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Susan's Spa

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

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Other Side Of Mel

Mel Gibson is the quintessential guy's guy. He's got classic good looks, but he's rugged enough without looking too pretty. He's always come across as a regular guy who is talented, funny and smart. Unfortunately, it appears that Mel has another side to him that his adoring fans don't often get to see. As the story unfolds regarding his recent run-in with Los Angeles County Sheriffs in Malibu, Mel was not just allegedly driving under the influence, but apparently had allegedly made some very "despicable"(his own word describing his behavior) things to deputies during his arrest. Apparently, L.A. County Sheriff's watchdog will possibly launch an investigation regarding a cover up of Mel's behavior during his encounter which allegedly includes anti-semetic language. According to one report, Mel allegedly said "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" and asked one deputy, "Are you a Jew?". Some PR reps are foretelling a possible decline in the actor/director's popularity for this behavior, but others are saying that Hollywood has a very short memory (which is very true!). Of course, there are denials from several parties that there is absolutely no cover-up whatsoever, but stay tuned to see how this story unfolds and whether Mel's career will survive.

Passport To Beauty

Have you ever wondered how women who live in rural parts of the world manage to keep themselves beautiful without the benefit of a cosmetic counter nearby? Now you can find out in a book entitled "Passport to Beauty" by Shalini Vadhera. Shalini, who is a make-up artist and founder of Global Goddess, a make-up and skin care line, reveals how women all over the world ehance their natural beauty. For instance, in Thailand women use a mixture of coconut and rice to soften their skin while Brazilian women maintain their tans by munching on carrots and beets. Shalini traveled the world to collect both interesting and useful beauty tips. The book is available in most book stores for $14.95.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Marley And Me

This is just a quick post for today! I am knee deep in laundry from my two kids and friends who came home to spend the weekend with us before they go back to camp and work. In any event, I was looking for a good summer read. It just so happens that two people within a span of one week recommended a book entitled "Marley and Me" by John Grogan. This is a non-fiction book, a memoir actually, about John and his yellow lab Marley. It's a touching, funny and heart-warming story which animal lovers everywhere will especially enjoy. There's bad news everywhere you turn these days, and a book is a nice escape from the cruel reality we are living. Be prepared to shed a few tears with this one, but you definitely will not be disappointed, except that you wish there were more family photos with Marley. Other than that, I would say don't miss this one.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Message From Blog Explosion

This newsletter is just to provide a run-down of everything happening tomorrow for the 2006 Blogathon!

First, there's the Live Blogathon Coverage on BE Radio with me as your DJ for 24 fun hours starting at 8:30am EST (5:30am PST). I promised you a button to put on your blog, so here it is:

Remember, BE Radio is open to everyone - not just BlogExplosion members, so encourage your visitors to drop in and get an update on the Blogathon. Oh, and remember to call me during the show too - I'll announce the special phone number often.

You can listen to BE Radio just by clicking the "Listen Now" button on the BE Radio homepage. There is a known issue with some versions of Firefox, so you might want to use Internet Explorer. Alternatively, if you want to listen to BE Radio in your favorite media player (like Windows Media Player or Winamp), you can use this URL in your player's Open URL window.

Next, there's the special chat-room that will be available for the duration of the Blogathon. We always have fun chatting each year - this year promises to be REALLY fun with the addition of webcams :)

Finally, on a different note, the thumbnails I talked about in the last newsletter are being imported as I type. All of the additional requests that have come in will be addressed once this is complete. My goal here is make sure everyone has a lovely accurate thumbnail.

Well, that's it! To all of you participating in the Blogathon - get a good night's rest and have fun tomorrow! To everyone else, enjoy your new thumbnails and make sure you drop by the radio show and shoutbox to say 'hi'!

She Did A Bad, Bad Thing

Lindsay Lohan is in the news again.....big time, and it's not for something wonderful. She's been so bad that the CEO of Morgan Creek Films, James G. Robinson, has had to write her a formal letter, telling her, in no uncertain terms, that she better start behaving herself on the set of "Georgia Rule", which also stars Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman, or the movie company will pursue monetary damages. Apparently, Lindsay has allegedly and according to her representatives, been suffering from exhaustion because of the heat. She has arrived late to the set or not at all, halting the production and costing the company money for the constant delays. Unfortunately for Lindsay, this is not the first movie where she has pulled this behavior. The 2004 production of "Herbie, Fully Loaded" was shut down for five days for the same reasons, her exhaustion. Mr. Robinson didn't mince words in his letter, which has been published in several newspapers, that Lindsay is known for staying out late and partying all night long. Frankly, I think it's about time someone set this girl straight. Afterall, who in their right mind would keep Jane Fonda waiting!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Project Runway

I have to admit I really wasn't hooked on this multiple emmy nominated reality show. It took the constant re-running of seasons one and two before I began looking forward to the lastest season. I can see why this show has garnered so much attention as well as emmy nods. It is well produced, fast paced and very entertaining. The wide variety of personalities alone makes it a fun show that's hard to turn away from. Of course, Heide Klum is beyond gorgeous and charming, but my favorite personality of all is Tim who oversees every unusual weekly project thrown at the remaining designers. He is elegant, well-spoken and certainly never minces words. His looks alone are priceless. My favorite episode so far this season is just this week's challenge of designing tandem outfits for model and dog (this year's hottest accessory). Thankfully, Bravo re-runs their reality shows so often that even if you miss the Wednesday, 10PM premier of the new episode, there is always plenty of opportunities to catch it again during the week. Bravo to Bravo for coming up with the best ideas for reality TV!

Message From Blog Advance

Weekend Special Surf Ratio

We have decided, seeing as it's summer, to have the special weekend ratio running every weekend until August.

So once again starting today through until Sunday the BlogAdvance surf ratio for all members will be set at 1.5:1 and it will continue every weekend until further notice.

So enjoy the surf ratio's and have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Car Buddy

One of my co-workers called me today and told me her car died. She was so upset as it happened while she was driving alone, at night, on a secluded road. Luckily she had her cell phone with her and was able to get her grandson to come get her. I told her that I had just read somewhere about an instant companion made especially for women who are nervous about driving alone at night and which is offered by a women's car insurance company called Sheilas' Wheels. Apparently, you keep the car buddy at your side, deflated, while driving, and, with the flick of a switch, you can be joined by a male passenger that will inflate instantly. Of course, this made us both laugh, but it's really a great idea. I reminded her to check shop for insurance carefully and check for auto insurance online so as to get the best deal on car insurance. She hopes it happens soon because she really hates taking the bus!

