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Susan's Spa

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sixties Songs Are a Nice Treat For Halloween

Enough with the candy already! Who needs the calories. Instead, I treated myself to Barry Manilow's brand new CD, 'Greatest Songs of the 60s'. I picked up the dual-disc version available only at Target, which has all 13 songs on one side and a DVD with the making of this CD on the other, which is a must for any fan. If you lived through this decade then you will love hearing his version of "Cherish/Windy" sung with The Association (the only duet on this CD). He also does a great rendition of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", with a tip of his hat to "Singin' in the Rain" at the very end. All the songs are wonderful and have Barry's trademark key changes with my least favorite "Blue Velvet", but in all fairness to Barry, I really didn't like the original by Bobby Vinton. He pays homage to Burt Bacharach as well as the Beatles and ends the collection very appropriately with "What The World Needs Now". For more information about this CD, you can check it out here .

Message From Blog Advance

Here's the latest message from blog surfing site, Blog Advance. You can sign up with them by clicking on the icon in my sidebar.

1. The November Blog of the Month is Crazy Like A Fox.

Crazy Like A Fox is a no holds barred personal account of one woman's life as she takes you on a rollercoaster ride of the highs and lows that occur in her life.

She is honest, frank and in your face - and well worth the read.

Check her blog out today!


2. Referral Awards as previously mentioned in our last newsletter has now been set to 1 credit for every unique visitor that clicks your referral link. Also to make it more appealing, if the person signs up under your referral number, each time they surf you earn credits each time they do.

So the more people you refer, the more credits you will earn without doing anything!! Make sure you spread the word about BlogAdvance and use your referral to earn bonus credits.


3. Member Banner Ads

We would appreciate if all members who set up banner ads for their banners, to please make sure that they give the correct image link. We have been getting a couple where the banner has not been linked correctly and therefore not showing.

Also, we have been rejecting some banners due to them not being the correct size. We are only accepting standard banner sizes. 468 x 60

We understand members use credits to show their banners on rotation and we don't want to not allow certain banners due to the wrong sizes, so please can you make sure before placing a banner in queue that you have the correct dimensions.


4. New Members Free Credits

We have had a handful of new signups asking why their site has not been seen on rotation, with their free sign up credits. We understand people will sign their blog up with us and see how their site is seen with the free credits, kind of like dipping your toe in the water so to speak and if they are happy with the results, then they will surf more to gain more credits.

When you sign a blog up you automatically gain 25 free sign up credits, however you HAVE to allocate them to your blog before your blog will go on rotation, if you don't allocate them then they will just sit in your account and you will not earn any free traffic to your blog.

So please make sure you have allocated your credits to your blog(s) before sending in a support email to us.


5. BlogAdvance Official Blog

Not only does our official blog keep you updated on what is happening here at BlogAdvance, we now have expanded it to start giving our members and non members updates on what we think is blogging news.

We also have plans on opening it up to guest posts and interviews of some well known bloggers to get tips on how you can increase your blog popularity.

We want to keep bloggers in the loop on all the latest blogging news, so make sure to check out our official blog.

Finally the team would like to wish all our members a Happy and Spooky Halloween.

The BlogAdvance Team


The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert has one of the funniest fake news shows on television, right after another funny fake news show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Last night Stephen faced off with my favorite singer, Barry Manilow which ended in a truce and agreement to share the Emmy which Barry won this year. You can watch it all right here . Enjoy and have a spooktacular Halloween!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Say It Isn't So

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe have announced through their reps of course, that they have formally split and Reese has reportedly contacted famed divorce lawyer, Robert Kaufman, who also represented Jennifer Aniston in her split from Brad Pitt. These two were always the sweethearts of the red carpet, but marital problems have plagued them throughout their marriage and they both have admitted seeking counseling to improve their relationship. One has to wonder if all celebrity relationships are doomed to fail. The couple have two children and plan to share custody and parenting responsibilities.

Pumpkins - More Treats Than Tricks

With Halloween just around the bend, I thought I would write about all the great beauty products that are either pumpkin scented and/or contain pumpkin enzymes, which are rich in beta-carotene and other essential vitamins which are so good for hair and skin. One product that I absolutely love is from Philosophy and perfect for this time of year as pictured here. Philosophy's Pumpkin Pie Body and Hair Shampoo smells so yummy and is really a great bargain for the price (around $16 at Sephora or at
QVC . You can actually use this product as a shampoo, bubble bath or shower wash. It smells amazing, as do all the body and hair shampoos from this company, and more suprisingly, leaves your skin and hair, cleansed and moisturized. Sexy Hair, which can be found at Ulta , just came out with an entire line of shampoos and conditioners all infused with pumpkin enzymes. They not only leave your hair very well-nourished, but they smell amazing and range in price from $14.95 to $24.95 for all the various products in this line from shampoos, conditioners, treatment masques and styling products. As always, Bath and Body Works , has many different products with that wonderful pumpkin fragrance. Check out their Temptations line of products which include Pumpkin Pie Paradise. The line has a product similar to Philosphy calle the three-in-one body wash, bubble bath and shampoo. You will also find body lotions, home fragrance oils and cancles all with this rich scent selling between $7.50 and $12 and a skin care line which includes a Pumpkin & Orange Masque for the face which sells for $38.

