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Susan's Spa

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

It's not unusual for stars to have their photographs digitally touched up to remove wrinkles, pick up sagging skin and add more hair. Just look at any magazine cover and you will see what I mean. However, two photos have become a bone of contention recently for misrepresenting the truth about two high profile women. The first is Nicole Kidman who is represented as attempting to hide a pregnancy in the inset photos. Not so says her reps. Those photos have been touched up to make her appear to have a belly, when in fact she doesn't, nor is she currently expecting a baby. The other photograph which has some disturbed, is one of Katie Couric, the upcoming evening news anchor for CBS. The original photo is one of Katie dressed in a dark suit wit her usual, bubbly smile. The touched up photo has her in the exact same pose.....about 20 pounds thinner. The photographer in question has been called on the carpet for doing the dirty deed since no one asked him to do it and Katie certainly doesn't need any help from him in that department anyway.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No Split For The Boss

Bruce Springsteen has personally written a message on his official website that he and his wife of 18 years, Patty Scialfa, are not breaking up. An ugly rumour appeared in the New York Post that he and his wife were splitting up after Bruce met a woman who is a 9/11 widow, at a charity event. Bruce unequivocally denies this and says his union with his wife is stronger than ever and that they are committed to protect and raise their three children together as a family......Someone who isn't staying with his current and third wife, is Tom Arnold (remember him from his past wife Roseanne Barr?). He is calling it quits with his third wife after four years of marriage. Someone should put an expiration date on this guy........Someone else who is neither denying rumours or splitting up from his wife, Demi Moore, is Ashton Kutcher, who is however, planning a new reality television show based on the hit movie "The Wedding Crashers", which will highlight six real-life weddings being crashed. The show is set to air on NBC.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Get Paid To Post - The How And Why

When I first began my blog back in December of 2005, I never thought I would ever be involved in any site that would pay me to post. I didn't even know anything like that existed and believed that any money I made would come from click or affiliate ads. That seemed like a lifetime ago since I have learned so much about making money from blogging. True enough, there are bloggers who make six figures from their ads, but they are in the minority. Most bloggers don't make much at all from their ads and have to wait months to cash out. Then I discovered a site that promised to pay me if I included certain link in my post. I could write whatever I wanted, as long as I included the link. Later, they revised their qualifications to include a short reference to a web release, but still I was able to write anything I wanted. I not only have made money (three figures so far), but I became challenged as to build a post around that particular link. That site is known as Blogitive and I look forward every week to receiving offers from them. They pay in a timely manner and provide me with food for thought about my posts as well as a second income for me. Another site I signed up with is Blogging Ads, which is even easier, as they provide the option to write my own post using a link, or pick a choice of three ads, already written, to include in my blog, for which they pay me automatically once it is approved. It's true that I do have to wait for approval, but I've never had a problem getting my posts approved or receiving payment for them. I don't ever feel, at any time, I've compromised myself as a blogger by doing this. I know what my limits are and I wouldn't blog about a product I've never used, nor would I write something positive about a product that I used, but didn't really like. In that case, I would be selling out, but thankfully I've never had to deal with that issue and hope I never do.

Not So Nice N Easy

Nice N Easy, a division of Clairol, recently introduced 'Nice N Easy Gray Solutions' to the market to compete in the ever-growing hair color market. Many women (and men) who have gray resistant hair, have to resort to expensive salon services in order to adequately cover gray hair. The only real contender in the over-the-counter, do-it-yourself hair coloring market was (and still is in my opinion)L'Oreal, whose 'Excellence' line is designed for those of us with graying hair. I tried the Nice N Easy product recently to see how it compares and I have to say I was thoroughly disappointed. Nice N Easy's original line contains a varying range of color choices, but not so with the gray solution line. There were only a handful of choices and only three shades for blondes. I chose the medium blonde shade instead of the golden blonde for fear that it would make my hair too yellow. The gray solution requires users to do an extra step as well which is to apply what appears to be a cream solution to the hair first. This is probably to protect the hair that's not gray from the strong solution to cover the gray hair. The hair color mixture itself was the most disappointing as it was the most watery consistency I have ever seen in a hair color which made it difficult to apply without it dripping everywhere. Overall, I was not dissatisfied with the color itself, although it was slightly too dark and a bit to ashy for me (it was not labled as an ash blonde color). I added some of my own highlights to it to keep it from being to one dimensional looking so I'm happy with it for now, but I will go back to L'Oreal for the same price and a better product overall.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Clothes Off Our Backs

Here is the link for this wonderful organization that raises money for the Denfense Fund of the Children of Dafur and to find a cure for autism, just to name a few. Take a look at some the great items you can bid on from last night's Emmy Awards. Clothes Off Our Backs

No Match On The DNA

Not surprisingly, there is no match between the DNA found at the scene of the crime where little JonBenet Ramsey was murdered and the most recent suspect, John Mark Karr. We may never know why this man insisted on linking himself to this crime. Maybe he is looking for the spotlight and maybe he is just obsessed with this poor, dead girl. The lack of forensic evidence to tie him to this ten-year old crime resulted on the case being dropped by prosecutors. It will be interesting to see what happens now with this man.

Emmy Chic

Do you yearn to re-create some of the looks you saw on the red carpet last night? Do not despair! There are ways of getting the look you crave a number of different ways. The first, and most amazing way is through through an organization called Clothes Off Our Back. This is an online auction site, which you can google, whereby celebrities donate their clothing, and whereby the proceeds go to fund childrens' charities. This may not be the most economic way to get the clothing that you desire, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your money is going for great causes. Another way to get "red carpet replicas" is through a company called A.B.S. which has their Red Carpet Collection usually out shortly after major awards shows like the Emmys. You can find gorgeous dresses starting at just $286 at stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstroms and Saks.