This Diamond Ring

I never really got the engagement ring I really wanted when I got married. Don't get me wrong, the ring is lovely and I did pick it out myself. In order to save us money, I picked an antique diamond ring flanked by emeralds. The diamond itself was what they called "champagne", which to me meant that it wasn't a very good quality stone, but still the price was right and it was different. I rarely wear it as it is rather formal looking. I would never purchase a diamond ring at this stage of my life, but we recently came into an inheritance that included a diamond, which is to be passed on to my daughter. This is a family heirloom and apparently this is not uncommon with diamonds that are good quality. In fact the Hope diamond, which is the most famous in the world, was, according to legend, plucked from an idol in India and cursed to all who would touch it. Whether or not you believe this, this diamond has been passed around from a lot of people, including King Louis XIV. It was sold to earn money for gambling, worn to raise money for charity and finally donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Now my diamond is nothing like the Hope diamond, but still being that it is a family heirloom, I wanted it to be placed in an appropriate setting. I took it to a jeweler and looked at many diamond rings before choosing a setting that was just right for my diamond. When I do get it, I just know I'll love it. I plan on passing it on to my daughter when she gets engaged in many years from now. Of course, she'll have to wrestle me for it!

The Little Search Engine That Could

Here's a quick post about a relatively new search engine that is giving the big guns (google, yahoo and msn) a run for their money. Check out stumble upon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More Ways To Invest

Let's say you've made some fabulous money in the stock market and now you're looking to invest in other ways. The best and most profitable way is through real estate. Maybe you already own your own home or condominium, but you're looking to invest in property other ways. Nothing is better than being able to afford a vacation home. Orlando is a great place to buy a second home, whether you are doing this for personal reasons or you want to invest in a property that you can rent out so that others can have a great vacation. Orlando Luxury Real Estate is a great investment. Orlando and the surrounding areas offer a wide range of life styles for all ages which include upscale, gated communities with excellent schools, and urban lifestyle in downtown Orlando, luxury condominiums with fabulous views of the city and an exciting night life. You can also invest in an historic home located in any one of the surrounding towns, but still enjoy a wide variety of activities from the theatre to the golf course. It sounds so good I think I might have talked myself into checking it out!

What's A Girl To Do?

Let's say you find yourself single again or forever single like the two women in my last post? What can you do to begin a life of independence without relying on the one who wears the pants to provide a life of stability? Just follow the lead of thousands of women today who don't wait for a band of gold to give them the security they've been waiting for. Instead, they create their own security by investing in real estate and the stock market. Now, more than ever, women are taking their own hard-earned money and making it work for them, instead of saving for that dream wedding and honeymoon. Besides the traditional buying and selling of stocks, I've learned something called options trading which gives you, the holder of the stock, the right to sell your stock to another investor, at a price that you set. Some investors are doing this up to twelve times a year. It's not unusual to see a return of 12% over sixty days, which works out to an astounding 72% annual return. Of course, you can make a small fortune and still meet the man of your dreams, thus allowing you to have your wedding cake and eat it too!

Maybe He/She Is Just Not That Into You

There are two people in the gossip columns that need to wake up and smell the coffee (dontcha just love that saying?). The first is Janet Jackson. The woman with a body and face sculpted to perfection, still doesn't know if her long-time boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, will ever marry her. In a radio interview in Britain, she was once again asked about marriage and she wasn't really sure if she was even engaged. She could only respond to questions like, "Are you engaged?" and "Are you going to get married?" with "That's what he says". This woman claims that this guy changed her life........into a Stepford wife (this is me talking!). Maybe for once in Janet's life she needs to live without a man for five minutes......Peter Cook has made a mournful plea to his estranged wife. He is beyond sorry for his foolishness and just wants to kiss and make up. Here's hoping she (Christie Brinkley) sticks to her guns on this. Once a rat, always a rat. He says she can have anythings she wants if a divorce is inevitable. I say, get that in writing!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You've Got A Friend.......Or Do You????

There was a study done recently which focused on friendship. According to this study, we have less close friends than we did twenty years ago. I suppose this study costs lots of money which probably came from some grant, but I could have told them (those who conducted the study) for free because I have less friends and so does my husband and everyone else I know. It's not that we don't have any friends......we do, but like everyone else we are too busy working at our jobs, fixing our house, schlepping our kids all over that friendships have taken a backseat. Most of the time I really don't think about it too much, but, like now during the summer months when I'm off from work, I do miss getting together with people like I did when I was younger. No one has time to hang out anymore or problem sharing is a thing of the past. I recently found out that a friend of mine (more like an acquaintance) is getting divorced. I did call her, but she never returned my call. I understand though. I'm not a close friend. That slot has already been filled by someone else and apparently, according to this study, that's all we need to share our troubles with. There was recently an article written about this in Newsday and they published a list of things to do to build friendships. Although I will share some of that with you here, I am also going to interject my own thoughts. Here are some things you can do to help build long-lasting friendships:
1) Reach out to someone you don't know. This is a hard one, but actually it's easy to do just by volunteering your time. I volunteer a couple of hours a week at a local hospital and have met some wonderful people there. I'm not only doing something good for others, but it's good for me too. If you can't do that then join a gym or go to church or temple.
2) Throw a party and invite all those people you haven't spoken to in years. They're probably sitting home, just like you, waiting for someone to ask them first. Someone has to make the first move (just like dating!) so go for it. From there you can make lunch or dinner plans. In short, reconnect with who you already know.
3) Be empathetic. This is a tricky one because although like me, you probably want to be helpful and sympathetic to people, you also don't want to be a doormat. Nevertheless, friends should be there for each other, but it's important to strike a balance. It's nice to be needed, but be careful of friends who are, how shall we say, too needy.
4) Building trust with people. This does take a leap of faith and like any intimate relationship, you can and will get burned. The tricky part comes in allowing yourself to be open again to friendships, even though you've been burned by people in the past who have either lied to you, borrowed money and never saw it again or stole your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife (you get the picture!). The important thing is to get past it and forge new, healthy relationships.
5) Get off the computer! This, in my own opinion, is probably the single most damaging aspect of the downfall of friendships. We spend entirely too much time online and not enough time in real, intimate relationships. If you do spend time online and are looking for friends, considering joining an online group or message board that involves a favorite hobby. Right out of the gate, you will have something in common with people. Of course, there's always blogging. I've met some nice people that way. The important thing to do is to try and forge connections with your computer if that's where you feel most comfortable. Like the song says, "you've got to have friends" and that's no joke!

