pasttime, other than shopping). We saw one of those infomercials for the Body Flex package. After watching the whole thing, I saw that the whole package was on sale at for only $29.99. I actually thought this was a very good deal since I own the original configuration from years ago. I went online to order it and was astounded by the shipping and handling costs. They were a whopping $14.00 or more. I couldn't even imagine how they could possibly justify this and never finished processing my order. Instead, I headed on over to and found the same product (more or less) for the same amount of money, but with shipping and handling costs under $6.00. So, in the future, when you get pulled in by those infomercials, make sure you check the shipping and handling costs. If they seem kind of high to you, it's probably because they are. Google the product you want and see if you can't find a better deal elsewhere, at least on the shipping. You may end up saving yourself a bundle of money in the long run.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sephora Freebie

Sephora is offering a free lip plump product. Just type in "kissme2006" at the checkout to get yours today. Also, check out all the 75% off items (lots of Jessica Dessert products selling now for $10 and under), but don't hesitate as some items are already "out of stock". Happy shopping!


Ohm, is a chant. This is something I learned many years ago, while practicing yoga. I would have to say that all told, I've probably spent a good ten years or more studying yoga in varying forms, depending on the teacher, or yogi, as some like to be called. Yoga is not for wusses (someone ought to put this on a bumper sticker!). It is a very strenuous form of exercise, that while challenging to the body, is also challenging to one's mind and spirit. Every teacher has their own unique approach to inspiring their students and while yoga is not a competitive sport, I've come across more than one teacher who went against the basic philosophy of yoga, which is "listen to your body". There were times when my inner voice told me in no uncertain terms, "stop what you're doing, you're going to hurt yourself", while my yoga teacher would promptly move from body to body, readjusting and repositioning until the pain was unbearable.....I should have listened to my body! I have, in fact, hurt myself numerous times while trying to achieve the perfect posture. I've cracked a rib and pulled a number of muscles and ligaments, all in the name of perfection. These days my yoga mat doesn't see much action and I have gone from yoga to Pilates since I find this to be less taxing on my body, while pretty much achieving the same thing...a longer and leaner posture. I will always love the idea of yoga and, to this day, still stretch in the morning to limber up my body so I can actually stand up straight, but I think I'll pass my yoga mat on to someone else at this point. For more information about everything yoga, visit

Monday, January 23, 2006

Serious About Skin Care

Serious Skin Care is a line of skin care products that was originally developed by Lesa Stock and Jennifer Flavin-Stallone to address the issues of acne. Both Lesa's daughter Cecil and Jennifer herself, suffered from ongoing outbreaks of acne and needed to find a solution that not only addressed the need for clear skin, but also something that wouldn't dry the skin out in the process. Out of that need, Serious Skin Care was born. Years later, Serious Skin Care is one of the most successful skin care lines offered at the Home Shopping Network ( and at I've been an avid user of many of their product lines, including the acne system. I cannot say enough good things about this skin care line that boasts a complete line of Vitamin A products, Vitamin C products, Glycosamine and Glycolic Acid as well as Olive Oil. For the money, I really don't think you can find a better skin care line. They claim they put all their money into the product itself, instead of marketing and packaging and I believe them! If you want to try these wonderful products, but don't want to invest in a large kit, then try their bag of tubes for $29.99, which you can purchase at either HSN or Serious Skin Care websites. This bag will contain a number of tubes that are more than just travel sized products whereby you can sample a little of everything (about 30 days worth) and you can decide which product lines work best for you.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

For Your Dining Pleasure!
I just found the above link through a friend. This is such a great idea whereby you can purchase a $25 gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, or one you would like to try, for only $10. Just had to pass this along to all my readers! Enjoy!
There's been so much buzz about L'Oreal's new make-up line HIP (High Intensity Pigment), that you now can see what all the buzz is about at CVS. This new cosmetic line offers a totally new spectrum of color for eyes, lips and face. I've also included the link to my ebay store for some great deals on other skin care and cosmetic items. Happy shopping!

Is there Fast Food after Dieting?

If you long for drive-thru fast food after you have started your diet, then don't worry! You can still have your fast food and diet too and feel relatively satisfied and guilt free all at the same time. Here are some alternatives to biggie sizing: Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad is not only delicious and contains a nice variety of greens, diced chicken breast, almonds and chinese noodles, but is only 420 calories. The most calories are contained in the dressing. If you want to use the dressing that comes with the salad, then just add only half the packet, instead of the whole packet, or carry packets of lowfat dressing with you and use those instead. You can also order a side salad and small chili from Wendy's. Their chili is very filling while still lowfat. At Burger King, choose the Chicken Wopper Jr at only 350 calories. As you well know from their commercials, Subway carries a variety of lowfat sandwiches that include turkey, ham and chicken terryaki which range from 310 to 370 calories. They also carry Baked Lays potato chips so you can feel free to add a bag of those without packing on too many more calories to your meal. McDonald's offers fruit and yogart parfait treats and at only 380 calories is a nice departure for your breakfast or lunch. Are you still craving fries? You can add a small bag of fries if you have to have them and not worry to much about spoiling your diet, or instead of ordering an adult or biggie-size meal, get a kid's meal instead with a plain hamburger, small fries and a bottle of water. In fact, at any of these fast food places choose water instead of soda or diet soda which can still contain caffeine. Caffeine is something anyone should limit as much as possible while dieting so bottled water is always a good choice.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Adrienne's Unique Signature