A Good Night For 24

For those of you who are fans of the show "24", then you are very happy this morning as the show picked up two Emmy Awards last night with one going to the star, Keifer Sutherland. Keifer has been nominated a mind-numbing nine times for this award and only first one it last night. The show also has the distinction of giving Fox Network the first Emmys in this category (for a drama). All and all, it was a wonderful night of television from 'The Office' to 'Entourage', which won for best supporting actor in a comedy going to Jeremy Piven. I have to say all the women looked gorgeous and most of the men, except Simon Cowell, who apparently couldn't find a tie for last night's telecast and had to suffer the boos of those who just don't like the man. Now that the Emmy Awards are history, let's see what the fall line-up will bring in terms of new shows that will be contenders for next year....if they last that long.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Congratulations Barry!

Congratulations to Barry Manilow for his Emmy win tonight. This photo was taken after his very first Emmy Awards win thirty years ago. Hope we don't have to wait another thirty years for another one!

The Blogging Goose That Lays The Golden Marketing Eggs

Just today, I read not one, but two articles about how marketers are turning to bloggers to hype products. Apparently, companies like Nokia are cutting back on flashy advertising and opting instead to investing their money in samples sent to bloggers to test and hawk in their blogs. These marketing strategies have come to pay off so much so, that websites have crashed because when one blogger writes, others will surely follow in their footsteps, giving way to way more exposure than any flashy, full-page ad in your Sunday newspaper could ever do. More and more companies are turning to niche bloggers to create a buzz about new products and technology companies have taken to hiring public relations firms that are targeting bloggers only to get the word out. Don't think that just because your blog is small with a small readership that you wouldn't be targeted. In fact, marketers are aiming towards smaller, niche blogs to create the buzz while bloggers get paid in merchandise, money and a surge in readership. Some bloggers feel that they are selling out by accepting offers from marketers as it will taint their honest opinions about products they wouldn't use or just don't care for, but as one marketer put it, even negative feedback can elevate a company's online presence just by sparking a debate. Apparently, engaging bloggers in a debate is still a great form of advertising. It just goes to show you that the age-old saying "as long as they spell the name correctly" still very much applies in the blogging world.

Very Shiny Things

If there hasn't been enough hype about this year's Emmy Awards, then watch the red carpet coverage for tonight's presentation, which seems longer than ever before. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the show is what happens before and after as the Emmy Awards, like other award shows, has become increasingly more boring to watch. Tonight, besides all the very carefully groomed celebrities, you will see a tribute to Aaron Spelling, led by Joan Collins and Heather Locklear as well as a tribute to Dick Clark, led by Simon Cowell (on his best behavior) and Barry Manilow (singing the theme to "American Bandstand" on it's 50th anniversary). What you won't see are a lot of people who were shut out because the nomination process was changed this year. There were none for 'The Sopranos', 'Desperate Housewives' and for actors like Hugh Laurie from 'House'. Expect to see lots and lots of reality TV show folk from 'American Idol' to 'Project Runway' and the return of Conan O'Brien as the host of tonight's presentation. Should be a very, very long night.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


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Where In The World Is Barrington?

One of the most upscale places that has become a big draw for 30 something families is Barrington. In Barrington, New Castle residents make an average salary of $170,831.00 each year. This area provides young families with a choice of town houses, condos or single-family homes and has a personal crime risk index of 15.0 and only a 2.0% unemployment ratio. This sounds like an ideal neighborhood for anyone who is looking for a more upscale neighborhood, but I had to check out a Barrington real estate website in order to try and find out where Barrington is located. It seems that it is somewhere in the Chicago vicinity. So, if you are looking to relocate to this area of the country, this looks like a place you might just want to check out.

Weddings: The Night Before

Remember years ago when the night before the big day of your wedding, both families would gather for the rehearsal and then a dinner afterwards? Those stuffy, sit-down dinners have become a thing of the past. In order to take the bridezilla out of the bride, how about doing something fun and different to alleviate the stress the night before? Some couples are opting for fun themes like backyard BBQ parties where everyone has to bring something to share from wine and beer to potato salad and baked beans. You can decorate the yard with red-and-white checked tablecloths and pretty lanterns and anti-mosquito candles. You can even give out favors like personalized ketchup and mustard bottles or "kiss the chef" aprons. If the weather is too cold for an outdoor party, how about an Asian-themed party in a Chinese, Japanese or Thai restaurant? You can make origami centerpieces or have fresh, fragrant lotus blossoms or candles for each table and give away personalized fortune cookies or disposable wedding cameras as favors so your guests can capture your most precious moments on camera for them to enjoy forever. What better give can you give your loved ones than memories?

Monster Trucks

While on vacation in North Carolina this summer, I couldn't help but notice how many people drive trucks and vans. I'm not just talking about the typical family mini-van (we have one of those too), but large trucks and vans. More surprisingly, is that this is the choice of women. The popularity in trucks that appeal to both men and women has given rise to the various number of models of trucks you can choose from. Years ago this was not the case. Trucks were very basic compared to today where trucks are available that can seat a whole family comfortably. Many of these trucks are decked out to the nines with van racks and other accessories. There are actually websites where you can just provide the make and model of your van or truck and they will ship the products to you that are appropriate for your vehicle. Whether you need products for the interior or exterior or for towing your trailer or boat, it's available online. Van racks are probably the most popular though since it makes vacationing with a family of four so much easier for storing everything you must take with you.