Monday, July 24, 2006

How To Tame Those Tresses

Without a doubt, summer is probably almost everyone's favorite season, but with summer, comes humidity, and with that comes frizzy hair. Sixteen years ago, we saw the onset of frizz taming hair products beginning with John Frieda's Frizz-Ease. That hair serum has become the cornerstone of a whole line of products from the same company, dedicated to fighting the frizz. In fact, the serum itself now comes in three formulations; original, extra-strength and lite which sell for around $5.99 at most drug and discount stores. New from L'Oreal Professionnel is lisscontrol + by texture line, a water free nongreasy formulation that can be used on hair, wet or dry. Of course, the base product is the same as other anti-frizz products, silicone, which both smooths and adds shine to hair. An extra added bonus is the UV filter. This is a salon product which is sold for around $14.95. More pricey products like Moisture Manager from Victor Sabino can be purchased at Ulta, or, if you want to permanently remove frizz altogether,th Pierre Michel Salon in Manhattan has a new anti-frizz treatment that takes about three hours and will cost you around $600. This is not the Japanese hair straightening method that took hold a few years back. Instead, this formula will remove frizz from the hair, without removing body and will last up to six months.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Smart Women, Foolish Choices

Who hasn't admired Christie Brinkley for her all-American good looks and gorgeous physique? She has the classic, good looks that many women pay plastic surgeons thousands of dollars for. At 52, she gives young women hope that life only gets better as you age. Not only is Christie beautiful, but she is smart and talented. She has studied art in Paris, and her work can be seen on one of her former husband's (Billy Joel) album covers. She is a social activist who has lent her image and given her money to such causes as ovarian cancer and the environment. She has three picture-perfect children and, at 52, a stellar modeling career, which is still going strong today. She recently posed for the cover of a brand new magazine called 'Dash'. She had it all, or so it seemed. One has to wonder though, how someone so amazingly beautiful, talented and smart could make such foolish choices when it came to men. She's been married four times and with each marriage, eventually came the disillusion that her man was no Prince Charming. So how does one so beautiful, successful and smart make such foolish choices? Perhaps she just bought into her own fairytale life a little too much and never took into consideration the possibility that her choice was less than perfect. Maybe her men just couldn't live up to her perfect expectations? I have great sympathy for her, mind you, but still one has to wonder if she will now take the time to do a little soul searchin in the wake of her latest personal disaster. She had been quoted as saying in an interview at the onset of her last marriage that this would be her fourth and final one. Perhaps that's a good idea.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Thema And Louise, Mommy Style

Who could forget the adventures of "Thema and Louise". This was one of the first action, car chase movies where the primary characters were women. What started out as a dare, turned into a nightmare for them and the movie ended with the two driving off a cliff, leaving no room whatsoever for a sequel. My friends and I always fantasize about pulling what we call a "Thelma and Louise" one day, just for fun! There would be no guns involved (we have kids!) and no dirty dives with seedy characters. We were thinkin' maybe it would be fun to just take a drive down the coast to Florida. We could get an Orlando Vacation Rental and do Disney, Universal Studios and Sea World, without kids! You have no idea how much fun that it can be, without kids! Orlando is the number one tourist destination in the country and gets more visitors each year than the State of California. There's so much to do and see and what fun it would be to be able to do all of it, without kids! Did I tell you that we're not planning on taking our husbands either?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Susan Powter, Then and Now

Blogging Stuff!

A message from Blog Advance:
Weekend Special Surf Ratio

A reminder to all our users starting today through until Sunday the BlogAdvance surf ratio for all members will be set at 1.5:1 and it will continue every weekend until further notice.

A huge thanks goes out to TheMadAdmin, because it is thanks to his tireless efforts in improving BlogAdvance that we now have our first tutorial for members of BlogAdvance.

The tutorial covers allocating credits, a problem that a lot of members seem to have that has now been broken down into easy to follow steps.

We hope to have more tutorials for our members in the future and if any of our members can think of a function they would like explained in easy to understand detail, then please drop us a line and we'll do our best to accommodate your request.
Also, go to Blog Musik for some great music for free. They provide a streaming audio for you while you sit and blog!

I Love The 90's

Don't you love VH-1's series of "I Love The (Fill in the Decade)"? Not too long ago, I was watching "I Love The 90's", when lo and behold I caught a blast from the past with Susan Powter. Normally, I would have uploaded an image of her, but Blogger is not cooperating t his morning, but you know who I'm talkin' about. Susan was the exercise guru who implored us to "Stop The Insanity" by ridding excess fat from our diet. I actually, just found her first book "Stop The Insanity" only the other day and remember reading it through no less than three times. I even went to one of her book signings and found her to be smaller than I imagined (isn't everyone on TV smaller in person?), but very nice and personable. Susan reached fame and made fortunes from her program and even had a short-lived talk show at one point, but it all came to a nasty end back in the mid-90's which eventually broke up her second marriage. She eventually regrouped and is still changing lives with her dynamic personality. Her last book "The Politics of Stupid" can be found on her website Susan Powter where you can purchase that as well as her yoga video. She is still as interesting and colorful as you remember, even more so now with her long multi-colored dredlocks. She will also be making an appearance on the 'Today Show' some time in August, but for more information, you can go to her website.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Exceptional Women

I confess that I found this on someone else's blog and although I would love to give the credit to that person, I can't remember whose it was. However, I found it so profound I wanted to post it on my blog. To whomever posted it first, thanks!

This is written in the Hebrew Talmud, the book where all of the sayings and preaching of Rabbis are conserved over time. It says: “Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man’s rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved.” Pass this on to all exceptional women that you know.. and to men so they know the value of a woman.

Be GREAT in someone’s life today!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Diamonds Are Forever

As a follow-up to my last post, one of the most important purchases you can make will be a diamond ring. There's no reason in the world to think that you actually have to visit a jewelry store to buy one. In fact, buying a diamond ring online, might be the best decision you could making when purchasing anengagement ring. My best advice to you would be to do the research for buying an engagement ring online. When you do, you won't believe the quality or the savings! Blog post sponsored byBlogging Ads

How To Avoid Wedding Bell Blues

Did you know that August was one of the top months for weddings? It may be too late to save for a wedding that is only weeks away, but for those of you who are planning a wedding in another year or two, it's never too late to start planning and saving. Whether your are planning a wedding on a grand scale or having an intimate backyard affair, weddings can cost a bundle and send you into stress mode real fast. While you and your fiance are basking in the after glow of love, don't be blinded by that diamond. Make sure you sit down and talk realistically about what you can afford and who will pay for what. It's not unrealistic for couples to chip in now for their own wedding and that both sets of parents share expenses what with the rising cost of weddings. When polled, 37% of couples were planning on contributing to their wedding financially which is a good thing since the average wedding (150 people) will cost around $25,000 and even higher in urban areas. If you don't have that kind of cash and neither do your parents and you don't want to spend the first five years of your marriage paying off that debt, consider cutting costs whereever and whenever you can. You can easily cut costs on things like wedding favors, flowers, attendants' gifts, table linens and invitations. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for ideas too. Networking and making connections may be a really good way to cut costs on these and other things as well like the wedding dress and tuxedo rentals. If you really don't have enough money, then don't be afraid to think outside the box. You may end up with a totally unique experience fo you and your guests, while saving yourself a bundle. Whatever you do, make sure you both agree on these things so you can get your marriage off to a good start.