Adrienne Arpel is no stranger in the beauty industry. She and her name have been a trademark in the world of cosmetics and skin care for years. She made her name years ago, while living in New Jersey, married to her attorney husband and raising a young daughter by marketing cosmetics from her home. She began building her business until she became one of the most celebrated make-up artists in the entertainment business, writing book after book about how to look ten years younger and giving classes and spa treatments in high-end retail stores around the country. Now Adrienne, who is in her sixties, is marketing her own brand of cosmetics and skin care, under the name Signature Club A at Home Shopping Network ( I personally have been using some of these products over the years. What I've found is that Adrienne is now forging a road for women over the age of 40, by giving these consumers products that are easy to use, results oriented and reasonably affordable. Many of her kits, when broken down in price, are a great value, dollar for dollar. I especially like her Five Essentials Creme which is marketed in a nice size jar with the eye creme as part of the packaging and not sold separately, like every other skin care product. At times, she offers this creme in a buy one, get one free deal or as part of a bigger kit. I also really like her Vitamin C Capsules. These capsules are filled with a very potent Vitamin C product and are hermetically sealed for freshness. They are so potent, you only need to apply them on the most damaged areas (crows feet, marionette lines, the eleven lines between eyes, etc.) every other day. There are many other items in her varying lines (Vitamin C, Cavier, Bee Pollen, etc.) and all are worth checking out. You can see them all at, or better still, see HSN's schedule for Adrienne's next appearance. If nothing else, she's very entertaining!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Go Bare!

No, no, no! I don't mean actually go bare. I mean go Bare Escentuals. I'm sure you've seen the infomercials on television highlighting the wonders of this mineral powder make-up. I'm here to tell you how wonderful the products are. I started on Bare Escentuals mineral products a few years ago, after watching a demonstration on QVC ( After seeing several airings of the demonstration, I finally ordered with first kit, with the knowledge that I could return it within 30 days and receive my money back, no questions asked. I was hooked immediately and have been since. So what makes this make-up so unique? Essentially, the mineral powders, which can be applied as a foundation, eye shadow or cheek color, are compromised of Titanium Dioxide (a protectant against the sun for both UVA and UVB harmful rays), Zinc Oxide (also a protectant against the sun and also a good cover for scars, acne, discoloration, etc.) and Mica (which gives the powder it's silky sheen and flawless cover). The owner of the company claims you can sleep in this make-up, but it is ill-advised to sleep in any make-up. Some women (a small percentage actually) have complained the the make-up did make their skin break out, but this cases are few and far between. The idea of this make-up is that it doesn't take a lot to give you the right amount of coverage (in fact a little goes a long way) and the coverage is sheer, yet very effective. The fact that so little can be used to create a look, makes it a very good buy overall and eyeshadows, cheek color and foundation can last months and months before you actually use it all up. One important factor is application is to use the brushes from the line to apply the mineral powder. These brushes are designed to make the application easy, but it may take some practice for you to get the look you desire. To find out more about Bare Escentuals make-up you can log on to, and, of course,

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Shampoo 101

There's is so much information about shampooing out there, and a lot of what you read is erroneous. I thought I would take this opportunity to disspell some myths and give you the basics about the best way to get and keep your hair clean. First, make sur you saturate your scalp and hair first with cool or warm water. Although it might be tempting to use hot water, it can dry out the scalp so cool or warm water is the best. After your hair has been saturated with water, apply a small amount (about a quarter's worth) of shampoo to your hair. Concentrate on massaging your scalp while you shampoo since this is where the oil is generated. Thoroughly rinse with cool or warm water. If your scalp is particularly oily, you can repeat a shampoo and rinse again. After rinsing, you can apply conditioner by evenly distributing it from the middle of your hair down to the ends. Only apply from the scalp down if your hair is particularly dry. Rinse conditioner from hair thoroughly only after a few seconds. Rinse hair directly under water until it feels clean to the touch (just run your hands through your hair to make sure no conditioner is left behind). If you can stand rinsing with cold water, then do so, otherwise stick to cool or warm water. How often should you shampoo you ask? There are so many varying opinions on this that it's best left up to the individual. One famous hairstylist, recommends shampooing and styling hair every third day or so, but for some that may be too little. Others believe that shampooing and conditioning every other day is sufficient, but it's really and individual decision overall. One myth that should be debunked is the need to switch shampoos on a regular basis. Salon quality shampoos, for the most part, won't create a build up in your hair so there's no need to switch or use a clarifying shampoo. If you wish to remove any build up, you can try just shampooing your hair and leave out the conditioning step every once in a while. If you have thin hair choose a protein-enriched shampoo and use a light conditioner (also protein enriched). Here are some ingredients to look out for on shampoo labels: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - very, very harsh; Ammonium Laureth Sulfate - very harsh, but better than the above; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - better than the above, but still harsh; Sodium Laureth Sulfate - gentle so look for this ingredient; TEA lauryl Sulfate - good for your hair; TEA Laureth Sulfate - also good for your hair.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yes Ma'am