The Great Exodus

It seems like every week, I find out that someone from my neighborhood is moving. They're not just moving to another neighborhood nearby. They're moving out of state because of the high cost of living here in New York. Our taxes our off the charts, along with our home prices and gasoline and home heating oil prices. One of the most popular places to relocate is Orlando, Florida. Orlando is best known for its tourism. It welcomes more visitors each year than the population of California (over 43.3 million people). Most of them stay in one of the 100,000 hotel rooms available and visit the seven major theme parks in the area. In fact, many of the people that move to Florida get involved in the tourism industry, because the tourism industry in Orlando is worth billions of dollars. Beyond the employment opportunities, Orlando can provide a wide range of living opportunities from the city to the suburbs; from brand new homes still being built to historic neighborhoods. So while you may think of a Vacation home Orlando to get away to, instead think of Orlando as a place where you can escape to permanently for a better life overall.

Friday, August 25, 2006

No More Crazy Eating Habits For Katherine

American Idol runner-up, Katherine McPhee, told US Weekly, that she no longer does anything crazy or life-threatening to lose weight. She finds being on the road challenging inasmuch as there's not much healthy to eat, but she says she does check in with a few people about her eating habits since undergoing treatment back in the fall of 2005 for bulemia. She says she happy with herself now and doesn't sweat over the calories. Here's hoping that she stays this way and inspires other people who suffer from eating disorders to seek treatment as well.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Never Ending Stories from September 11th

It's hard to believe that we are coming upon the fifth anniversary of September 11th. It only seems like yesterday that our televisions were filled with images of the towers tumbling down and the looks of despair in the faces of those who were desperately searching for their loved ones. Out of that tragedy, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund was created for those who lost loved ones in the attack. In order to maximize the compensation for the families of the victims, contingency fees by attorneys representing families were disfavored. One law firm, Simmons, Jannace & Stagg, was asked by a widow of one of the victims to represent her in a case whereby an attorney who represented her before the Victims Compensation Fund, was seeking a contingency fee of $2,000,000. As a result of her representation by this law firm, the Federal Court decided that it was not in their jurisdiction to preside over such a case and the case was then remanded to the state courts to be litigated. This is just one of the many thousands of stories that came out of that fateful day almost five years ago.

A Better Search Engine

Wouldn't it be great if there were a better search engine than what's available now? You may think that what's available is the best yet, but you would be wrong. There's more coming that will optimize your search in the future so that you don't have to weed through pages and pages of information that you don't need or want, wasting your precious time. Recently, Google began beta testing their accessible web search for the visually challenged. Accessible Search, which is now available on Google's experimental software, uses Google's standard PageRank and goes an additional step by evaluating the usability of each web page it displays. In other words, this advanced search will give you the ability to access information that is more widely useful to you. One search engine marketing firm went ahead and did their own study of this advanced search engine and found that the results were significantly better on Google Accessible Search, but you don't have to take their word for it as you can try it yourself. One thing you will find interesting, especially if you are a blogger, is that with this new advanced search engine, blogs will rank much higher, which will be a great thing for all of us bloggers. As far as I'm concerned, the future of this optimized search engine can't come soon enough!

Pucker Up......No Way!!

It's old news already that Britney Spears appeared at the Teen Choice Awards to introduce her (yawn) hubbie, K-Fed, as he made his debut as a rapper on prime-time television. However, the real news went on behind the seens, when co-host, Jessica Simpson, sweetly asked Britney if she could kiss her pregnant belly, to which Britney replied "NO WAY!!!"......must be the hormones!........Someone else who got the big kiss-off is Tom Cruise. Supposedly Paramount fired him, but that's not what his business partner says. She made it clear to the press that it was she and Tom that kissed off Paramount. The intend to go forward with various new projects independently and have already raised over $100 million to do so......Someone else who finally got kissed off was Nicole Ritchie's ex, DJ AM. She has a new boyfriend now, younger man, Brody Jenner. If you ever watched "Laguna Beach", then supposedly you would know who he is. Whoever he is, I hope he can get her to eat something!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Realness Of Concealness

This is one beauty bargain that is a must have for any woman 18 to 80. At only $28 you will get five great little products that will help erase dark circles and discoloration around under eyes and around your eyelid area as well as a lip plumper to go under your favorite lip product and a face glow that will brighten up even the dullest complexion. Where can you get this little miracle in a box? At Benefit, of course. I just ordered mine and can't wait to get it! The icon for Benefit is in my sidebar and don't forget to check out their incredible Benetint for cheeks and lips!

Shopping Yahoo Style

I love shopping at home. QVC, HSN and Ebay are all my favorites, but I only just discovered Yahoo Shopping. Once you enter in the item(s) you are searching for, Yahoo will take you to every nook and cranny in the world to find the best deals for you. For instance, I searched "skinny jeans", the newest craze in jeans, and I was taken to ten pages of sites were I can buy them from $19.99 to over $275. This is a great way to do your holiday shopping or school shopping, if you haven't already started it (like me!).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Smash The Fat!

I originally wrote about the publishing of this book a while back. I had a chance to pick up a copy recently. If you don't already know it, Ian K. Smith (the author) is one of the panelists on "Celebrity Fit Club" (VH1). Ian is a doctor who originally developed this plan, not only for his patients, but for his aunt who was very overweight. The plan itself is divided into the four phases with the first being dedicated to a ten-day detox. As you can imagine, you will be eliminating a lot of foods in the first phase, including animal protein, which means getting your protein from other sources like soy. Other than that, you can only eat fresh veggies and fruit, some low-fat milk and yogurt, egg whites and two cups of brown rice a day. You can also have some herbal tea, but only water to drink after that. This is a ten-day regimen that can help you shed around a pound a day. In the second phase of the diet, you can begin to add in animal protein (lean, of course) and one egg, but everything else is basically the same. You then move on to the next two phases (roughly four weeks total), wherein you can add in things like whole grain bread, some pasta and potatoes. This is a very easy book to read since he writes on a level that anyone can understand and he, of course, wisely includes recipes for every meal and a great section on physical activity and how many calories you can burn doing each (he's very big on exercise). There's also a place where you can journal. If you haven't already found a plan that works for you, you can certainly try this one, however, be prepared to tough it out during the first phase while you are detoxing your body.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Fashion '06