What's In Your Wallet?

Where would we be without our credit cards? Like many other people, I can't imagine not having at least one credit card in my wallet at all times. There are so many times when cash will not cover a purchase, even for groceries, that a credit card comes in handy. How else would any of us be able to afford tickets to a show, a concert and, of course, a dream vacation? One thing I've learned about having a credit card though is not to come to depend on it to pay for everything. If the balance of the bill can't be paid every month, then I won't use my card. The convenience of getting a credit card has never been easier. If you want to buy anything at all like furniture, a flat-screen TV or a laptop computer, most retailers have their own cards which allow you to defer payment, without incurring interest, for up to eighteen months. Eventually, of course, you do have to pay off that bill, but at least you have the comfort of knowing you have some time to do so. More importantly, credit cards allow for things like emergency car repairs, sudden health care expenses or any other contingencies when you don't have access to your savings or checking accounts. Also, it's almost virtually impossible to rent a car or reserve a hotel room without a credit card. However, like anything else in life, you have to act responsibly!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oprah, Gayle, Carmen,Christie and Barry!

I guess Oprah felt that she needed to clarify the taboid rumour that she and best buddy, Gayle King are not gay. Of course, she downplayed it. Afterall, being outraged at the rumour would only make it seem that she was homophobic and she is anything but. She made it clear that if she were gay, she would have no problem coming out of her designer closet. She and Gayle are just platonic friends who were destined to be together. BFF as it were........Not best friends forever and Carmen Electra and her now estranged husband, Dave Navarro. After rumours have been circulating for months that they are separating. A representative for Carmen has confirmed that they did so amicably. How grown up of them, but I guess after being married to Dennis Rodman, she's learned a thing or two about class.........A young woman from Long Island has been interviewed by Fox News (they are so fair and balanced) that she had a long-standing affair with Peter Cook, estranged husband of Christie Brinkley. Residents of the small community where the couple reside with their two children are shocked. Afterall, Christie is still a stunner at 52 so why would Peter Cook stray? Can you say "mid-life crisis"......The story that just won't die is still circulating around the world. That being that the locals who reside around that carpark in Sydney, Australia are getting sick of hearing Barry sing 'Copacabana'. In all fairness to Barry, I really don't think it's all about him. If you listen long enough, you can hear Doris Day singing 'Que Sera Sera' that would drive me crazy! By the way, Barry has been nominated for two Emmy awards stemming from his "Music and Passion" special that aired on PBS.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What's New At Blog Explosion

Blogathon 2006: Stay up late, make a difference.Every year bloggers come together to participate in the Blogathon to help raise money for charity. This is NOT a BlogExplosion event, however it's a GREAT event and I would love to see every single BlogExplosion member participate this year.It's simple. It's like a walk-a-thon, except that instead of taking pledges to walk, you take pledges to stay up for 24 hours and blog. You choose the charity you will blog for, get pledges, and starting on Saturday, July 29th at 9:00am EST you will stay up for 24 hours making a post on your blog every 30 minutes.Let's all stay up late and make a difference together as a community. To that end, I will be setting up a special chat-room at the Shoutbox for all members participating in the Blogathon. I'm going to stay up late too and do a special radio show!You can find all the details and sign-up at BE Radio: 24 Hours of Blogathon fun!Most of you know me as "orange haired boy" and many of you used to read my blog. But, for various personal reasons I decided to suspend blogging for a while. I participated in the Blogathon the past few years and am even credited with choosing the unofficial blogathon theme song. (Long story). Well, this year, since I am one blog short of being a blogger, I've decided to do a radio show instead!For 24 hours, BE Radio will have full Blogathon 2006 coverage. I will be your humble DJ for a whopping 24 hours straight. There will be music, contests, announcements, give-aways, call-ins, the unofficial blogathon theme song, and lots of tips to help you stay awake!BE Radio is open to everyone - not just members of BlogExplosion. I will have special buttons made up and there will be more details in the next newsletter.I'm not doing my show for charity directly, I'm doing it for you: the bloggers. This year promises to be the best Blogathon by far!BE Radio: Thumbnails Fixed!Many of you have been afflicted with a wrong thumbnails recently and have probably wondered what's going on. Well, long story short: it's my fault and I'm in the process of fixing it now. It was impossible for me to determine which (out of the many thousands of blogs listed at BlogExplosion) had incorrect thumbnails. So, I figured that the easiest way to fix the problem was to just regenerate them all.Over the next 2 days, my computer will be doing nothing but churning out new thumbnails for every single blog, and, when it's done, I'm going up upload them all at once.What does this mean for you? Well, it means that your current thumbnail (good or bad) will be replaced by an updated thumbnail. So, in the meantime, don't bother asking the system for a new thumbnail - it won't do any good. Once all the thumbnails have been updated I'll send out another short newsletter to let you know and you'll be able to check your new thumbnails out then.So, while I'm exceedingly sorry that I screwed up the thumbnails, I'm exceedingly happy that I found and fixed the problem. :)----------------------------------------------4. New Chat RoomsIf you haven't been by the Shoutbox lately, you haven't seen all the changes we've made! Based on member feedback, we split the main chat-room into two separate chat-rooms. One is a family-friendly room and the other is an 18+ chat-room.The family-friendly chat-room is to be just that. The adult room is for everything else. Period.You will also see a new chat-room called "Survivor: BE Island". This is a special room which will be home to a new game coming soon to BlogExplosion. Stay tuned for more's gonna rock! Not a member of Blog Explosion already? No problem! Just click the icon in my sidebar and join. It only takes a few minutes to join one of the largest blogging communities on the internet.

Happy Birthday Bikini

The bikini celebrates it's 60th birthday this summer and made it's debut thanks to two frenchmen introduced competing versions of the two-piece swimsuit. Initially a model couldn't even be found to wear it because it was considered much too provocative, even in France. A stripper/dancer named Micheline Bernardini put it on and it became an immediate sensation. Named for the testing of atomic bomds on the Bikini atoll in the South Pacific, the bikini has never lost its popularity and every decade has brought a different version and model to go along with it including Brigitte Bardot and Jayne Mansfield. Of course, the most celebrated bikini models can always be found the the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit editions. The history of the bikini is extensively explored, along with some great photographs in "The Bikini Book" by Assouline ($29.95).

How User Friendly Is Your Blog?