I can remember the exact place and time of day I was first addressed as "Ma'am". I was at a gas station near my home and the attendant (a young man, but not much younger than me) answered my question, but punctuating it with "Ma'am". I was so astonished at the time that I point blank asked him "Do I look like a ma'am to you?". He had no answer for me (probably because I embarrassed the hell out of him). It took me quite a while to accept the fact that I would no longer be addressed as "miss", but crossing over into the "ma'am" territory was the first realization that I had that I was no longer a young woman, but rather a middle-aged one. Some people glide into middle age and accept all that comes with it: gray hair, expanding girth and wrinkles. I have been fighting the status quo anyway I can with any kind of ammunition I can get my hands on. I can tell you that I started all this at age 39. I mean, why put off until 40 what you know you must do to fend off the inevitable? I consider it a job I must do. Okay, it's not a full-time job, but definitely a part-time one that I approach daily. Exercise, skin care, eating somewhat healthy are all ways I battle aging. I know I have to get older and hope I continue to do so since the alternative is not something I'm yet ready for. However, just because I am getting older, why must I look like I am? I still enjoy getting compliments and I'll take them as long as I can get them. On the other hand, there's something to be said about being comfortable in one's own skin and the other extreme is not an option for me. By that I mean those who have nipped, tucked and injected to the point of bordering on the horrific! I hope I always take good care of myself and feel good about how I look, but I hope someone slaps me if I ever start thinking Joan Rivers actually looks good for her age!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Glamour Globes

Well, the first of the major awards shows were televised last night. The Golden Globes, in my own opinion, is one of the best award shows on television. First of all, it's shorter than the other 999 shows and it shows the stars more relaxed than other shows. Who wouldn't be when sitting at a dinner table with friends and a few bottles of wine. Of course, I always tune in to any of these shows to see who is wearing what. I love to see the hairstyles, jewelry, shoes and bags. I love to see who knocked it out of the ballpark with their stylist's choices and who struck out, and, most likely who will be firing their stylist the next day. I honestly can say that everyone looked amazing last night. Glamour was apparently the goal for the evening and everyone pulled it off beautifully. There were no outlandish hair styles or trashy gowns. Even Melanie Griffith looked sophisticated and elegant when introducing her beautifuly young daughter. So, how do these stars achieve such fabulous looks for the evening? Don't believe any story you hear from any of them that they sat around all day and just got ready a couple of hours before. You know these women (and men too) spend the whole day primping for their appearances starting with the red carpet and ending with a pan of audience members as the credits are rolling. Stars typically will have facials (even starting days before) along with manicures, pedicures, waxing, hair coloring, massages and endless fittings for that perfect fit. There's nothing worse than an ill-fitting gown, even if it's from one of the top designers. Their make-up (both women and men) is always flawlessly applied by top make-up artists, still making most of them look competely natural, but pulled together. It will be interesting to see if the other awards shows follow suit. Thankfully, we don't have to spend hours on end to sit at home in our pajamas and watch the festivities.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Shopping Spree for my Daughter and Me!

Since today is a holiday (in honor of Martin Luther King, one of this country's greatest heros), my daughter and I decided to spend some quality time together doing what we both and eating!
We both love make-up (gee, I wonder where she got that from???) so we made a stop at one of my all-time favorite stores, Ulta. Armed with my $3.50 coupon and my Ulta Beauty Card, we began perusing the aisles for bargains and new items to try. Some of my personal observations turned up two new items that are worth a try. The first is from L'Oreal Revitalift line. This new item comes in the form of a facial mask that pops out of an envelope and is placed on the face for a few minutes. Vital anti-aging properties are released into the skin to help decrease the visible signs of aging, namely wrinkles and sagging skin. This was on sale for under $10 and I decided to give it a try. After I use it, I'll let you know what I think. There was another new item as well from Neutrogena called 'Pure Glow' pads. These little pads are double-sided. The first side is the buffing side and the other side contains moisturizing properties. Although I didn't purchase this one, I was tempted for under $8. One item I would definitely stay away from is Bare Escentuals Eye Liner Palette. I was thoroughly disappointed at the packaging of this product which can leave the consumer with a fist full of the intense mineral powder. Although there are some lovely colors in the palette, the poor packaging can make it difficult to keep the powder in each of their little, separate containers. Also, there are two resevoirs, but I was not sure what these were to be used for. I do know that BE came out with a new product recently to mix with your powder to liquify the powder enough so that it will glide on as a liner, but this was not included in with the palette and I didn't see it anywhere in sight on the BE display. Save yourself $25 and stick with your old liner or use the BE powders you already have to use as liners. Better still, head on over to QVC and pick up Smashbox liners instead. These I cannot live without. Finally, I noticed that Jessica Simpson's Dessert Line seemed to be lower priced at that display. Some other customers were speculating whether this line will eventually disappear (maybe Nick is getting it in the settlement!), but either way, this line was far too over-priced to begin with considering the audience it was meant for (13-18 year olds). Also, when you get to the check out at Ulta, make sure you double check your receipt. More times than not, there's a mistake and it will not be in your favor.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tattoo You