If you are, at all, worried about hiding some of your own flaws, this coming fall, rest easy. Fashion designers (if you follow them) have given you reason to stop starving yourself. Big and baggy are pretty much the theme this coming season with over-sized coats and sweaters (knits will be huge)along with wide-legged pants, tunics, and egg shaped dresses. The trick to wearing these fashions is to not overdo it with baggy everything. If you are wearing an oversized sweater, choose a tailored pant or skinny jean or legging (yes, you can pull this off even if you're not a size 2). Remember, don't invest in every trend. Pick two or three things each season to invest in and make sure that the look is timeless so you can carry it into future season. Also, plan on seeing more dark colors this year than we've seen in past seasons. Any color at all will be in jewel tones of red, green and purple. Also, although chunky sweaters are in, fight the urge to layer them over too many pieces, otherwise you will add more width to yourself. Think about belting things and accessorizing with chunky shoes (put your stilettos away for now), a great boot (flat-heeled boots are back) and a leather satchel bag (the bigger, the better). Many of these pieces are investment pieces (read that as expensive), but buy less and spend more on things you will love year in and year out.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

I just got this book and so far I love it. What's not to love? There are 500 amazing recipes for every taste, even vegetarian. You don't have to be on Weight Watchers to use this book, but if you are looking to cut calories and fat, but keep the flavor, then this book is for you. You can pick it up at Amazon. Just click the icon in my sidebar.

Posh And Beck

I just returned from my vacation after an incredibly long drive back from N.C. Not much to report other than I have a lot of laundry and food shopping to do. Here's a little tidbit though. Victoria and David Beckham will be offering up his and her fragances in the UK on Sept.1st called "Intimately Beckham for Him and Her". No information on whether or not this will ever be exported, but who really cares. In the meantime I'm going to be trying Oil of Olay's new Definity product which claims to lighten discoloration and age spots (not that I have any), but I'll let you know how it works. I think you can get either a coupon or free sample at the oil of olay website ( Have a great day!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hair Wear For The Sun

Being at the beach for a week, I never realized how much of a beating my hair takes from the sun. I'm so fanatical about protecting my skin from the harmful rays of the sun, that I wanted to find out more about how I can protect my hair and scalp. First of all, there are leave-in conditioners that have an SPF built in to protect hair and scalp. While swimming, you can spritz hair with a combination of water (fresh water only) and conditioner to create a barrier between your hair and the sun and salt water. Also, get a great hat that will cover your head properly like the one in the photo. Straw hats that have holes in them might be fashionable, but they won't protect your head from the harmful rays of the sun.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Magical Dolphins

My vacation is drawing to a close and what a wonderful way to spend it watching dolphins in their natural habitat instead of in an acquarium. We spent about two hours off the cost of Roanoke Island today, watching these magical creatures swimming in the waters surrounding our boat. Two things I learned today about dolphins is they don't talk. Those in captivity are taught to make those dophin sounds, while wild dolphins have nothing at all to say to human beings. The other thing I learned is that Mahi Mahi, a seafood dish served in many restaurants is not dolphin, but dolphin fish, which is a fish named after dolphins, but actually have no relationship to them (one is a mammal, while the other is a fish). Thanks for reading my vacation log and leaving your comments!

The Hippest Guy On The Planet

Barry Manilow has cancelled the remainder of his August performances due to pain from the injuries to his hips. Barry will have surgery to fix the cartilege in both hips through arthroscopic surgery right after his appearance at the Emmy Awards on August 27th. Barry is not expected to return to the stage in Vegas until some time in November, but is still scheduled to appear in Atlantic City and Chicago in October where he will be promoting his upcoming CD, 'The Greatest Songs of the 60s'. Get well soon Barry and take care of those swiveling hips!

Back In The Body She Loves

Singer Beyonce Knowles, admits that she lost 20 pounds in a hurry for her role in 'Dream Girls'. The weight came off on a liquid diet and she stresses that this is not a healthy way to lose weight. She was under medical supervision during her drastic weight loss, but was glad when the filming stopped and she was able to return to her regular regime. She prefers her body to be curvy and is happy to have her curves back. I just hope that young women heed her warning about staying away from liquid diets to lose weight and chose a healthier and slower method.

Beauty And The Beast

As much as I would love to dish about the Barkers (Shanna and Travis) and how they are trashing each other on Myspace, there is far more important news today. Finally, a viable suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case, has been tracked down and seized in Thailand. John Mark Karr, a school teacer, looking for work in Bangkok, was arrested and is being brought back to the states. While in custody, he confessed to loving JonBenet, but that her death was an accident. Of course, anyone who knows anything about this high-profile case will understand that her death was no accident and why would an American school teacher be in Thailand anyway looking for work. Isn't this the land of child prostitution? Hopefully, more details will surface over the next few weeks and we will know the truth of JonBenet's death. Maybe finally JonBenet and Patsy Ramsey can finally rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

She And Dupree

Whether or not Kate Hudson left her husband for Owen Wilson remains to be seen, but I shudder to think what the press will make of this in the weeks to come. I promised myself that I wouldn't blog about anything other than my vacation this week, but I just couldn't help myself. By the way, if you are a fan of Barry Manilow, you can catch him on Entertainment Tonight on Thursday when he talks about his impending hip surgery. Now, back to my tan!