Nicole Collapes

It has been reported that Nicole Richie collapsed at the Hyde night club early yesterday morning at around 2AM. The manager of the club was asked not to call 911 by her friends who carried Nicole out of the club and drove her to a hospital. Her reps have confirmed that Richie has entered a treatment facility to delve deeper into the mysterious illness that is keeping her so thin. Whatever it is, hopefully she will receive the treatment that she so obviously and desperately needs to help her reach a healthy weight.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Prize Winning Blogs

Every once in a while, bloggers try different things to draw readers to their blogs and/or websites. One fellow blogger, had an idea to have a comment contest. The person who left the most original comment, got an honorable mention in your blog. She drew hundreds of readers who, in turn, left hundreds of comments and the winner, also received many hits to her blog. If you want to try to increase quality traffic (the keyword being "quality"), you might want to try doing something like this. Try participating in a few of these contests yourself to see how it works and if it is something you yourself would be willing to try. Here's a fun one I found at Title Trakk . Be the first to find the railroad spike and win a great prize.

Avoiding Eating Traps

I recentlty lost about 18 pounds on Weight Watchers. I only have two pounds left to go to get back to where I once was and wearing a size 8 easily. At first, I was incredulous that I had gained so much, but looking back at my eating habits, I can see how it happened. Adding more to my portions and mindless snacking late at night might have only added another couple of hundred calories, but over a couple of years, those calories added up to pounds I needed to lose. What I learned to do was reduce my portions. One thing I no longer do, at least while I'm dieting, is giving in to impulse buying of over-sized portions either in restaurants or discount stores that offer great deals on huge size products. I also used a smaller plate when I ate my meals to remind me to keep my portions small. As for snacks, I keep healthy alternatives to the crunchy, salty chips I loved so much like 94% fat-free microwave popcorn, which now comes in 100 calorie bags. Fresh fruit and vegetables make a great snack too, especially after I cut them up and store them in reusable containers. I keep fat-free dressing and low-fat peanut butter on hand too. Over the summer I bought the fat-free icepops and now I make the fat-free, sugar-free pudding which is great with fat-free coolwhip. I may never be able to completely free myself of my eating habits, which were ingrained at a very early age (who can't relate to that?), but I can change what I eat to keep my weight where it should be and improve my quality of life. I have way more energy and actually enjoy exercising (okay, maybe I don't love it, but it's a lot easier after losing 18 pounds). If you want to read a great book on how to alter your eating habits, get a copy of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" by Brian Wansink.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Earning Money From Blogging

I've written on this topic before for you, but it cannot be stressed enough that there are ways to earn money from your blog. One way that is becoming increasingly popular, is to post about or for an advertiser. Companies are beginning to see a great deal of validity in paying bloggers to write a post either about their company or, write a post that isn't necessarily about the company, but has the company's name appear in the post. You can make anywhere from a few dollars up to around $20 for this type of posting and you can be paid either immediately or wait up to 30 days depending on the site that will be compensating you. One thing you must do for any of these sites is open up a Pay Pal account so you can easily be paid for the posts you write for these advertisers. The other thing you also must do is read each site's guidelines carefully so that when you submit your post for review, it will be accepted without revisions having to be made. Some of the sites that are paying bloggers to post are Blogitive , Blogging Ads , Blogvertise , Pay Per Post , and Creamaid . Again, it's important to read their guidelines carefully in order to gain any success with these sites. Although you can earn a nice second income, I don't believe you can actually survive on the money you make and there's very little consistency with most of these sites, except for Pay Per Post, which seems to consistently have offers for their members. If you enjoy writing and have an expertise in one or more areas, you can try writing posts for Associated Content . As blogging becomes more valid in its popularity, you will begin to see more and more of these sites come about. How successful they will be in the long run though still remains to be seen since all of these sites are still in their infancy.

Friday, October 27, 2006

First And Farewell

Barry Manilow will not only have a brand new CD out on Halloween ('Greatest Songs of the Sixties'), but he will also have a brand new DVD out entitled 'First and Farewell', which includes a taped performance from his last tour as well as a rehearsal performance right before his very first tour over thirty years ago. You can check out a sampling of the DVD at First and Farewell .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dancing With The Stars - The Tour

ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' will begin touring on December 19th in San Diego and will end on February 11, 2007 in Atlantic City. The cast of the tour will include Joey McIntyre, Kym Johnson, Drew Lachey, Cheryl Burke, Lisa Rinna, Louis Van Amstel, Edyta Sliwinska, Joey Lawrence, Willa Ford, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Harry Hamlin and Karina Smirnoff. Mario Lopez will be be involved since he has prior commitments. Van Amstel will be the chief choreographer while judge Carrie Ann Inaba will be the show's creative director. For more information regarding ticket sales which begin on November 4th, go to

Still Hungry

Singer, Carnie Wilson, recently appeared on 'Oprah', regarding the transformation from her weight loss surgery several years ago. The show's topic revolved around the addictions that weight loss surgery patients take on after they've lost all the weight. By reducing their stomachs to approximately the size of a walnut, the addict's druge of choice (in their case, it's food) is taken away from them and replaced with something else (alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping and sex). The point of the topic is that although the surgery cures the symptoms of food addiction, it in no way deals with the addiction itself, which takes form in other ways. In Carnie's case, she began drinking heavily for a few years. Having put herself out in the public eye as the poster child for weight loss surgery became so stressful that she turned to drinking as a coping mechanism. Eventually, her husband Rob told her to get into rehab so they can begin to start a family. Three weeks after Carnie stopped drinking she became pregnant with her daughter. The moral of the story is that weight-loss surgery patients need ongoing treatment to learn better and healthier coping skills. Losing all that weight in such a short period of time must be a very heady experience, but add an addictive personality to that experience and you have a dangerous situation. Luckily Carnie is sober for two years now and is happily raising her daughter with her husband, Rob. You can read more about her experiences in her two books, "Gut Feelings" and "I'm Still Hungry".