A few years back a friend of mine told me that she was having her tattoo removed. She got it when she was about eighteen, during one of those decisions you make after you've had a night of too much access. It was, at the time, a pretty little dove on her left ankle. Fast forward 25 years and it had turned into a shapeless blob. Of course, she went to college, got married had kids and ended up being a kindergarten teacher. She felt self conscious about the little black blob on her left ankle so she sought the advice of a plastic surgeon who told her she could have it removed and she went ahead and set up appointments (it takes numerous appointments to remove a tattoo) for removal. In the process of having it removed, she told me that it was more painful than childbirth. This made me think about all those people (mostly young, but some middle-aged) who think that having a tattoo is sexy and unique (which it is when you're 18), but can be an eyesore after many, many years. Some things people need to take into consideration is the size, location (location, location, location) and color(s) of tattooing. The smaller and less colorful a tattoo is, the easier it will be to remove should you wish to make that decision. If removal is not an option, than obviously you would want to put it in a place that few people (except those lucky ones) will see it. Also, going to a reputable tattoo artist is essential. Those needles they use should be brand new and sealed and then disposed of once they are done with their work of art. Color doesn't saturate immediately and tattoos should remain dry for a few days in order for the color to not seep out. Anyone considering getting a tattoo should check out the shows "Miami Ink" or "Inked". After watching an episode or two of these reality-based shows, you may change your mind about getting that cute tattoo. Instead try a temporary tattoo, which are now available in mall kiosks and look pretty darn close to the real thing if you don't get too close to it. Also, too much of a good thing is not pretty. One, small, cute tattoo is fine. Too many tattoos in the wrong place (your face, forearms, hands, ears, neck) can be horrifying to look at, not to mention painful to achieve (areas of the body that are less fleshy are more painful to tattoo). This is one decision that you might want to consult your friends and family about. If too many people say "don't do it", take their advice because they're probably right.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some Common Sense about Good Scents

Have you ever walked into one of those perfume discount stores and nearly passed out from the overwhelming scent of perfume? It's like a migraine headache waiting to happen. There's nothing more obnoxious than be clobbered over the head with the smell of perfume (except maybe someone wearing too much perfume while talking on their cell phone). Ask any man, and most will tell you that too much perfume is more of a turn off than anything else. Many women (and men too) dowse themselves with their favorite scent and walking behind them in a mall or, worse yet, getting caught with them in an elevator can be like torture. Most of us want to smell enticing, but how do we go about choosing a scent that's right for us without insulting other people. Here are a few tips for buying a perfume that is right for you.
1) Try not to be influenced by the advertising of a fragrance or the celebrity name that might be attached to it. Selecting a fragrance is a very personal thing and just because Oprah likes Sara Jessica Parker's perfume, doesn't mean it will be right for you. Try it first before you decide.
2) Do not purchase any counterfeit or smell-alike perfumes. In the end, these smell more like alcohol than anything else and will end up being tossed in the trash. Invest in a real perfume. It's worth it!
3) When trying on a perfume do spray a little of it on your wrist and not on one of those little cards they provide you with at the store. It will smell differently on you than anything or anyone else and it's best to spray it, let it sit for a while and then smell it. Don't buy it right away, even if you like it. Wait a few hours and keep sniffing to see all the different notes of the scent. Then, if you still like it, you can make the purchase knowing that you really liked it on you and not someone else.
4) The best place to wear perfume on your body is where your body temperature will continually release the scent throughout the day and evening. Try your wrists, inner arms, chest and inner thigh area. Avoid getting perfume on your clothing as it can and will stain (especially silk). Avoid spraying around your face or areas that will be exposed to the sun and don't mix your perfumes.
5) If you have several scents you enjoy wearing, pick each scent depending on the occasion. For instance, don't wear a heavy fragrance if you are going out for dinner or if you are going off to work. Save the richer fragrances for more intimate evenings and choose something light and fresh for casual daytime wear.

Friday, January 13, 2006

What Not To Wear

Did you ever watch the show "What Not to Wear"? Take two fashion savvy mavens (the British version features two girlfriends, while its American counterpart has a guy and a girl) and one fashion-challenged victim, and you have the makings of a hit show. This show is so popular that even Oprah has those two Brits on from time to time, giving the most up-to-date information on the best jeans for your body (no pleats!!!!) and exactly what kind of shoe/sandal/boot to wear with said jeans. According to the fashions mavens (both British and American) whatever you do, don't try to cover your figure flaw with big, boxy clothes. This I really have to agree with. Big, boxy clothes will only make you look bigger, not smaller and will totally obliterate whatever figure you have. Whether you are an extra small or a 3X, you do have a figure and the bigger the clothes, the bigger you look. According to these wizards, try to find clothes that while not exactly form fitting, should be fitted in areas that accentuate your waist, not hide it under layers of shapeless clothing. The show often finds the subject of the day hunting down clothes in various stores, given all the details from meetings with the gurus. Of course, their closets have been purged of all their favorite, comfy clothes (like that ankle-length denim jumper and snowman sweatsuit). They are asked to ditch their well-worn walking shoes for strappy, high-heeled sandals. Dowdy skirts are replaced with flirty ones and over-sized t-shirts are replaced with cute form-fitting ones with no logos of 80's heavy metal bands or pictures of teddy bears. Subjects are then polished off with a new hairstyle, complete with highlights and fresh make-up application. Of course, everyone looks just spiffy, but one has to wonder just how these people will be able to keep up the look after they are sent back into their respective worlds. Will these folks remember to take their list of "dos" and "don'ts" with them on every shopping excursion? Will they remember to get their haircut and highlights updated on a regular basis? Will they remember to choose a sexy sandal over a comfortable pair of Birkenstocks? Somehow, I just don't think so!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bed, Bath & Way Beyond