Roanoke Island

In the 16th century a group of settlers arrive on Roanoke Island in North Carolina and built a settlement. Virginia Dare was the very first person born in America from this group of settlers and her birthday is August 18th. The settlement would later be known for all eternity as The Lost Colony. They disappeared as quickly as they came and, to this day, people can only surmise what happened to them. This is just part of the charm of Roanoke Island, N.C. There is also an amazing waterfront community which is dotted with amazing homes and a quaint town with upscale shops and restaurants. If you are ever in the area of the outer banks, you must spend a day touring Roanoke Island. It's truly enchanting!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Outer Barks In The Outer Banks

Today we went to a cocktail party, but this was no ordinary cocktail party. This was a cocktail party with the emphasis on "tail" inasmuch as it was for dogs. It took place at Outer Barks in Duck, a town in the Outer Banks. This is a lovely store that caters to four-legged friends with everything from organic food and baked treats, toys, clothes for two and four-legged customers as well as artwork like the one pictured at the left. For more information, just go to their website at

Monday, August 14, 2006

Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away

Today we rented a Jeep and drove down to an off-road beach to see the wild horses of Corolla. We were hoping to see them run along the beach, but no such luck. We needed to drive some back roads to get a glimpse of them. Of course, after 400 years and while living in close proximity to people, they really aren't so wild and prefer grazing or resting in the backyards of some of the most magnificant beachfront homes. I suppose that once all the cars leave the beach,they are more likely to roam the beaches, but it was still great seeing them in their natural habitat. More later!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Amazing Outer Banks

I'm posting from the beautiful vacation spot of the outer banks of North Carolina. This is my very first trip here and I'm so glad we came! We've rented a house right near the beach and we are surrounded by beautiful landscapes, ocean views and gorgeous sunsets.
Tomorrow we will take an off road tour in a 4x4 of the area inhabited by wild horses. I've read about this for years and now I will get to experience it first hand. There's plenty of fresh seafood and fresh fruits and veggies to eat. There's also a restaurant named Dirty Dick's with a motto of "I got my crabs at Dirty
Dick's".I'll blog more about this wonderful vacation later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How Do You Feel In Your Jeans?

Once again I am posting because I have no idea when I will get to my blog while I'm away. This is for all of you who are dieting. I'm on Weight Watchers and I love the plan I switched to (originally on flex points and now on the core plan). So far, I've lost eleven pounds, but I've hit something of a plateau the last two weeks, which is expected. Having to weigh myself every week and not seeing the scale budge much is frustrating. I was watching the new reality TV show, "Work Out" on Bravo the other night and the head trainer, Jackie, told one of her clients that the scale is really insignificant. You will lose fat, but also gain muscle mass when exercising regularly so the real test is in how your jeans fit. If you are no longer struggling to get into them and they now glide on and feel slightly loose, then whatever you are doing is definitely working. I had that moment tonight as I prepared to go out for dinner with my family. My favorite jeans were snug on me from the day I got them, but I refused to go above the size 8 I had become accustomed to. Tonight the zipper went up effortlessly and they still felt somewhat loose on me after I ate dinner. So, if your scale isn't moving much, even though you are working out and eating healthy, don't's all in the jeans!

How Terrorism Works

I am writing several posts today because I am leaving for vacation and I don't know when I will be able to post again. I do have a laptop, but I have to share it with three other people meaning my blog doesnt' take priority, while downloading music does. Today, I received one of those chain e-mails that asks you to forward it to everyone you know. This one was about the nation of Islam and the truth behind it. It featured several photos of Muslims demonstrating against the raid on Lebanon by Israel, which was a reaction to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the terrorist group, Hezbollah. I found this to be ironic inasmuch as terrorism works on many different levels. There is the obvious one, highlighted by the raid yesterday in England, which caused the cancellations of many flights out of and into Heathrow airport. Then there is the other kind which is pyschological. This one begins in the form of an e-mail like the one I got, which is supposed to strike fear and hate into the hearts of those who received it, thus dividing us even further and making us more vulnerable to futher terrorism. This is exactly what the terrorists of the world want and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if this chain was actually begun by a terrorist, knowing full well the reaction it would get from many readers. Things taken out of context like this are considered propaganda in my book, much like that which was used during Nazi Germany. We must not give in to this fear, otherwise they (the terrorists) win and we lose. I will always support the war on terrorism. I have personally seen what it can do to people. I will never support the further spreading of fear and hatred. As far as I'm concerned, it is just another link in the vicious cycle.

Blasting Away Belly Fat

When a survey was done regarding which part of the body people wanted to change, most answered their belly. Belly fat is the biggest complaint of most people, even those who diet and exercise. So what causes all the fat to gravitate to that one area and what can you do to eliminate it? Barring genetics which could pre-determine what shape you have (are you a pear shape or apple shape), other factors play an enormous role in burgeoning bellies. First of all is your diet. What are you eating? If you enjoy processed foods like snack cakes, cookies, chips and crackers that have loads of trans fats, then this may be a major culprit. Always check the nutritional ingredients for everything you buy and look for snack that have no trans fats (if you must have them). Try the 100 calorie bags of snacks instead which keep the fat low as well as your portion size (another major factor). At meal time, eat whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits and lean protein. Also, avoid caffeine as much as possible and carbonated drinks (especially those with sugar). Drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep (insomnia leads to snacking) and try to avoid stress. Stress causes the release of hormones which induce cravings for carbohydrates. Instead, take a yoga class or walk every day. Finally, you can do abdominal exercises on a daily basis, but always check with your doctor before you begin an exercise program and make sure you are doing your abdominal exercises correctly otherwise you will cause undue stress and strain which will lead to injury. Pilates is a great way to strengthen your core muscles (abs, obliques and back muscles). Do the best you can to get rid of as much as you can. It will not only make you look and feel better, but the less belly fat you have, the less likely you will have a heart attack or become diabetic later on in life.