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Diamonds Really Are Forever

One of the most meaningful gifts you can give someone or yourself is diamond jewelry. It really is a gift that lasts forever and is very often passed down from generation to generation. However, too many times people make the mistake of impulse buying when it comes to fine jewelry like diamonds. Never do this! This is the kind of purchase that takes a great deal of thought. Also, go to a diamond jewelry store where the sales associates will take the time to get to know you personally. This will enable them to help you make the best choice for you or that special someone. Afterall, your personality is a major part of who you are and your diamond jewelry should reflect that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Madonna And Oprah

Madonna is set to tape an interview today with Oprah, which will air on Oprah's talk show tomorrow. Apparently, Madonna believes that she personally needs to do some damage control regarding the controversy surrounding the adoption of David, a one and a half year old orphan from Malawi. Technically, however, David is not really an orphan. He has a biological father who is still living. He placed his son in the orphanage because he could not care for him after his wife died shortly after David's birth. Initially, David's father was elated that Madonna was taking David home with her to give him a good home and defended her when special interest groups came in protesting the swiftness of the proceedings. Now, he is claiming that no one explained to him that he would be giving up his parental rights to David. Of course, Madonna is probably very used to drawing negative attention to herself and most of the time, she probably just leaves all of that outside her door, but not this time. As an adoptive parent myself, I'm interested in seeing how this all plays out. Madonna has been a staunch supporter of this small African nation for quite a few years, even setting up a foundation for it. She is overwhelmed by the poverty and, I'm sure, her intentions were only for the greater good. Hopefully, everything will work out because there's nothing more heartbreaking for an adoptive parent to have to surrender their children. If nothing else, the media attention that Malawi has received will hopefully be in their own best interest to raise awareness and, much needed money.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Let Them Wear Fakes!

The very-much talked about Sofia Coppola movie "Marie Antoinette", is about to open to very good reviews thus far. Kirsten Dunst has the honor of portraying Marie, who was shipped office from her native Austria at the age of 14 to marry King Louis XVI. It is said that she was stripped of her clothes at the border and re-dressed in the french style before she was presented to him, much like 'Ambush Makeover'. Legend has it that this little man was so shy that it took them seven years to consummate their marriage, but eventually she bore him four children. Okay, enough with the history lesson. The fact of the matter is that Marie was a fashion icon and a fashion rebel for her time. She wore pants to ride horses astride, not side saddle (gasp!) and she shortened her skirts so that her shoes and even her ankles would show. She was considered a trendsetter for her time and, she is having quite an impact on fashion today as well. Designers are taking a page from her book by introducing very romantic blouses with ruffles as well as velvet jackets. You can pair these with your favorite jeans if you like or a long skirt with boots. Manolo Blahnik created twenty styles of shoes for Coppola's film, and he chose five styles to sell in limited quantity at his boutique in Manhattan. You will also find the impact of this film in make-up and jewelry. Make-up can be done in a paler shades (especially foundation) paired with a tinted blushing gel for cheeks and lips. Wear your favorite pendant on a velvet ribbon instead of a chain for a more romantic and softer look.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Up Close And Personal With Cheryl Burke

Maybe you don't recognize her name, but if you watch "Dancing With The Stars" then you would definitely recognize Cheryl Burke, one of the professional dance partners, who is paired this season with Emmit Smith and was the dance partner of last season's winner, Drew Lachey. You can read a quick interview with her here .

I Want My Gay TV

A few years back Bravo, the cable network, recognized the need for programming aimed at the gay population for various reasons. First, it drew a targeted audience in terms of marketing. Advertisers saw the huge potential and from that came the need for a network just for gay people and Logo was born. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, Logo doesn't just cater to the gay population, but it actually draws a very strong female (straight) audience with its diverse programming which includes brand new productions like "Noah's Ark" aimed at the gay African American population, but a new reality show called "Jacob and Joshua: Nemisis Rising" about identical twin brothers longing to make it big in the music business while grappling with coming out to their parents who also happen to be Jehovah's Witnesses. There are also re-runs of "Queer as Folk" along with music videos and movies. The network has become so popular though, there are sure to be more original series. You can check out all their programming at Logo.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

They Times Really Are A Changin'

I thoroughly enjoyed Twyla Tharp's treatment of Billy Joel's catalogue of music in "Movin' Out" where Brenda and Eddie became three-dimensional characters against the backdrop of the relics of my own hometown. It cannot be easy to develop characters with no dialogue whatsoever, but Twyla's vision becamse very clear and made "Movin' Out" a huge, award-winning hit. It was with great curiosity that I approached "The Times, They Are A Changin'", her interpretation of Bob Dylan's songs, but she definitely does not disappoint. The story revolves around a broken-down traveling circus run by a tyrant of a father and along with his son and a beautiful runaway girl, these three tell their sad and sordid story through the songs of Bob Dylan's which includes "Blowin' in the Wind", "Highway 61", "Lay Lady Lay" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" just to name a few that you would automatically recognize. However, in order to tell the story as accurately as possible, Twyla also relies on some lesser known songs from Dylan as well and the three primary characters sing these songs with such feeling that one really believes that they were written just to tell this tale. The ensemble includes a dancing dog, clowns and other strange freakish characters whom are capable of contorting themselves in ways not humanly possible. It is no wonder that Bob himself has been heard to comment that he believes that this might be the best interpretation of his songs he has ever seen or heard. What else sets this stage presentation apart from other shows on Broadway is that it is rather short (only about 90 minutes or so) and there is no intermission whatsoever, but it is 90 minutes well spent under the spell of Twyla's vision and Bob Dylan's story telling.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Message From Blog Advance

Once again we have decided to increase the surf ratio for this weekend to 1.5:1 every blog you surf. It seems the weekends are our busiest times, so we have decided to make it even more busy by giving you all something extra to surf for.