There's a joke about Bed, Bath & Beyond that I think showed up on 'The Simpsons' (it may have been 'Family Guy', so correct me if I'm wrong). Anyway, the family goes to Bed, Bath & Beyond and Homer asks one of the clerks "Where's the beyond section???". Frankly, I love this store and I try to shop there as often as possible for anything I probably would have trouble finding elsewhere. True enough, Target and Walmart have good deals on basic items, but in B,B&B you are sure to find that special item you really couldn't find elsewhere, whether it's for your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, den, name it. Here's the best shopping advice of all for this store: you know those 20% off coupons you get in the mail for them every few weeks or so??? Well, don't throw those out. Save them up and take them shopping with you at B,B&B. They never expire and you can use as many coupons as you want while checking out. This time of year, you can find some great sales (especially white sales) so bypass the major department stores intially and check out B,B&B for some great buys and, don't forget to bring your coupons. Some of my other favorite stores are also running semi-annual sales this time of year. One store is Bath & Bodyworks. Right now you can save up to 75% of some seasonal items (you can tuck them away until next Christmas) and, they have some great bargains on their upperscale skin care lines, like buy one, get one free or save up to 50% off retail prices.
Yankee Candle is still running their buy one candle, get one free so, if you love candles, get to their website or store for stocking up on some great quality scented candles. Ulta is another favorite store of mine where they are also running sales on red-lined items. If you don't have an Ulta Beauty Card, go in their store and ask for one. You will not only get their flyers with coupons and money off deals, but every four months or so, you will get a mailing with all the points you've racked up from all the shopping you wil do there, and get back free items, like skin care products, make-up, nail polish, and even their salon services.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Watch Your Feet

One thing I love to do, especially in the summer, is have pedicures. There's nothing more girlie than looking down at your toes and seeing bright, shiny nail polished toes tucked into a sexy pair of sandals or flip flops. There's one thing you must be careful of if you decide to forego a home pedicure for a salon one.....bacteria! Having contracted a nail fungus on my big toe a few years back was nothing, if not extremely annoying. This fungus, which my doctor explained to me, was most probably contracted from a dirty foot spa at the nail salon. If these foot spas are not properly cleaned with a bleaching solution (and I'll explain what properly means in a bit), then the bacteria has no place to go, but right to the customer, which is something you didn't pay for. Worse yet, if you are having a pedicure after freshly shaving your legs, you may be putting yourself at risk for a worse infection. Bacteria can seep in through tiny abrasions on your legs that occur after shaving causing open, weeping sores that may take months to heal and leave you with scars that will last a lifetime. If you're not sure just how your nail salon cleans the foot spas, ask them. What they should tell you is that a bleaching solution is added to a full tub of water, running the jets for a few minutes to force the bleaching solution through the filter, killing any bacteria that is lingering there. They should also be willing to pull off the filter to show you that they remove it daily and scrub it with a brush and bleach to kill any stray bacteria. If they don't do that, then move on to another salon that follows these steps. Just spraying a foot spa with a cleaning solution, after the water has drained, and wiping it down, will not kill all the bacteria and, certainly will not have any impact on the filter. Even if they do all these things, don't shave your legs for a couple of days prior to a pedicure, just to be on the safe side. I know this is not the most pleasant subject, but knowledge is power, as they say.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Good Night's Sleep

When was the last time you had a really good night's sleep??? You know what I mean.....the kind of sleep that takes you into dreamland and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world in the morning. It seems like such a simple thing, but yet the most elusive and it is, by far, the one common denominator amongst us all. Big stars like Madonna and Jennifer Aniston have reportedly complained about how hard it is to get a good night's sleep. They, like so many people, have stayed up with all of us nightly watching "I Love Lucy" reruns and countless infomercials. So, how do you break this cycle you might wonder? Here are some useful tips to help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
First, make sure you don't use your bed for anything other than sleep (oh, yeah, and that other thing you do in bed). No watching TV, reading, chatting on the phone or computer work in the bedroom. Also, establish a nightly routine for yourself, just like you do for your kids. Have a set bedtime and follow a regimen that works for you like a little television, some light reading and perhaps a warm bath or shower. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable in temperature. Turn the heat down in the winter so you're not throwing off your blankets at 2AM and wear comfortable sleeping attire. Leave the sexy negligees for other things. No fighting, worrying or paying bills late at night. This can not only have an emotional impact on your sleep or lack thereof, but a physiological reaction as well. Adrenelin is released into the bloodstream when you are in an agitated state and will prolong any lack of sleep you've been experiencing. Also, try some aromatherapy. Lavender is very soothing and it can help put you in a relaxed state of mind. Head on over to Bath & Body Works for some of their wonderful room scents (in plug in or spray form). Don't use over-the-counter sleep therapies for more than a few days at a time and that would include any PM Tylenol type products or herbal remedies, but do use them in moderation if they can help you at all. If your insomnia lasts more than two weeks, get a check up and see if there are any underlying medical factors. If not, your doctor can prescribe a sleep medication right for you for a few weeks to get you back on track while your working on getting your routine underway. Sleep is vital to feeling energized and emotionally happy during the day. Lack of it can be draining physically and emotionally and will most definitely show up in your face. Most importantly, if you are having trouble falling asleep, make sure you don't have any caffeine past 3PM (some people think 12PM is more reasonable). Caffeine has long-lasting effects on the body so if you think this is impeding your sleep, then give it up for a few days or, at the very least, keep the intake minimal. Lastly, just know that if you are having trouble sleeping, it's probably just short term and you are definitely not alone!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Color of Your Hair