Caution: Reality TV May Be Hazardous To Your Marriage

The picture to your left depicts the makings of a happy family. Okay, they're not your typical family, but they were a family nonetheless.....until reality TV got a hold of them. Travis and Shanna Barker of MTV's "Meet The Barkers" are the newest casualties of the reality TV wars. Like all the other couples that have gone before them, Shanna and Travis are no more. Their divorce was recently announced shortly after the end of their second season on MTV, which featured a very pregnant Shanna. They already have a two-year old son and recently welcomed another girl (Shanna has a daughter from a previous relationship) in their family, who is now seven months old. I had little hope for Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, mostly because they were far too young to marry. Carmen and Dave were a shoe-in for a divorce (between the two of them, they've had four previous marriages). I was devistated when Kathy Griffin divorced her husband, Matt, but to her credit, she worked very hard to save her marriage. The moral of this story is don't do a reality TV show, no matter how much money they offer you. By the way, if you want to read some more great gossip, then go check out Mrsz06 Place

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Vacation Here I Come!

I will be leaving for vacation with my family in a few days and I am very much looking forward to it. This will be a driving vacation, which is a good thing considering the news of the day! We rented a home on the outer banks of North Carolina, but I am looking forward to driving through various states to get there. Even though I know it's only for one week, my ultimate goal in life is to have a second home somewhere else which we can use for an escape from all the stress of every day life here at home. We will be passing through Maryland which is one state that has so much to offer in terms of urban and suburban life, including museums, theatre, historic landmarks and, of course, great restaurants. I could picture myself contacting a Baltimore Real Estate company to get information on an apartment just outside of Baltimore City, like Briarcliff Apartments, which offers superb amenities, like valet trash service (who wouldn't want that?) and an olympic-size swimming pool, a fitness facility and tennis courts. Sounds great for anyone who is looking to re-locate or for anyone who just wants a place to escape to when life gets too stressful.

S T R - The First Three Letters of "Stroke"

I got this message from a friend. This is valuable information and deserves to be passed on to everyone:
My friend sent this to me and encouraged me to post it and spread the word.
I agree. If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some
folks. Seriously.. Please read:
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured
everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a
brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new
plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying
herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling
everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm, Ingrid passed
away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify
the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die.
They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he
can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was
getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient
medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
Thank God for the sense to remember the "3" steps, STR . Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the
lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain
damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *
Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is
sunny out today)

R *
Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

{NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out
their tongue... if the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other
that is also an indication of a stroke}
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately
and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people;
you can bet that

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

First Mel, Now Robin

After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams has entered himself into a rehabilitation facility to deal with his drinking problem. In a statement released by his publicist, he only wants fans to respect his and his family's privacy at this time, while he deals with this issue. My guess is that after Mel Gibson's hideous public behavior, perhaps Robin wanted avoid anything remotely similar and decided to meet the problem head on. Good for him! Robin has three movies this year, one which is already out called 'The Night Listener' based on the best-selling book by the same name, as well as 'Man of the Year', a comedy about a TV host of a comedy news show (much like 'The Daily Show'), who runs for president and wins. In the fall he will be the voice of a penguin in an animated film.

Bone Chilling

I just came back from a consultation with my physician and I am just trying to wrap my brain around the news she shared. Thankfully, it's nothing terribly serious, but it's mind-boggling just the same. I had a bone scan several weeks ago. I admit I put it off for over a year, but I finally broke down after considerable nagging from my physician. I always assumed that I had very healthy, normal bones. I eat properly, take Calcium with vitamin D and do weight-bearing exercises on a regular basis. Furthermore, there is little osteoperosis in my family. My own mother has some minor bone loss, but she's 84. I'm over 30 years younger than her and my bone scan sold considerable loss in my hips and lumbar spine. Considering that I've been taking all the precautionary measures all along, my doctor suggested trying a medication to prevent further loss and hopefully even turn things around. She went over all the various medications and suggested I try Actonel. The form she gave me is taken once a week. I've always tried to avoid taking any medication by doing any and everything natural possible. Sometimes though, that's not enough. When my cholesteroal was a whopping 284, I was able to lower it myself by 40 points with diet and exercise, but if wasn't enough. I finally caved in and started taking a cholesterol medication and now my cholesterol is under 200. There are always side effects to any medication, but sometimes we have to let science take over when every other practical resources has been exhausted. One thing I have learned is to take the test (any test) when the doctor says so. Putting anything off may just lead to further complications that can alter or even end your life. So whatever you do, take care of yourself!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If You Don't Like It, Fix It

Not too long ago a good friend of mine told me his daughter was scheduled to have her nose reconstructed. I knew that this had been something that had been bothering her for quite some time. Now, she was in her early twenties and wanted to remove the bump in her nose that she felt detracted from the rest of her features. The plastic surgeon did a wonderful job, keeping the integrity of her nose, while removing the bump which truly did make a difference in her appearance. It wasn't a huge difference, but enough to boost her self esteem. Because of several reality shows that featured make-overs that included plastic surgery, this is no longer considered a luxury item, but a necessity for many who want to fix what they don't like about their features. This includes anything from from rhinoplasty, which is what my friend's daughter had done, to liposuction, breast augmentation, full or partial facelifts or eyelid surgery. Most stars could call any Los Angeles plastic surgeon and be treated like VIPs, but the truth is now anyone can do that. Today, patients don't have to go to institutional-style surgery performed inside a big-box medical facility. All patients from celebrities to every-day people can receive world-class service at competitive prices in an environment that befits plastic surgery's gowing mass appeal. Also, many plastic surgeons offer financing so there's no reason to put something on hold just because of money. Why be unhappy with how you look, when you can fix it if you don't like it?