Since I've read hundreds of blogs over the last seven months, I have come to the conclusion that what sounds good in theory doesn't always work on a computer screen. One of my pet peeves about some blogs is that the background is black. Personally, I hate the black background because I cannot read the blog, even if it sounds intriguing. Couple the black background with a small font, in any color, and chances are people are missing out on what you're writing, which is a shame. Also, unique templates are fabulous, but ones that are too ambitious, drown out the writer's thoughts and become the focal point of the blog. The same goes for too many affiliate ads. By the time you've had a chance to scan the whole page, the interest is gone and on to the next blog. So, from my own perspective of course, keep the template simple, the background light and the font big enough for everyone to read on a computer screen. I'm sure some of you will either agree or disagree, but your comments are always welcome!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

I rarely make any connection to anything politcal or controversial in this blog. There are many, many blogs that deal with those issues and would do a far better job than I would ever do under the circumstances. However, when physical combat hits home, then that's another story. I know someone who is currently studying in Israel. In fact there are thousands of Americans in Israel at this very moment. There are just as many, if not more, in Lebanon right now. Innocent people are at risk because of what's going on in that part of the world, and the prospects of this localized battle widening and involving other countries, is a very real possibility. Thousands of parents are frightened out of their minds because their children are on the other side of the world either studying or vacationing or visiting relatives and they either cannot leave or are afraid to leave. I won't discuss whether or not Israel had a right to do what they did and whether or not we, as a country, should get involved in the attack on Hezbollah (afterall, it is this terrorist group that Israel is fighting and not the good people of Lebanon), but I do want to send out a prayer to all of those children today that they are returned home safely into the arms of their parents and that this battle ends as quickly as it began.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Princess Diana....How I Want To Remember Her

Princess Diana has been gone now for quite some time, having died tragically back in 1997. Her death will always remain a mystery to most, but her memory lives on and, in most recent photos, not in a way she would want to be remembered. Photos have only now been released of Diana as she lay clinging to life after her tragic car crash. Why anyone would want these photos to become public is beyond my comprehension, even though I realize that such photos sell for millions and, in turn, will sell millions of tabloid rags. One of the photographers who captured her on film as she lay dying, defended his actions by saying she was out in public at the time and fair game for any photographer (wasn't he one of the photographers that followed her limousine in a high-speed chase directly before the accident?). This less-than human being went on to say that the driver of the limo was clearly at fault for having been drunk while driving and that all celebrities must expect to be followed and even chased while in public, but to what end? I can't even imagine what her dear sons must go through with the publication of such photos. As for me I prefer to remember her as she is in this photo...completely elegant...the embodiment of a true princess!

What's The Hurry???

I'm not sure what driving is like in the rest of the country, but if it's anything like New York, I have to wonder why is everyone rushing? Reckless driving is due in large part, to those who exceed the speed limit and run red lights and stop signs in order to get where they're going. As a result for the need for speed, there are more and more car accidents every single day. I'm not talking abou the drunk drivers who run people over. They are in a class all they're own and shouldn't be behind the wheel of a bumper car, let alone an SUV. I'm talking about the every day fender benders that you pass on highways, expressways, and busy streets that grind traffic to a halt and cause rubber-necking for miles and miles causing everyone to be late for work. It seems that some people believe that traffic laws don't apply to them. They are the ones that are the worst offenders. Besides the obvious danger to society, I wonder how these people insure their cars. Not having care insurance or even enough coverage for damages can be the worst mistake people make when purhasing car insurance. Some car insurance companies are even offering short term insurance coverage for up to 28 days for brand new cars and for people who are traveling and borrowing someone else's car. The idea of short-term insurance coverage may begin to spread through the insurance industry at some point. The most important thing is to have the best coverage possible. You just never know when you may run into someone who is in a big hurry.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Dying To Be Thin

At 5'7" and weighing merely a hundred pounds, Keira Knightley has come under some scrutiny lately as to whether or not she is suffering from an eating disorder. She has, point blank, denied such allegations stating that anorexia runs in her family and she is well aware of the disease and the harm it can cause. However, looking at this photo, one must wonder (knowing that the camera adds ten pounds) if perhaps Keira isn't in denial. Like so many other young stars she is presenting a frightening image of what women think they should look like, thereby perpetuating the disease. This is no laughing matter and shouldn't be considered "gossip" status, especially when there are websites dedicated to the lifestyle of starvation. Yes, there are hundreds of these websites that have cropped up over the last few years supporting the idea that it's perfectly okay to starve yourself and that it's your choice what to do with your body and you have the freedom to choose. Of course, these websites never mention that starvation will eventually kill you by shutting down your major organs one at a time, but not before your hair falls out, you suffer severe bone loss which may cause your teeth to fall out and your skin becomes painful to touch due to severe dryness. Starvation is not pretty. Only the other day, when I was dropping my son off at work, I stopped at a farm stand to buy some fresh fruit. A woman in a Jaguar pulled up behind me and stepped out of her car wanting directions to the South Hampton, a posh social scene in the summer. She was clearly very young and very gaunt looking. She was clearly suffering from an eating disorder and was making it her choice to look the way she did. Our young women need more positive role models if they are ever to reach beyond their body image for self esteem. I applaud those women, like actress, Tracy Gold, who has spoken out about eating disorders. I wish more young women like her would step forward to encourage young women to stop starving themselves and get the help they need because there's no glory in dying young.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another Great Deal From QVC

Are you competeley over being a slave to your nail extensions? Not only is it costing you money to keep those babies up, but think of the time you spend in the nail salon, when you could be doing other shopping. Here's a great product you can get on QVC called T. I. P. S. There are a number of products from this innovative company that allows you to naturally grow your nails long and super strong without spending a fortune on money and time. This product is great for your nails and an excellent value considering the amount of money you spend on fill-ins. For the same money you can get this three-piece kit and see a vast difference in your nails in thirty days, or return it to QVC for a full refund. For more informatoin about these products from T. I. P. S. and other great products, check out


The girl everyone loves to hate (or is that Lindsey Lohan?) will be coming out (no, not from the closet) with her own line of clothing for pre-teens, following in the footsteps of those uber Olsen twins. Hillary's line, designed for pre-teen girls, will be marketed in Walmart and Kohls. The line is going to be called 'Stuff From Duff' and apparently she has been very hands on in the design aspect of the line.......Model Christie Brinkley has split from her fourth husband, Peter Cook. Christie is probably best known from the 'Uptown Girl' video with her third husband, Billy Joel.......Actress, Katie Holmes was seen strolling the streets with a girlfriend in a posh Colorado town, but still no sight of baby, Suri. However, Katie did release a statement that baby Suri is doing fine and one store clerk has verified that she has seen Katie with the baby. Rumour has it that Katie and fiance, Tom Cruise, are expecting another child.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?