At some point in time, almost everyone wants to change the color of their hair. It's a very scary proposition and most people don't know where to begin. The best place is at your salon, but changing color and keeping it up is costly and can add hundreds of dollars to your budget monthly. I really like the idea of a semi-permanent color. With a semi-permanent color you can usually go two shades up or down from your natural color and it will, at least initially, color your gray hair as long as there's not too much of it. Clairol's Natural Instincts is a very good product and you can purchase it in your drugstore or discount store for under $8. How is this different from permanent hair color? Well, for one thing, it will pretty much wash out of your hair after about 4-6 weeks (around 24 shampoos). Since there is very little or no bleaching properties in the color itself, it doesn't change the infrastructure of the hair, but rather the color surrounds itself around each hair. If the color is not for you, eventually it will fade after numerous shampoo washings and then you can try another shade. Changing your hair color can change your personality and how other people see you and gives you a new perspective of yourself. So, this is a great way to give hair color a try without making a very long-term committment.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Wonders of Tea Tree Oil
A few years back, I was introduced to tea tree oil. It actually came in a product that was a toner for the face. I found it amazingly effective in treating any kind of break out on my face or shoulders. I had eventually started purchasing products from a company called Melaleuca (which is another name for tea tree). Most if not all of their products are based on the wonders of tea tree oil. I found I could purchase it in a local natural food store (Trader Joe's) so I started purchasing it there. This product can be used for just about anything from helping to heal scrapes and abrasions (it's a natural anti-septic) to boosting your household cleaning products (it can be added to your laundry detergent, floor cleaner or glass cleaning product for an extra cleaning boost). Others claim it can be used as a mouth rinse (just don't swallow) and can be used on warts, nail fungus and athlete's foot. One person reported using it to help clear up a sinus infection by adding it to their humidifier (just a few drops). Dabbing just a drop on a pimple will just about clear it up overnight. It can be diluted to treat lice, mites and other such nasties, but keep it away from your cat as it may very well be toxic to them. I did use it on my guinnea pigs and they had no such adverse reaction to it, but you don't want to take any chances with your pets. Check with your vetenarian if you're not sure. So, the next time you are in your health food or vitamin store, check to see if they carry this amazing product. It usually comes in a small bottle, but that little bottle will last a long time because it is such a potent product. Click on the link at the beginning of this page to read some more about tea tree oil.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Be Good To Yourself!!!

Whatever you're doing with your life and no matter how busy you are, always remember to be good to yourself. Take the time to get your haircut, have a manicure or pedicure, read a book, take a class or take a nap. I know a lot of people who read my blog are moms and moms sometimes put themselves last on the list of those who need TLC. We're so busy doing and taking care of others that we forget to nuture ourselves. Years ago I belonged to a wonderful organization called The Mothers' Center. One of the things I learned there was that if I don't nuture myself, I can't very well nuture my family. Giving myself a break from my own life and all that comes with it, alleviates my stress level and helps rejuvinate me so that I can continue to do what I need to do for my family. Also, stress is a very damaging entity. It can make you physically and emotionally ill and it can shave years off your life while adding years to your face. Giving yourself a break will make you feel better and if you feel better, you will be happy. In my house we have a saying..."If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy". Emotions are contagious just like cold germs. So, the next time you think abouting skipping something for yourself so you can spread yourself a little thinner, think about the ramifications. Be good to yourself! Everyone around you will thank you!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Strength to Exercise

I know a lot of you are probably thinking about exercise this time of year. The desire to start a program comes with the need to have a clean slate for a new year. Trying to eliminate bad habits like snacking on junk food goes hand in hand with trying to form better habits like exercising. I've already raved about how great walking is, not to mention easy and cheap (just the cost of a good pair of walking shoes), but no exercise program would be complete without strength training. You could join a gym, hire a personal trainer or go to one of those 30 minute circuit training salons that have been popping up all over the place (think 'Curves'). These are all great, but what if you don't have hundreds of dollars to drop on something like this? You can still exercise at home and save yourself a bundle. You will need some dumbbells which can be purchased at any discount store (Walmart, Target, Modells, Dicks, etc). Ideally, you will need three pair (1,3 and 5 pounds to start) and try to get weights that have some sort of covering over the dumbbell to make the feel more comfortable in your hand. If you need a great place to start for ordering DVDS that will help you develop a program that is right for you, then go to Joyce is a personal trainer who lives in my neck of the woods. She didn't start weight training until she was middle-aged and now that she is in her sixties, she is one of the most celebrated personal trainers around. She has appeared on numerous talk shows and has written many books about, not only weight training, but raising self esteem. Her programs are very easy to follow and are short in duration so you are not spending hours and hours trying to obtain your goal. You can really do it in a much shorter period of time and she will show you how. The thing about exercising is that it really does require you to have a comprehensive work out that includes aerobic exercise to increase and sustain an elevated heart rate for a period of time (20 to 30 minutes to start). This fires up your metabolism and creates a calorie and fat-burning machine. Strength training (working out with the weights) helps to tone your body and, furthermore, creating more muscle helps the body to burn even more calories, even when the body is at rest. How often should you work out like this? If you have the time, aerobic exercise, like walking, should be done at least 4 to 5 times a week and strength-training should be done at least 3 times per week. You can walk every day without fear of injuring yourself, but with strength training, you really need to rest whatever muscle group you exercise at least 48 hours before working that same muscle group again. You can exercise arms one day, your back and chest another and legs, hips and buttocks on another. It really is important to let that muscle group rest so that you don't sustain any injury. I hope you find this helpful to you and, whatever you choose to do, be safe!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Unlikliest Enemies