Also we have increased the unique credits you receive from giving your referral button out to 1 credit everytime someone clicks your referral link. So you can now earn credits just by displaying your BlogAdvance referral button and having people click the link.

Happy weekend surfing!

The BlogAdvance Team

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway's Bad Boy Wins

Fashion Designer, Jeffrey Sebella, won top honors after the finale runway show at Bryant Park during the season finale of "Project Runway". Always a rebel, who initially, looked as if his clothes came straight out of 'Hot Topic', he did not disappoint last night with a very stylish and versatile line of clothing that ranged from beachwear (probably his strongest showing) to evening wear (not his best effort). This was a tense competition with not three, but four finalists that included a very pregnant, Laura, whose evening gowns were meticulously executed, Uli, whose signature floral pieces were mingled with some beautiful solid pieces during her showing and, the viewers' favorite, Michael, who went for a safari looking collection which was not his best unfortunately. Jeffrey, who was known for his rebellious nature, is actually a family-man with a wife and young son, who overcame a nasty drug habit to go on to work hard as a designer. He's already dressed such celebrities as Gwen Stefani and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I'm already looking forward to next season and I can still hear Tim saying "Make it work people".

A Grown-Up Halloween

When I think of Halloween, my first thought doesn't automatically go to all the little trick-or-treaters who come knocking for candy to fill their bags and plastic pumpkins. Halloween is also a time for good friends (grown-ups) to get together for a party. We have done this in my neighborhood for a few years and the houses rotate from year to year. It's a pot luck dinner with everyone pitching in and helping out with food like chili, cornbread, homemade pizza and pasta dishes. For dessert, there are lots of treats with some grown-up ones like wine and beer. No one is driving because everyone lives within walking distance. It's a great time for neighbors to kickback and relax. That's how I like to spend Halloween. Thanks to Theresa at WAHM Blog for giving us moms some great ideas for blog posts.

Using The Internet Wisely

There's always so much talk in the news about how bad the internet has gotten. There is always a story that involves some evil that erupted through the use of the internet. However, the internet is used for many wonderful things as well and, without it, many people would have to wait possibly days for important information, which is now right at their fingertips with the internet. For instance, perhaps you need information regarding a specific medication like Diovan. Where could you go for the most up-to-date information regarding a drug, without the use of the internet? One company, called Epocrates Online, offers a service to clinicians that provides them with the most cutting edge information about this and any other medication, including dosing, pricing and more importantly, potential drug interactions as well as Medicare Part D information. By using this service, physicians and other clinicians can focus their attention on their patients rather than research which might take hours to find. So the internet can be a wonderful tool for people and that's always good news.

A Geography Lesson

There are many parts of the country that I have yet to see, let alone move to, but the midwest has increasingly become a popular destination for those on the move. One Joliet Real Estate company reports that the Northeastern region of Illinois, known as the Chicago land market, is made up of seven counties that consist of approximately 211 towns and 77 individual neighborhoods of the City of Chicago. If you are considering moving to this area, it would be very important to find an experienced realator who can give you the most up-to-date information regarding the general population, school systems, mass transportation, houses of worship and cultural areas of interest like theatres as well as shopping areas. By doing this, you take away much of the stress that could come along with relocating to another area of the country that is unfamiliar and keep the excitement in the endless possibilities that come along with exploring new territory.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

MacDonalds Makes Fast Food Healthy

Today, I took my daughter to her favorite after-school destination which happens to be McDonalds. The one we visited is located on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, New York. This is one of my favorite McDonalds restaurants. The service is always great, fast and accurate. Although her choices range from the chicken nuggets value meal (still a great deal) to the chicken sandwiches, McDonalds is now offering more healthy choices for those who are watching their weight or looking to reduce their cholesterol. Their Asian salad is fabulous and if you order it with grilled chicken, you are still getting a delicious meal with the low-fat dressing. Pair that with a bottle of water and add on their walnut fruit salad, which comes in a snack size for $1.99. If you still crave burgers, and you happen to be following Weight Watchers, order a plain hamburger and a side salad with low-fat dressing for around 6 points. You don't have to deprive yourself of fast food, you just have to make better choices, and McDonalds can do that for you.

Recipe For Younger-Looking Skin

Forget the facelift! If you follow the world-renowned guru of skincare, Dr. Perricone, you won't need one. His two part-plan for younger-looking skin includes eating a healthy diet of salmon, whole grains, fresh veggies and fruit (berries in particular which include raspberries and blueberries) and pomegranates. Also, by eliminating refined sugar from your diet, you take away one of the most potent thieves of natural collagen. What else does his prescribe? Try a face cream that contains DMAE and alpha lapoic acid. These two ingredients help to not only maintain youthful skin, but can actually reverse damage to help skin especially appear more firm. These products can be found in health food stores and at
Ulta . Try these first before you head to a plastic surgeon. You can save yourself a bundle of money and still look natural.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Key To Gift Giving