Since I often write about healthy living in my blog, I thought it would be important to include some useful information about medication. Now more than ever people are taking some kind of prescription medication and, in most cases, taking more than one at a time. I take two medications a to manage my cholesterol and another for heart palpitations. There was a time when I was on four or five at one time. I felt utterly confused and frustrated trying to find information about the medication I was taking and drug interactions with food, etc. My pharmacist was a great help to me since my primary care physician was often too busy to answer all of my questions (I no longer see that doctor). Some things I learned about prescription medication is to always make sure it is stored in a child safe bottle that has never been tampered with. I always check my medication first before I take it since I know what the pills should look like and people do make mistakes in both writing and filling the prescriptions. It's important to know ahead of time how medications react with other medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamin supplements and certain foods. For instance, if your doctor prescribes a medication like Augmentin, it is not unreasonable for you to think that he or she has done their research before prescribing that drug. Dr. James Wood from the UAB Selma Family Residency Program has been quoted as saying that he and his staff use an on-line service called Epocrates. This online service is often used by physicians to research over 3,300 drugs, including dosing, pricing, potential drug interactions and Medicare Part D coverage to improve patient care. When a doctor goes to these lengths to make sure that a drug is appropriate to use, then you can feel secure in taking that medication. Of course, make sure that all your physicians know exactly what medications you are taking when you consult with them. Take all the medication with you at a consultation so your doctor can be well-informed when making decisions regarding your health care. Finally, don't hold on to any medication that has expired. That expiration date is there for a reason and once a medication has gone past that date, chances are it is no longer effective and may even be harmful and don't share your pills with anyone else!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Moving Up The D List

Kathy Griffin may soon have to re-name her reality show since she has been nominated for an Emmy award. Granted, she's a longshot, but I bet she never thought that she would ever have a chance at an Emmy for what started out as a one-night stand. Her original "My Life On The D List" was just a comedy bit filmed for Bravo, but it was so well received that Bravo took a chance on a reality show about Kathy's personal life and career as a hard-working comic. A lot has happened to Kathy since her series began, which is now wrapping up a second season. Her precious dog, Captain, was hit by a car and her four-year marriage to her husband Matt finally ended in divorce in March of this year. She finally confessed on "Larry King Live" that she had hoped the reconciliation they shared during the filming of her second season would last, but there were trust issues she just couldn't get past. Love her or hate her, she is brutally honest about herself and everyone she meets. Her show can been seen on the Bravo network on Tuesdays at 9PM and Kathy now has her own website. Check her out and her message board at

Perfect Party Pizzaz

Other than Christmas, summer is traditionally the time of year people entertain at home. Summer, however, offers more diversity in entertaining than any other time of the year. Most people have an outdoor setting where they can entertain that gives them more options for themes. For instance, I have a large sunroom where I often entertain. It's not heated in the winter so I prefer entertaining in the summer when I can use my sunroom. Furthermore, since it's enclosed, I don't have to worry about the weather. We have both the versatility and convenience by having an enclosed area to entertain. However, whether you have a sunroom, a deck or a swimming pool area, entertaining in the summer can be fun! You have the option of keeping it casual and doing something simple like grilling outdoors. In order to add some pizzas to your party, instead of buying paper goods, how about purchasing some great reusable plates, cups and bowls. You can get them in almost any discount store now and although they cost a few dollars more than paper goods, you can wash and reuse a number of times. Overall, you end up saving yourself money and you give your party a little more of a polished look. Also, if you are serving drinks, keep it simple. Pick only one designer drink to make instead of three or four. Offer a choice of wines and soft drinks as well. You can also offer a pitcher with tropical ice tea (the mixes are readiy available) and serve with fresh fruit. If you are serving appetizers, again keep it simple. Pick a few things to serve before your meal. You'll spend less money and have less leftovers. Finally, make sure you have enough seating for everyone. You can get some great folding chairs very inexpensively. By the way, did you know that the folding chair has a long history in furniture dating back thousands of years? Western furniture was based on four main sources originating Egyptian, Asian, Greek and Gothic sources. Luckily, the 20th century brought technological advances, which included the design of the folding chair, which will help make your summer celebration a huge success!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Do-It-Yourself Designer Style

There are some great fashion services popping up on the internet that is allowing their customers to custom design clothes and accessories. At, you can choose from five basic styles of dresses, then pick from 300 fabric choices for standard sizes (0-24) or custom measurements. The cost of this custom dress is $189. At you can design your own handbag. There are six handbag shapes to choose from and 600 pattern and color choices. The cost will run from $150 to $350 for your custom-designed bag. Finally, there's Choose accessories from flip-flops to dog collars and custom design your own rhinestone masterpiece. Eva Longeria is said to have purchased black flip flops with a design that said "Go Spurs Go".

10 Ways To Diet Success

I'm always looking for ways to motivate myself to stay the course on my diet, until I reach my goal of losing another ten pounds. I picked up a copy of 'Prevention' magazine and here are some great tips to help you get back in touch of your goal of staying fit and healthy:
1) Weigh yourself regularly - Actually this originally read as weighing yourself once a day, preferrably in the mornings. However, since I'm following Weight Watchers, I will stick to a once a week relationship with my scale. The point is, weigh yourself regularly so that you don't lose touch with your body. Going for weeks, months and even years will only support a disconnect between your brain and your body. That's when the pounds creep on.
2) Watch no more than 2 hours of TV daily - This is easy for me since there's usually nothing good to watch anyway. The point is that too much television watching leads to a more sedentary lifestyle which includes mindless snacking. This not only goes for adults, but for kids as well.
3) Contact a friend three times a week - In other words get yourself a diet and/or fitness buddy. We need to support each other in our quest for success. At the very least try, an internet group like or (click the icon in my sidebar for more information).
4) Eat at least 4 grams of fiber at every meal or snack - There is no downside to eating more fiber. It fills you up faster and speeds up your digestion. The end result is that it takes less fiber to make you feel full, which leads to gradual weight loss. Switch from white flour products to whole grain breads and cereals. Add more vegetables fruits and legumes (beans) for a healthy diet program.
5) Take 5 thousand extra steps a day - Get yourself a pedometer to help measure your steps, then find out where you can gain some extra steps to help you increase your metabolism, lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure, and help you get in shape. Park your car further from the mall, take the stairs when you can, walk your dog an extra block (they need more exercise too) and turn off your TV and get up and walk instead, on your coffee break, instead of a donut, grab a co-worker and go for a walk.
6) Keep a diary and exercise journal - Write it down! When you see it in black and white, it holds you accountable for your actions or non-actions. Keeping a food and exercise journal will help you reach your goal and stay on track.
7) Get a good night's sleep - Try to sleep at least 7 hours a night and get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, if possible. Bad eating habits start in the wee hours of the morning and if you are sleeping at that point, you are not snacking. Get up early and take a walk, you'll feel better!
8) Drink eight glasses of water a day - If you are exercising regularly, it's important to replenish fluids, but water can also speed up your metabolism and fill you up when you are looking for a snack.
9) Skip the overtime - This is hard for a lot of people who depend on over time at work to increase their paycheck. Some of the worst eating habits begin at your desk. If you must work overtime, keep healthy snack in your desk like apples, bananas, raisins or pack an extra turkey sandwich on whole grain bread and drink water instead of coffee as much as you can.
10) Stay away from refined sugar - This alone will probably keep you from gaining weight and might even help you lose some weight. Stay away from cookies, cakes, sodas and candy like jellybeans, all laden with tons of refined sugar. Let me put it this way, for every ten points you shave off your glycemic index (that's refined sugar), there could be as much as a ten pound weight loss overall. Also anything white, has more refined sugar, including pasta, rice and potatos. Switch to whole grain pasta, brown rice and red potatos for less sugar and more fiber.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Your Age In Chocolate Years!