Dancing With The Stars

Are you ready for the next season of "Dancing with the Stars"? This very popular reality show from ABC, was and is a favorite of many viewers and their new season will begin on September 12th. Stars slated to be contenders in the newest season are NFL running back, Emmitt Smith, former child star Joey Lawrence, and Shanna Moakler of MTV's "Meet the Barkers". Not confirmed yet for the show are Vivica A. Fox, "Saved by the Bell" star, Mario Lopez and Harry Hamlin, who, as you may remember, is married to last season's contender, Lisa Rinna. On another note, one star that won't be dancing any time soon is Barry Manilow. Barry made a guest star appearance on last season's "Dancing with the Stars" to perform. Barry will be going in for arthroscopic surgery on both hips after he makes his appearance on the Emmy awards on August 27th. It will take about eight weeks to recuperate at which time he will be ready to promote his next CD "Greatest Songs of the 60's".

Monday, August 07, 2006

Only 141 Until Christmas

Some of you might laugh at the fact that there are only 141 days until Christmas, while others have already tucked away presents probably back in June. One thing I have learned about the holidays that in order to avoid the expected stress that comes along with the holiday season, is to give myself plenty of time to shop, taking advantage of sales and pacing myself so I don't have a panic attack the week before the holidays begin. I often take advantage of shopping online these days because the convenience is well worth the effort, once you find websites that carry just the right gift for all the people on your list. Actually, there is absolutely no downside that I've ever experienced. What could be easier than shopping in your pajamas and not having to waste gas running around town trying to comparison shop when you can do it online. It's really amazing when you know the history behind this holiday and how it evolved from one where loved ones would leave nuts, apples and sweets in shoes left bedside or on windowsills or before the hearth. Eventually, the tradition of exchanging gifts migrated from Europe to America where Bishop Nicholas eventually morphed into jolly St. Nicholas. The jolly man in the red suit got a real great boost in his image with the publishing of a poem in 1823 entitled "A Visit from St. Nicholas", now known as "The Night Before Christmas". So, while you are trying to beat the heat by sitting as close to your air conditioner as humanly possible, why not begin making a list of christmas gifts for all your loved ones. You may save yourself some money by starting now, not to mention your sanity!

Messy Manes and Long Whiskers

You know how it is with trends. Things that were once popular back in the day, eventually make it's way around again for the next generation. Back in the 80's, big, messy hair for women and three-day stubble for men was all the rage. We have gone through many transitions since then including the very, clean-shaven looks for men and the super straight hair for women. For men, facial hair is making a comeback big time, with mega stars like Johnny Depp to Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon from 'Entourage'). Ironically, it was 80's shows like 'Miami Vice' that made stubble all the craze for guys, and the new full-length movie bearing the same name stars two guys adorned with different styles of facial hair (Jamie Foxx ad Colin Farrell). Guys have gone to great lengths to keep their stubble and their various facial hair growths well groomed by either waxing it perfection or having it professionally trimmed several times a week at upscale salons. For women, messy hair that looks slightly askew is no accident. Off center ponytails and messy bangs are part of a new trend in women's hairstyles that supposedly say "I've got a wild side to me". It's kind of modern punk!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Shrink Your Female Fat Zones

Denise Austin has been a favorite in the fitness industry for over twenty years now. Her workouts are very user-friendly and she has a great, positive energy that she can send out to you, even though it's through a television screen. One of her latest editions to her work out programs is "Shrink Your Female Fat Zones", which include two complete 20 minute work out sessions. The first is 20 minutes of metabolism-boosting exercises to sculpt your body. In this work out she includes some yoga and pilates moves to stabilize and build core muscles. She also does some great strength training moves that help build arms and shoulders. All moves are done at an aerobic pace, with some isometric holds as well. The second 20 minute program is to be used with a stability ball. You can modify the moves to use without the ball, but expect to get optimum results with the use of one. This work out is designed to really trim the abdominal, hip and thigh area. This DVD is the companion piece for the book by Denise with the same name. If you are looking to get a lot of bang for your buck, then this one is worth the price ($11.99 at Best Buy)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Greatest Hits Of The Sixties

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know I'm a fan of Barry Manilow's music. His last CD, 'Greatest Hits of the 50's', which was released in February, made it to the number one spot on the charts and is still selling in the top 200. On the heels of that CD, we will hear 'Greatest Hits of the 60's', to be tentatively released on October 31st of this year. What Clive Davis did for Rod Stewart, who also has a greatest hits coming out soon of rock n' roll covers from the 70s, he is also doing for Barry. Barry left Arista briefly after Clive was asked to step down due to a clause in his contract that required him to do so when he turned a certain age. Barry then signed with Concord Records, which released his last collection of original songs 'Here At The Mayflower'. Unfortunately for diehard fans, this may be the very last collection ever of original songs from Barry. On the other hand, Barry is enjoying a huge surge in his popularity through these cover CDs and his 'Music and Passion' show at the Las Vegas Hilton. The new CD is slated to cover songs by the Beatles ('And I Love Her')as well as duets with the group 'The Association' and a couple of songs from songwriter, Burt Bacarach. For those of you who are just discovering Barry's music, after 30 years in the business, please pick up some of his recently re-released classics like 'Barry Manilow Live'. This is a talented man who was deemed by 'Rolling Stone' magazine as "the showman of our generation" and who is not only a writer, but arranger and producer for such other artists as Dionne Warwick and, of course, Bette Midler.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Message From Blog Advance

We care for the health of our members, so from Friday through to Sunday, we will set the surf ratio to 1.5 :1 for ALL members.