We all know how bad the sun is for unprotected skin. For those who don't wear sunscreen regularly (SPF15 or over), the sun can create an accelerated aging process (not to mention raise your risk of developing a melanoma). A very famous and much-sought-after dermatologist recently made an appearance on Oprah not that long ago. The teaser to her segment was that she was going to announce what is the single, most important anti-aging product for the skin. After the commercial, she returned and simply said "sunscreen". That's it. It is the most important ingredient you can look for in any skin care product you buy as well as any foundation you wear. Although it is said that you only need one product with the SPF, wearing more than one (for instance a moisturizer and a foundation) will give you added protection which is never a bad thing. Also, if your moisturizer has an SPF of 20 and your foundation has an SPF of 15, you do not have a total SPF protection of 35. The most protection you have is 20, but that's more than enough. Another skin ravager is smoking. Cigarette smoking will carve little lines above your mouth (from all that puffing) so, if you haven't yet quick, just think about what it's doing to your face. Diet is very important in the anti-aging process. Too much sugar and fatty food will definitely takes its toll on your skin. If you want to read a great book on a very holistic approach to anti-aging, then pick up a copy of Dr. Perricone's book on how to eat to reverse the impact of poor diet on your skin. An overview will show you that if you stick to whole foods, whole grains, raw nuts and, most importantly, salmon, you will see a difference in the clarity of your skin as well as the diminishing of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You may also drop a few pounds by eliminating the sugar and white flour products that are forbidden foods on his plan. Other factors that will hinder the appearance of your skin are stress, too little sleep and an underlying illness that has gone unnoticed. If you haven't been for a check-up for a while and your skin is starting to show signs of dry patchiness and/or a change in the pallor of your complexion, definitely get yourself checked out to make sure there is no medical connection. You can even discuss with your doctor what you can do to help improve the condition of your skin or he/she can refer you to a dermatologist.
A holostic approach to anti-aging needs to include exercise as well. Making these changes will, over time, really improve the appearance of your skin and your overall well being.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Ebay Link
Here's a link to my Ebay store. I add new things every week and I will include this link every time I add more products. I really enjoy being an ebayer and frankly, find it quite habit forming. I started as a buyer a few years back and after I left one job, decided to stay home with my kids more and try to develop a business from home. At first I sold lots of books (I read all the time) at (Ebay's sister company) and eventually opened up a seller's account on Ebay. I sold everything that wasn't nailed down that I no longer had use for. In the first few months I made quite a lot of money. Eventually I found my niche with skin care and cosmetics because it is one of my passions and I always have an over abundance of items that are brand new and I just want to sell to make room for more.

Hair Raising

My first day at work (unofficially since I am still in training) was hair raising. So much information to absorb in such little time, but it leads me back to this blog, which is primarily about looking and feeling your very best, especially when it comes to your hair. Hair can take a real beating all year round. In the summer we have to contend with the constant exposure to the sun, chlorine and salt water. In the winter we have to deal with the dry cold air and the dry indoor heat. First and foremost, I think having a humidifier at home is not only great for your health, but for your hair, nails and skin. Adding more moisture to the air with a humidifier is just one way to replenish moisture. Always drink plenty of water too. As for special care in the winter for your hair, try deep conditioning once or twice a week with just a couple of teaspoons of oil. I know I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Massage in to hair prior to shampooing and conditioning for twenty minutes. You don't need to heat the oil. Just wrap a towel around your head and then shampoo and condition twenty minutes later. Also, try not to wash your hair every day. Most people really don't need to shampoo daily. Every other day is enough. Try to forego the blow dryer and/or flat iron every once and awhile and if you do use these products, try to find a hair product made especially for use with these products. VO5 has a fairly new line of products (look for the red bottles) that work very well, and are very inexpensive. Try not to over brush your hair. That theory of brushing your hair a hundred strokes every night is a fallacy. Too much brushing can easily break or damage ends as much as over using heated styling tools. Also, try to use a finishing product (not a gel) that has some silicone in it to help smooth little fly away hairs and give your hair a nice healthy shine. I've used many of these shine products and my favorite is still John Frieda's Frizzeze, which is probably one of the original shine products. All you need is a couple of drops. I will touch back later!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Some More Thoughts About Dieting

It's 10:00 at night and I wanted to post before I turn off my computer. Tomorrow I begin training for my new teaching position and since I'm not sure when I will post tomorrow, I wanted to end the day with some thoughts. Today I went shopping for some new clothes for my new job. Nothing special. I'll be working with nursery school children so I need practical clothes. I went to several stores and was totally amazed at the differentiation in sizing. What is a size 8 in one store was more like a size 4 in another. Some pants were too long and some were so low waisted I had to check that I was in the right department. Some of the pants are cut for my 13 year old daughter, but not for a middle-aged woman. I finally found what I was looking for, but realized that I really have to make a concerted effort to stick to an eating (no, not a diet) and exercise plan that will help me get back into shape. I will be bringing this up from time to time as I make my progress (hopefully) and I welcome you to join me with any comments about your own plans to shed a few pounds and get back into shape. If anyone has any suggestions that work for them, I'd love to hear them and I will be sharing mine with you too!