I don't understand this, but it really works!

Your Age By Chocolate

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once, but less than 10).

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold!!).

3. Add 5.

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator.

5. If you hve already had your birthday this year, add 1756. If you haven't, add 1755.

6. Now, subtract the four digit year that you were born and you should have a three digit number. The first digit of this is your original number (how many times you said you wanted to have chocolate). The next two numbers are......YOUR AGE (Oh, yes it is!!!).

By the way, this is the only year that this will ever work. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Nancy Burpee Or Paris Hilton ..Who's The Real Role Model?

Everyone knows who Paris Hilton is. She's the seemingly spoiled daughter of the heirs to the Hilton hotel fortune. She's become a celebrity by merely appearing in tabloids, gossip columns and reality shows. She is often pictured with her equally spoiled friends with their equally spoiled dogs, jetting from Miami to New York and back to L.A. I'm sure Paris has many wonderful qualities, but with all the publicity she has received for her secret sex tape, which is no longer a secret and her continuous relationships with other girls' boyfriends, she can hardly be called a role model for young girls and women. Enter Nancy Burpee. You probably never heard of her, but Nancy is a world class swimmer who has been competing for a number of years. What makes Nancy so special you might ask? Nancy has done all this, while suffering from a genetic disorder. Despite her disability, she has never allowed herself to be slowed by any obstacles. Even when she was disqualified from the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, she retained the law firm of simmons jannace & stagg to represent her in overturning the decision not to allow her to continue competing in the games. She never gave up hope of continuing her dream to swim competitively and continues to compete, most recently in the World Championship. Nancy Burpee is a true hero and role model for young girls and women all over the world!

Chicks With Trucks

I wanted to write a post about women purchasing automobiles. When I did some research, I found out that, to my surprise, more and more women are buying trucks. The stereotype of women buying cars, brings to mind a picture of a woman who doesn't know her way around a dealership showroom. Now, nothing could be further from the truth. More and more women are not only more and more prepared to make a purchase of an automobile on their own, but they are opting for trucks and SUVs rather than traditional cars. In fact, one survey showed that the number of women buying trucks and SUVs has doubled since the 1980s. Make no mistake, these women are truly passionate about their trucks. Automobile manufacturers have answered the prayers of many women by making trucks and SUVs more and more luxurious with each newer model. Moreover, automobile manufacutrers that never offered a line of trucks and SUVs are giving consumers, including women, more choices. Case in point would be the Cadillac Escalade, which is....well.....the Cadillac of trucks. Also, it's more likely that younger women would be open to driving a truck or SUV. Once episode of a popular reality TV show, showcased a young woman turning sixteen. Her father, who owned an automobile dealership allowed her to choose any car she wanted, and she chose an SUV over a little sports car. As I stated earlier, women are passionate about their trucks and are sparing no expense accessorizing them. They are educating themselves about the latest and best accessory features offered. For instance, a woman purchasing a truck tonneau cover for her truck knows that this will make transporting anything at all, easier and safer and that putting the right cover on her truck will have an impact on how she uses it. So, the next time you see a fire engine red truck pass your way, take a look at the driver and you may very well find a woman behind the wheel!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Message From Blog Advance

It's summertime, the sun is out and we are feeling generous.We are giving away another chance to earn yourselfs a higher surf ratio all weekend. From today, through until Sunday, all bloggers can earn a 1.5 : 1 surf ratio.We feel this gives everyone a chance to earn the credits, so make sure you get surfing and get your blog seen!

Shopping For A Gym

There are several times a year when people start shopping around for a gym, if they haven't already joined one. Everyone wants to look good in a bathing suit and, although eating healthy is one way of getting fit, even a novice knows that you need to add exercise to any healthy lifestyle in order to get into the best shape possible. Some of the things you should look for when shopping for a gym is first, convenient location. If you have to drive more than ten minutes from your home, then what are the odds that you will be motivated to leave your house to work out? Find something that is reasonably close by so that you can't find another excuse not to work out. If you're a mom with young children, you might want to find out if there is babysitting on the premises. Many gyms now offer this service and knowing there's a safe place to drop off your kids is gives you one less reason to avoid exercising. Some other things you should look for is diversity. Make sure the gym you sign with has enough diverse programs to keep you from getting too bored with their programs. Boredom is just another excuse for avoiding exercise and if you can find a gym that offers different things, then chances are much more likely to go. When doing a quick search of San diego gyms, I found a great gym that offers a variety of programs like circuit training, kickboxing and personal trainers. With various locations, this would be a perfect place for anyone looking to get into shape and maybe even trying out new things. Finding a gym with diverse programs, which is conviently located and offering some personal training, will go a long way to helping you get and stay fit for the summer and all year long!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Great Caesar's Ghost....It's Superman!!!

"Superman Returns" opened a few weeks back and, although it's been reviewed by everyone in the universe, I just had to add my two cents on this one. Superman and I go back a long way. I remember the comic books lying on the floor of my brother's room. I remember the television show starring George Reeve. I, of course, remember the Superman movies made famous by Christopher Reeves as Superman and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane (althought I discount the last two, which were terrible) and, I will always remember this version of Superman starring Brandon Routh as the red-caped wonder himself. One of the many things I loved about this movie is that there are tie-ins to all of the previous incarnations of Superman, including the story itself, which first appeared in comic book version many years ago and was later featured as an episode on the old television show, when TV was only in black and white. In fact, the actor who played Jimmy Olsen on the television show, makes a little more than a cameo appearance in this movie, but as a bartender. Even Marlon Brando makes an appearance in this movie through the magic of film editing, as Superman's father, Jor-El. The movie is campy in terms of costumes and sets, as an homage to the original Superman, but the director chose not to make this a period piece (wisely, I might add) bringing Superman into the 21st Century complete with cell phones and internet capabilities. The most memorable character in this movie however is Kevin Spacey as the villian we all love to hate, Lex Luthor. He is, by far, the best Lex of all and his performance alone shouldn't be missed. The only miscast in this movie is Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. Yet despite her lackluster performance, she and Brandon have a very nice, yet understated onscreen chemistry. The special effects alone are worth the price of admission. Think Titanic, Jurrasic Park and The War of the Worlds all rolled up into one. This is a fast-paced action-packed love story that is very sure to have a sequel and when you see this movie, you'll know why!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Get Paid To Post