Think of it as our way of saving you money because you don't have to buy SPF sun block and there's none of that awful sunburn to contend with either. 50 years from now, when your skin is still soft as a baby's bottom, you can thank BlogAdvance for that!!

Happy surfing.

The BlogAdvance Team

Everything Has A Pricetag

I did not enjoy "free love". Those people came before me with the birth control pill. They also didn't know about things like AIDS or HPV. Eventually, they learned that "free love" comes with a pricetag when AIDS was first discovered. Now they found out that even condoms can't protect you from all sexuallty transmitted diseases. There are probably over a 100 different strains of HPV, which also include the strains that cause genital warts. Although it is probably passed around sexually, there are other ways to pass it around, but doctors don't have all the answers. They've only learned recently that certain strains of this virus are directly related to cervical cancer. Literally, thousands of people are infected and never know it because most strains of this virus show absolutely no symptoms. You can be walking around with it for years and never know it and, furthermore, there's no test for men. Women should ask their doctors about being tested, especially if they are sexually active. Knowing you've been infected, means getting regular PAP smears, because like breast cancer, cervical cancer is completely curable, if it's caught in the early stages. So, make sure you talk to your doctor and get yourself tested along with your PAP smear. The life you save may be your own.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

VIP Service For Trade Show Exhibits

These days it's hard to find good customer service anywhere. So when it comes to purchasing something as crucial as materials for my next trade show exhibit, I always go back to ExhibitDEAL. I know they've got everything I need for my trade show displays at a decent price. And no matter what my budget is, I'm treated with VIP-level respect and customer service that's unmatched in the industry.

Blog post sponsored by Blogging Ads

When The Lights Went Out On Long Island

I was going to post about something else, but truthfully, the heat in our region has taken priority over anything else I could possibly want to discuss. This morning I awoke to the sounds of silence. No fan whirring, no air conditioner humming....nothing! It was very early, somewhere between night and day and it was totally creepy. Of course, I couldn't fall back asleep and I was just lying there wondering, "how long??". Thankfully, the power came on just as I was trying to set into motion a plan of strategy, should I be left with no power at all for the day (cold shower, cold get the picture). Still, the cable was out even after the power returned so no TV to see what was going on in the rest of the world and no computer. I prepared for work at the hospital where I volunteer and when I arrived at the hospital and moved through the halls, I noticed the corridors were closed off. My first thought was there was a fire alarm drill (we have this regularly to keep us on our toes), but then I realized that there were no lights and no air conditioning in certain areas and elevators were being used sparingly. We have been put on a power alert. Hopefully, we will have some relief within the next 24 hours. In the meantime, whereever you are, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Plug It In, Plug It In

The number of products that you can plug in to your USB port is growing on a daily basis. While Japan leads the way for such products, which include an air-conditioned shirt (we could use one of those right about now), America is not far behind. For around $22 you an purchase hand warmers (you won't be needing these for a few more months). These wool gloves actually heat up within minutes after being plugged into your computer, and will allow you to continue typing, even if you are in a meat locker. They are available for both Mac or PC at At you can purchase a Computer-on-a-stick, which will plug into your other computer, allowing you to multi-task. How about a mini desktop aquarium? Yes, you can get one to plug into your computer. All you need to do is add water and, voila, you have a neat, little aquarium with life-like fish and a high density blue LED light for night-time enjoyment, only available at Also available at is a fragrance oil burner and at, you can get a beverage warmer/chiller. How about a paper shredder and letter opener, which you can get at or a fan-light combo from If that's not enough, at, you can get a mini missile launcher to annoy your co-workers with. Many of these items, remarkably, sell for under $50 and, in fact, some sell for under $20. Pretty soon, you'll never have to leave your computer.....not even to go to the bathroom!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Be Your Own Best Advocate

When it comes to your health, whether you are male or female, it is important to educate yourself and be your own best advocate. When it comes to cancer, for instance, we now know that too much exposure to the sun, without appropriate protection, can lead to the development of skin cancer. We also know that smoking or being over exposed to cigarette smoke over long periods of time may also lead to the development of lung cancer. Recently, there was a connection discovered between the HPV disease and the development of cervical cancer. Knowledge is power and having this information will help you communicate better with your physician should you have any concerns. Another type of cancer known as mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos over a period of time. Symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are due to tumour growth resulting in invasion of surrounding structures and/or the production of fluid. Chest pain may be caused by invasion of the chest wall. Approximately 8 million Americans may have been exposed through various jobs, such as miners, ship builders, factory and railroad workers, mechanics and construction workers. Others may have been exposed if they had served in the Navy as asbestos has been found on ships. Also, frighteningly, asbestos is still found in over 10% of our schools. If you are or were a smoker, you may be at even a greater risk. The most important thing to do is educate yourself and know all your options, both medically and legally, so you get the best care possible.

The Buzz

Handsome hunk (okay, that sounded cheesy, but I had to say it!) Heath Ledger has been cast as the Joker in the sequel to 'Batman Begins'. The sequel will be entitled 'The Dark Knight'and will, once again, star Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne. By the way, if you haven't seen 'Brokeback Mountain' yet, do rent it. I really liked it, although ironically, I thought this was a "chick flick" all the way. More irony, my gay friends didn't like it because they didn't believe the relationship. I also think they may have been pissed that the actors weren't really gay.........Mel Gibson has checked himself into an alcohol rehab center as per his rep........Finally, as if Paris Hilton doesn't get enough publicity, she was photographed with ex-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos in St. Tropez, where Sean "Diddy" Combs was holding his 'all white' party. Paris stated, "we're together now here. We love each other". Haven't we heard that before?

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