It used to be that giving a key chain as a gift was considered tacky, but not anymore. Key chains have been elevated to a much higher level and there are key chains and key rings to fit every budget and for every person on your list, most if not all of whom, have keys. First up is a digital camera from Philips that is so small, it fits in the palm of your hands. This is a great idea for anyone on your list and at $19.95, it's a real bargain. You can find it at . You can also find great novelty items at Ultimate Key Chains like the Etch A Sketch key ring which sells for around $5.00. For the gamer in your life, you can visit Think Geek and for around $15 you can get a mini-gaming system on a keychain and play games like Centipede, Asteroids or Pong. It even comes with a cable to connect to a television. How cool is that? Think Geek also has other great keychains like one that is a solar flashlight which sells for around $10. Last, but never least are those trendsetters that have to have any and all things logo. Coach makes wonderful keychains, but skip the retail shops and head straight for the outlets for these. I've spotted them for around $15, which is a bargain. If you must splurge however, check out Prada, Valentino and Tiffany for those who much have only the best. They are more money of course (around $50-$100), but it is a gift they can use all year long, unlike a scarf or high-priced flip flops.

Monday, October 16, 2006

How You Can Outrank Everyone Else

Marketing a business can take you down many roads. You can always advertise with print ads in local newspapers or pay to have your business' name printed on t-shirts, pens and calendars, but the internet has opened up many new avenues for businesses in terms of marketing opportunties. One way is, of course, through everyone's favorite search engine, Google. Not surprisingly, there can be a local marketing opportunity for your local business through Google if you know how to obtain a high ranking. One way is by investing in a Search Engine Optimization service. What these services do is provide you with the opportunity to give your local business the highest ranking, which is one investment that can pay you dividends over the long term.

Flavor Of Love

The season finale of 'Flavor Of Love' aired last night garnering one of the largest viewing audiences of any reality show. I guess it's kind of like a bad car accident in which you really want to look away, but just can't. Flavor Flave as he is known to his fans, has done this once before, but it was ever so popular he came back to do it again narrowing down the choices to girl known as New York and the other he called Delicous. I do believe he kept New York around for ratings. She was beyond crazy (although the girl named Krazy was eliminated earlier), but her mother would make Joan Collins look like an angel. Flavor's kids (of which he has many) clearly favored the more demure Delicious, but New York gave it all up for him and the viewing audience. In the end, that was probably a very bad choice on her part, but the reunion show is set to air in two weeks, so who knows what drama will unfold then. In the meantime, you can bet that there will be a third season of this three ring circus because in the end, ratings matter more than romance!

Banishing Dark Circles

Do you suffer from under-eye dark circles? You are not alone! Many, many women have dark circles for which they have spent hundreds of dollars in an effort to either remove or cover up. There are now many products on the market that claim to banish dark circles, but they come with a very high price tag. The one pictured in this post sells for $75 and up depending on where you purchase it and women have experienced varied results from this product. Discount chains offer similar products for a fraction of the cost with supposedly the same or very similar ingredients, but again, results are varied. One home remedy to help eliminate dark circles is to slice raw potatoes and place them under your eyes every morning. I've not tried this myself, but those who have say it works, but it's time consuming. One product I have tried which does exactly what it says it does is Hi-Bright with Haloxyl from Serious Skin Care. The tube sells for around $32 on
Home Shopping but, it's so popular that it's out of stock right now. Serious Skin Care is also available at Ulta so you can try there if HSN is out of stock. This product claims to help improve the look of the entire eye area, lessen the appearance of dark under eye circles and visibly diminish the look of puffiness. I can say, uneqiuvocally, that it does all of these things so for around $32 (for which you receive a nice size tube)it's a bargain because a little goes a long way.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

You On A Diet

From the same people who brought you the previous "You" books, Dr. Michale F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, now comes "You On A Diet". The book is so new I couldn't even find a photo of it, but it has a dark blue cover. This is being touted as a break-through in learning how to control weight, explained in simple language that anyone can understand. Both doctors point out the importance of exercise (30 minutes of walking every day combined with a series of simple exercises every other day to help increase muscle mass, which will burn fat. Diet tips include eating three main meals a day, plus two snacks. The list of meals is very simple and the choices are minimal. The philosophy is that too many choices in a diet leads to weight gain, not loss. Of course, you have to replace all refined carbs with whole grains (brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat pasta, instead of regular pasta. Also, you must remove all trans fats from your diet as well because that increases the fat in the belly. Increased belly fat is connected to many diseases, including the biggest culprit, heart disease. The diet consists of lean meats, whole foods like fresh veggies and fruit, whole grain bread as well as whole grain pasta, brown rice and raw nuts. The theory is that if you follow this plan, both diet and exercise, then you can reduce your waistline by two full inches in two weeks. You will not only be looking better, but giving yourself a better life all around, including better health. The book is available now at book stores.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Still The Same

If you are looking for great gifts for the holidays, then consider giving the gift of music. I have a few on my list that I'll be looking forward to giving and receiving, the first of which is Rod Stewart's 'Still The Same'. Okay, maybe he's not exactly as I remember him back in the '70s when he was a skinny, rowdy rocker. He's a gentler, calmer Rod, but he certainly breathes new life into some of my personal favorites like "Still the Same", "Missing You" and "Fooled Around and Fell in Love". The arrangements are built to suit Rod's unique delivery. Another one I'm looking forward to is Barry Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Sixties". Again, Barry delivers some of the most romantic songs of that era, in a way that is unique to his style and arrangements. He duets with 'The Association' on a couple of numbers which were hits for them and covers 'The Four Seasons' as well as Dusty Springfield and Burt Bacharach. If it's mood music you want, then you will definitely want this one along with his new DVD "First and Farewell" highlighting his first ever tour and his final tour back in 2004. There are also new CDs out from Tony Bennett, who duets with Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Elton John on some of the greatest romantic songs for all time and original music by Bob Dylan, whose greatest classics are the backdrop for a new Broadway show written and choreographed by Twyla Tharp. For all these new CDs and more great gift ideas, just click on the '' icon in my sidebar. If you spend $25 or more with, you get free shipping and that's music to my ears!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Shop Red For The Holiday Season