A few months back I decided to try to add another money-making component to my blogging by signing up with Blogative ( Basically, this service provides bloggers with the opportunity to get paid for posting about specific advertisers, while providing a link to the advertiser's website with a few choice highlights from their web release. This is a relatively easy way to make some extra cash from blogging. I've read lots of pros and cons about these services. Those for it, haven't had much luck with making money from affiliates and pay-per click text ads and since blogging is a source of income, this is a great way to make a few extra bucks while waiting for profits to add up from affiliates. Those against it, feel that bloggers become less than true to themselves while having to blog about advertisers just to make a few extra bucks. I really don't feel like I've sold out in any way. I still get to blog about what I want while making some extra money and I have the right to turn down an offer if I feel it's not right for me. Apparently, the idea that advertisers can pay bloggers to sell their products is catching on. Another such site has been written up in Business Week called Pay Per Post ( This is a similar service that allows bloggers to choose an advertiser from a list, blog about the advertiser according to their guidelines and get paid for it. The down side is that the advertiser has the right to refuse payment based on the contents of the post, but the blogger has the opportunity to correct the post in both cases (both Blogative and Pay Per Post will do this) so that they don't lose out on the opportunity to make some money. I'm ready to give Pay Per Post a try and I'll let you know how it works out. I really enjoy working with Blogative, so hopefully, this will be just as positive an experience.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth Of July!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Agony Of The Feet

Do you look at your feet and think to yourself, "How will I ever be able to put on a pair of sandals this summer?". You're not alone, but getting and keeping pretty feet don't have to be time consuming and you don't have to spend a fortune. There are many more do-it-yourself products on the market now to save you from having to be a slave to your local nail salon, which may be overcharging you, not to mention possibly subjecting you to unclean circumstances. I began doing at-home pedicures a few years ago when I contracted a nail fungus from a local salon that apparently was not properly cleaning their foot baths. All foot baths need to be cleaned out after each use and, at the end of the day, the drain should be removed and cleaned properly to rid the bath of any bacteria which can cause serious infections. These do-it yourself kits are readily available, like the one in the photo (not such a great photo), but this one is available at for under $7. Other great websites to purchase great pedicure products are (see the icon in my sidebar),, or All these sites have great pedicure products and sets, most for under $10. If shopping online is not your thing, then head straight to Walmart, which carries a variety of pedicure sets and products. A great pedicure set should include clippers for toenail use only, a shaper, foot smoother, pumice stone and toe separator for polish application. If you want a great, effective foot soak, just soak your feet in warm water and add a few drops of teatree oil. Avon makes a great pedicure set complete with cream foot scrub and mint scented foot cream. Finish off with some great colors on your toes and you're good to go!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Smaller and Wiser Me

I rarely write about anything really personal because this is not that kind of blog, but I'm prepared to do this now. I've been on a diet for almost one month now. I decided to follow a Weight Watchers' plan and have gotten some great help from friends who followed the same path. They've given me advice and tips on counting points and little tricks on how to stay on target. Because of their help I've lost about eight pounds now. I feel better already although I have about another eight to go to reach my goal of effortlessly zipping up my favorite jeans. What I've gained though is the knowledge of all the terrible mistakes I've made in fooling myself into thinking I was eating healthy......I wasn't. I totally had lost touch with the actual feeling of being hungry and feeling full after I'd finish a meal. I ate for all the wrong reasons...stress and boredom. I put no thought whatsoever into making healthy choices. No wonder my cholesterol had shot up so high. Why on earth was I so surprised? In the last month, I have carefully made choices, measured my portions and found myself not at all feeling deprived in any way. I defintely look better and feel a sense of accomplishment about myself that I haven't felt in a long time. Losing weight is not easy. It is increasingly more difficult as we age, with slower metabolisms and less energy and time for exercise (which I try to do at least four or five times a week). What I've learned thought is that nothing is impossible and that to accept the status quo was a very bad idea. I also learned that I can't do it for anyone else but me.....not my husband, my kids, society or for a special occasion. For more information about how to get started on your own personal journey, you can go to or try for great ideas and support.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Message From Blog Explosion

Hey folks! Well, this is just a quick email to tell you about a special partnership we've struck with the folks over at to give you some free credits.Do what you do every day: Post an entry on your blog. To earn credits, simply write about Don't worry, they don't want you to praise them uncritically: You are welcome to criticize them - and they'll still give you credits! To get all the details, go to this special URL:

This Blockbuster Wears Prada

'The Devil Wears Prada' is what summer blockbusters should be about. There are no buildings, cars and/or people being blown to bits (well, not literally anyway). This movie, loosely based on Lauren Weisberger's tale, which was written as a novel, but allegedly was really her tales of woe working for Anna Wintour of 'Vogue' fame, is one of the most character-driven stories I've seen in years, thanks in large part to Meryl Streep. Meryl, who plays Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of 'Runway' magazine, hires Andie, played very nicely by Ann Hathaway, to be her second assistant. Meryl plays Miranda with understated venom. She barely raises her voice above a whisper when she speaks and her facial expressions are minimal (probably because she's afraid she'll get wrinkles), but one raise of an eyebrow and she has people scattering for miles. Stanley Tucci plays the chief style consultant for the fashion magazine, but again, his interpretation of the character is not typical. He is elegant, even when he's having a hissy fit. Add Emily Blunt to the mix (she play's Emily, first assistant to Miranda) and you really have all the characters you need to complete this tale. The rest of the characters just blend into the scenery. What I really liked about this movie is that it does detour from the book both in story and character building. Ann plays Andy in a much more sympathetic and down-to-earth manner, while Meryl plays Miranda as a more three-dimensional character than the Miranda in the book. Here, we see how Andy really doesn't veer too far away from her family, friends and her ultimate goal of becoming a writer before she makes a decision that will be life-changing, while we see Miranda, if only in glimpses, being fragile, but understanding why she is the way she is. I never really understood that from the book and wanted so much to feel sympathy for her, but never did. Meryl gives me the chance to feel that for Miranda, the human being, as horrific as she is portrayed. The real star of this movie is the wardrobe. To see the accessories alone is worth the price of admission. Kudos to the stylist from "Sex in the City" fame for suiting up these stars. It was a feast for the eyes! Don't miss this one.

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