Walk Away Those Pounds

Years ago, when my children were still young, I needed to drop some weight. If you're a mom (or even if you're not), there always comes a time when you know you need to lose some weight. It's usually around the time you've traded in your sexy jeans for stretch pants and fitted t-shirts for over-sized tops. I had tried gyms, but frankly with two small children going to a gym was not an option. At the time, I was reading Susan Powter's book, "Stop the Insanity". Remeber Susan with her ultra-short bleached hair and out-of-control engery from her tv commercials? Well, she may have been a little crazy, but she was the one who turned me on to walking as a form of exercise. She herself had two little boys when she began walking and her genuine, self-deprecating personality made me want to strap on my walking shoes and walk away my pounds. Walking has become a staple of my exercise regime, although now I also do strength training because more muscle burns more calories. Eventually, my husband bought me a treadmill so I could walk indoors in bad weather. The treadmill is great, but can be boring although I always keep my MP3 player loaded with my favorite disco music to keep me inspired. I was looking for a program that would incorporate walking with some diversity and I finally found it with Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds series ( I love these DVDs and they are a small investment for a big return in terms of exercise. They are easy to follow (no tricky dance moves) and the program clearly marks when you have reached one, two, three and four miles. She even does this on her strength-training DVDs. If you want to try her DVDs, but don't want to pay full price for them, you can always go to or and see if you can get them there. Again, before you start any exercise program, you need to speak with your doctor, but most if not all doctors agree that walking is the best exercise program around. Since I know a lot of women read my blog, I will tell you that my favorite walking shoe is made by Ryka. This shoe company makes athletic shoes specifically for women. These light-weight shoes are a great buy and can be found at or in most stores that sell athletic equipment and/or department stores. Good luck with whatever program you choose and just know that when you are walking, I'm probably doing it too so you're not alone!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Don't Be A Yo Yo

A lot of people are thinking about the new year and how they will begin a diet. This is never an easy thing to do and, for most people, the thought is overwhelming and the fear is very real. There is a bottomless well of information out there so most people wonder "Where do I even begin??".
I can tell you from personal experience that diets, for the most part, don't work. In fact, if you don't believe me, ask Oprah (if she'll talk to you) because she has said it on her show many times. Diets force you to eliminate certain foods from your life. Eventually, you add them back in and start gaining the weight again. This can become a vicious cycle causing you to gain and lose weight which, according to medical experts, is dangerous for your health. Aside from dieting, what else can you do?
The most important thing to do is to continue eating. Food is our fuel and our body needs it to maintain a healthy metabolism. Our metablosim is responsible for burning the calories and without food, our metablosim will come to a screeching halt. First and foremost, visit your doctor. Most people need to get themselves checked out first to make sure everything is in good working order and that there are no under-lying reasons for weight gain (or loss for that matter). For me, the best approach to losing weight is cutting back on the foods I like to eat (especially snack foods) and cutting down on portion size. We are a country that loves and serves up huge helpings of food (super size, biggie size). Regular size portions are all any person needs to fuel their metabolism. So, if you do still want your cheeseburgers and fries, just get the regular size or, better still, get a kid's meal with a diet soda or bottle of water. Instead of having six cookies as a snack, just have one and an apple to with it. Instead of having two eggs with buttered toast in the morning, just have one egg or one with the yolk and one without and one slice of light bread with some suger-free jam. Add more fruits and vegetables to your meal plan and less chips and fries. Believe it or not, little changes like these add up and the end of the day in terms of less calories and fat and eventually, if you stick with it, you will slowly begin to see a weight loss. Losing weight slowly is really the best way to do it anyway and has proven itself to be the best way to keep the weight off once you've lost it. One of the best tricks to keeping yourself honest, is keeping a food journal. This isn't as hard as you think. All you need is a little notepad where you can jot down everything you eat. When you see it in writing, it becomes more tangible and it helps to keep you focused on what you should be eating and what you should avoid. Almost all nutritional counselors urge their clients to keep a journal because this form of accountability helps people really connect with their object of losing the weight. It takes away from the mindless eating that a lot of us do when we are stressed out, upset or depressed and puts the focus back on eating only when we are hungry. Whatever you chose to do, I am here for you doing exactly what you're doing. We can be diet buddies!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

So, Are You Dieting Yet??

Did you party like it was 1999 last night?? Did you eat and drink yourself into a stupor, or did you poop out right after the ball dropped? Whatever you did last night, you're probably thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is Monday that one day that we usually all promise ourselves we will begin our diet. If you've been perusing the magazine rack while waiting at the check-out counter in the supermarket, every magazine is packed with before and after pictures of successful dieters who took off the pounds through hard work and patience. Well, what if you want instant gratification? A girl's best friend next to her MAC Fleur Power blush, is her Spanx. What are they you ask? They are your answer to your mother's old-fashion girdle! This lightweight (as in pantyhose lightweight) panty will instantly take five pounds off your body while your working towards your long-range plans to actually take five pounds off your body. They come in different colors and are so discreet, they can be worn under skirts, dresses, jeans, capris and dress pants. They can be purchased in any retail store or right on QVC (go to If that's even too much work for you, then head on over to your local drugstore. Hanes makes a similar products that does basically the very same thing for about half the price and they are much more easily accessible. We'll be talking more about diets and exercise in the weeks to come, but I figured if you are feeling anything like me this morning, you really just want a quick fix. Happy New Year...let's make a it a good one!

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