Red is the traditional color for the holiday season and this season you can shop red, while helping to provide much-needed medication to men, women and children in Africa. This is the brain storm of singer, Bono, who appeared on 'Oprah' to promote the 'shop red' campaign. So, the next time you need clothes or want to buy great gifts, check out The Gap and Giorgio Armani for special items that are affordably priced. A portion of the proceeds will go to fund the purchase of low-cost medication (around 50 cents a day per person). You can also buy a red iPod or a red Motorola phone (these great phones are only $79 and $17 from each phone goes into this special fund). Now you can buy great things for yourself and your family for the holidays while giving another family the chance to live a healthy life. It doesn't get better than that!

Madonna And Child

After a few days of did she or didn't she, it is not reported that Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, took custody of a one-year old boy, named David, from an orphanage in Malawi, after filing adoption papers and receiving interim approval from judges. Although the boy's mother died from complications arising during his birth, the boy does have a father who is unable to care for him and, as a result, had to be placed in an orphanage. He was able to meet with Madonna and was very pleased that she seemed so interested in him. The father was told by Madonna and her husband that they will bring David back to Malawi to visit. I'm not sure what moved her enough to do this, but as an adoptive parent myself, there is nothing more rewarding she could have done, although she does plan on continuing to develop more childcare and schools in this area of Africa.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cancel The Crooks' Phishing Trip

I just want to thank my blogging friend, Tammara for inspiring me to write about the holiday shopping safety tips. You can get even more great tips to keep you safe on her blog Phishy-Pedia Guide .

Staying Safe While Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season is just around the corner and soon you will be running to the mall along with thousands of other people. Some of those people won't be there to shop though. Some will be there to extract from you, the money and credit cards you are carrying to buy gifts for your loved ones. Even the most well-meaning shopper can absent-mindedly not be paying attention to their surroundings and fall victim to a crime. I know because it's happened to me, not once, but twice. Two times I was too preoccupied to more carefully plan out a walking route to a busy shopping area and two times I had money and credit cards stolen from me. That's all it took and now I know what I should and shouldn't do while shopping. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
1) Park in a well-lit area of the mall and, if possible, stay away from the parking garages. They are too dark and too secluded so park in either well-lit areas or where you can be seen in plain sight of other shoppers, police or mall security.
2) If you are carrying a pocketbook, make sure it is held securely close to your body and that your bag has a zipper, which should be kept closed at all times. Walk with conviction if you are alone towards your destination.
3) Keep your cash and credit cards and identification in separate places so that if your wallet is taken, all the theif gets is your money. It's still a loss, but at least you don't have to go through the hassle of cancelling credit cards and replacing your ID.
4) Never walk towards a secluded mall entrance. This is one place I was robbed. Park close to large department store and walk through the store to get to the mall instead. The more light and people there are the less likely you will be a target.
5) When leaving the mall, have your keys ready so you don't have to fumble for them while you are walking towards your car. Again, when you look preoccupied with something else, you are an easier target for a theif.
6) If possible attach a whistle to your key ring. If you are being followed, you will scare off a potential thief just by blowing the whistle.
7) As soon as you get in your car, lock your doors and turn on the interior light to your car, until you are ready to pull away from the mall.
8) Shopping alone makes you more of a target for anyone looking to take your money or cause you harm. Try to shop with a friend if you can.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Making Money From Blogging

There are lots of ways to make money from blogging and many of you already know some of the ways you can do that. One way that has worked very well for me is writing posts for advertisers through Blogitive . There are other sites that pay for your posts, but this one has been tried and true in terms of the consistency of both offers and payment. Some people are opposed to this type of method of making money, but I never write something that I can't stand behind. Besides, writing posts this way has proved to be challenging to me in terms of my creativity. You can sign up yourself for Blogitive and try it. It won't cost you anything and you might actually make some money in the long run. Also, Blogitive is in the process of updating their services which will eventually yeild more ways for bloggers to earn some money and we can all use some of that!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happily Ever After

It's being reported all over the internet that Paris and Nicole have patched things up and were seen together at a popular LA eaterie. They were also photographed at a nearby cemetary together as well. I've always doubted the story that they were enemies, but rather believe that this was a carefully planned separation that would draw them both much more media attention (like they really needed THAT)as well as more PR for the struggling reality show, 'The Simple Life', which was dropped by Fox and picked up by 'E'. If it was true that they were on the outs, it's nice to know that they could be grown-up enough to put that behind them and move on in a more positive direction. Either way it's good news and there's not enough of that these days.

The Bitch Is Back

I know! It's a terribly mean-spirited thing to call this great vocalist the "B" word, but I ask you, how fair is it for her fans to pay beyond top dollar for her concert and have to be subjected to her political views? We expect to see political satire on SNL or 'The Daily Show', but not musical concert, or at least we shouldn't expect to. I think some performers feel a certain sense of entitlement as if they own the stage upon which they are performing. They feel it is their God-given right to either back a politician or condemn one, as in her case with President Bush. Now, I am not a Bush supporter, but I take offense to some of the things she does in her show. People come to hear her sing and not be subjected to what she feels is funny. One heckler voiced his displeasure and she blatantly told him to go f.... himself if he couldn't take a joke. He was then offered a refund for the show, which he wisely took and she apologized, but couldn't security have handled the heckler instead? She could have taken the high road and made the choice to be gracious enough to not offend other people and let them handle him. Instead, she made it clear that it was her show and she will do as she pleases. Give me Barry Manilow any day of the week. I have no idea what his political affiliation is and he never uses his captive audience to voice his opinions about it. It would seem that Barbra could learn a few things from her fellow former Brooklynite, but I doubt she would ever think so.

Google Buys YouTube

YouTube seemed like such a stupid idea initially. It was a place where anyone (mostly kids) would post their home movies for all their friends to see, but YouTube eventually starting showing a collection of copyrighted footage that could have garnered them so many lawsuits, they would have shut down and many predicted that would happen. However, co-founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley made a point of cozying up to the major media executives and convinced them that allowing their copyrighted material to remain on YouTube would be a major marketing tool for them. As a result of their sweet talk, they formed partnerships with the likes of Universal Music Group, CBS Corp and Sony BMG Music Entertainment as well as Warner Music Group Inc. The partnership with the latter came on the heels of a threat to sue for copyright infringement and that was only less than one month ago. Enter Google, which reportedly purchased YouTube for 1.65 million dollars. For that price, YouTube can retain it's brand, remain in their headquarters in Bruno, California and keep all 67 of their employees including the co-founders. The deal is expected to close at the end of the year

Monday, October 09, 2006

How To Maximize Your Profits

I have a nineteen year old niece who is currently going to college and is majoring in software engineering. This is a highly specialized field and her hope is that when she graduates, she will find a great job with a software company developing new and specialized software. One such software company has developed customer profitability software which will enable companies to achieve their performance management objectives by providing the foundation for sound decision making. This is just one example of a software company that is focused on doing one thing. They are so focused on their mission that their customers will be able to see a vast improvement in their profitability by allowing their existing systems to be upgraded. It's amazing to me that such software exists, but what I have learned from my niece is that there is much to be gained from having such a specialty and a myriad of opportunities will be available to her in the future.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Real Project Runway

Something is happening on the runway that is causing a flap all over the fashion world. For the first time in the history of fashion, someone finally had the guts to put an end to the anorexic models that we have been so used to seeing year after year. It began in Europe when models were systematically eliminated from walking the runway just this past season because they were too thin for the catwalk. The message has been clearly that the thinner the better, but not any more. Models will have to stop starving themselves and designers will have to get over it very quickly. Clothes are meant to be shown on real women, not clothes hangers. One very famous designer, Gaultier, took things to the extreme as reported in the Sun by putting a model in his show who weighs over 300 pounds. Velvet, as she is known in the industry, very much intends to compete with her much thinner counterparts and prove that she is no joke. Gaultier informed the press that his reasoning for putting Velvet and another, much older, model in his current show is to prove that beauty comes in all forms. Let's just hope that this catches on here in the USA where, so far, there hasn't been any restrictions regarding weight. Designers, especially male designers, need to understand that the clothes they design shouldn't be for women who look like adolescent boys, but for real women with curves.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Giving Moms A Chance To Work At Home

There is a great blogging site for work-at-home moms who use blogging as a source of income. The WAHM blog web not only brings blogging moms together, but provides them with an outlet for creativity as new subjects are introduced every week for blogging topics. Once you've written about a topic, you can link your blog with the WAHM blog, giving your blog more visibility which will increase your traffic and eventually may lead to more income. It's great ideas like these that make bloggers the new innovators in the world of technology.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ugly Betty

Are you loving the new fall television shows as much as I am? I haven't seen one bad new show yet, although some like "Men in Trees" has been blessed with a cursed time slot that may not allow it to make it through all the contractual episodes. Then there's brilliant television in the form of a new show called "Ugly Betty". This is the brainchild of executive producer, Selma Hayack, who took the Spanish version that was already a hit, and recreated it for American television. Betty, played very nicely by America Ferrara, is an extremely bright young woman who takes a job at a fashion magazine (Mode)as an assistant to the editor. Unfortunately, she is chosen more because of her plain jane looks than her capabilities, although she is more than capable. So, this is not just a comedy, but a bit of a night-time soap opera as well featuring beautiful women who think they are too good for everyone else, villians, mysterious people who hold secrets that can destroy careers, and a fashion channel that promises to make everyone else feel bad so you can feel good. Bravo to ABC for stepping outside the box for a show that is clearly a hit. "Ugly Betty" has a tough time slot on Thursday nights opposite "My Name is Earl" and "The Office", but it has already proven to earn an audience and hopefully we will be seeing more of Betty in the future.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Baby, Baby, Baby

There's always celebrities in the news, but today much of it was about babies. First off, Madonna is not adopting one, so says her rep, Liz Rosenberg. She is, however, planning on building an orphanage and daycare center in Malawi, an African country, hard hit by the AIDS epidemic that has claimed the lives of many men and women. As a result there are more and more children every day who are left orphans. Madonna has been wanting to do something big for the greater good for a long time now and she has teamed up with economic guru Jeffrey Sachs. In fact, she spoke with former President Bill Clinton, who heads up the global initiative about ways to bring low-cost medicine to the region as well. She is underwriting a documentary about the country's children in the near future......Tori Spelling and her second husband, Dean McDermott, are expecting their first child together next spring......Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Saarsgaard welcomed a new baby girl named Ramona into their lives on Tuesday.......Matt Lauer and his estranged wife, Annette, are expecting a third child together and supposedly Annette withdrew her petition for separation.........Finally, Anna Nicole Smith is in for more grief as her former boyfriend gears up to fight her for custody of her baby girl, Dannielynn Hope. Larry Birkhead claims that Anna Nicole is allegedly addicted to pain medication and he wants her and her baby back in California for DNA testing to prove his paternity. Meanwhile, People Magazine has a photo spread of her committment ceremony to her long-time attorney and close friend, Howard K. Stern. The photos show Anna and Howard in happier moments since the death of her son Daniel, last month.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Blogger's Holiday Season

It's hard to believe that in just a very short time (early December), my blog will be one year old. I never thought I would be able to sustain the blog in the beginning, nor learn all I needed to learn in order to keep my blog going, but I did it! Since I began my blog during the holiday season, I will celebrate not only the holidays, but my one year blogging anniversary with you. I've always shared great shopping ideas with you and I won't let you down this season. I'll scout out all the bargains and great websites for shopping without all the stress and, speaking of stress, I will write about how to give yourself a break every once in a while so you don't short circuit. I'll also share with you tips on how you can create great holiday looks for yourself and your home without spending a ton of money. My holiday survival guide will be my gift to you for allowing me to share my ideas and thoughts with you all year round.

Shop With A Cause

As many of you know, the month of October is National Breast Cancer month. All month long you will be hearing, watching and reading about ways you can help yourself stay healthy and protect yourself against breast cancer. Education and awareness is the best defense against breast cancer and early detection is the key to being a survivor. You will see many opportunities to shop for this cause and I hope each and every one will donate in some small way to help continue to raise awareness and raise money for a cure. In the meantime, America Online has compiled a great list of products from various vendor websites. A portion of the proceeds from these products will be donated to help advance the cause. So shop 'til you drop for a very good cause!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Bachelor: A Little More Rome-ance

The newest season of ABC's 'The Bachelor' started last night with a two-hour season opener. So who's the newest victim, I mean er, bachelor? He's Lorenzo Borghese, who although technically an Italian prince, is about as Italian as Regis Philbin and about as royal as Paris Hilton. He does come from a long line of high-brows, including one Pope, but this is a boy who grew up in Connecticut and I speak more Italian that he does, which isn't saying much. Nevertheless, Rome is a very romantic setting for this season's show, but no one couldn't convince me that the famous rose ceremony isn't well choreographed to produce an outcome of back-biting, clawing and general all-out nastiness in the weeks to come. By the way, for you Home Shopping fans, Lorenzo's older brother and mom can be seen on a regular basis selling Perlier, a line of bath and body products, while Lorenzo himself has another line of bath and body products......for dogs. He's a cutie and a catch, but chances are that this is one bachelor who probably won't find his princess on a reality show, but it's sure good publicity!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tips Of The Trade

Here are some tips from the beauty experts that you can do right in your own home and won't cost you anymore money than you are already spending. In fact, many of these tips will save you money.
1) To calm your irritated complexion, mix old-fashioned oats with water to form a paste. Apply to your face and leave on for 15 minutes. One spa owner claims to advise her clients to use this when redness is a problem.
2) Banish dark under-eye circles by wrapping a grated potato in cheesecloth and place over your eyes for five minutes every morning. This tip comes from the famous dermatologist to the stars, Dr. Brandt. Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase that is a natural skin lightner.
3) If you use a self-tanner, the best time to apply it is within half an hour after bathing or showering. Your skin is at it's lowest pH and when tanner is applied in this time frame, it will develop quicker for a longer lasting self tan.
4) If you are a gym rat and shower more than once a day, don't shampoo your hair more than once a day. In the second shower, just wet hair and condition the ends only. This will keep your hair from drying out and preserve shine.
5) If split ends are a problem, try combing your hair from the bottom up in the future. By beginning with your ends first and working your way up, you can prevent further damage to your hair and stop further breakage.
6) To brighten eyes for a night out, blend a bit of golden shimmer cream to your concealer and pat under eyes. It will brighten up the under eye area by cancelling out your dark circles as well as waking up the whole eye area.
7) If you are going out for the evening and want a dramatic look for your eyes, but don't have the time to apply make-up, try using a jeweled-tone eye pencil, lining all around the eyes. This will give your eyes a dramatic look and save you lots of time.
8) If dry cuticles are a problem for you, apply hair conditioner to your nails when you are in the shower and gently push your cuticles back. It will not only save you time, but will give you healthy-looking cuticles and nails.
9) If you want to extend the life of your pedicure, put insoles (think Dr. Scholl's) in your shoes and boots. Putting a buffer between you and your shoes will help prevent callouses and roughness.
10) To get super-smooth skin under your arms when shaving, apply an exfoliating cleanser before shaving. The sloughing action helps prevent shaving bumps and will give you a closer shave.
11) To get super-smooth legs, apply olive oil with Epsom salts and rub thoroughly on legs. Rinse thoroughly and then shave. The oil mixture will exfoliate your legs and moisturize, giving your legs a clean, smooth appearance after shaving.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Blogtipping #2

If you read my blog regularly, then you can remember my post from last month about blogtipping. This was inspired by Business Blogwire and it's a great way to recognize your blogging friends by sharing their blogs with others, while pointing out their unique blogging qualities and sharing your blogging tips. Got that? Good! Now, here are three blogs I really like because 1) They are very informative. 2) They are well-written and 3) They are easy to read. These are qualities I look for in other blogs so go check out The Kid Within, Smart Olive, and It's Only Business. One of my favorite blogging tips is use your personal, every day experiences as a jumping off point for creating a blog post. By doing this, you never run out of topics and you will give your blog a personal touch.

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