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Susan's Spa

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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Should Old Acquaintence Be Forgot.....

Another year is almost coming to an end. Everyone and his mother is doing a recap (as if we need reminding) of all the bad news, the sad news and the idiots who made headlines. I won't bore you with those. This blog has always been about self-improvement so this post begins and ends with you my friends. Thanks for making my blog a great success. I wish you all good things, but I know that's not possible for life holds many disappointments along the way. May your disappointments be little ones that are easily overcome. Go ahead and make your New Year resolutions, but keep your expectations realistic enough to stick to and take each day as it comes. I'll be here next year doing what I've done for the past year and hoping you'll come back and visit. Thanks!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Message From Blog Advance

This will be the last newsletter of 2006 from the BlogAdvance team and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members a very safe and happy new year!!

Once again we are ending 2006 on a bang by giving our members a 1.5:1 surf ratio.

Stay safe, have fun and see you all in 2007!

Jack and Deb :)

Do You ChaCha?

I recently was lucky enough to receive an invitation to be a guide on ChaCha. This unique search site, uses real live people to help refine searches for people and they get paid to do it. It's not only interesting, it's fun! I just got started yesterday and I am totally hooked on this already. It's fun to do and best of all, I can begin earning money doing it. You can check it out for yourself at ChaCha .

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Maximize Your Website

Regardless of whether you own a small or large company, chances are you have a website. Most companies maintain a website to keep their customers apprised of their services and marketing their services to perspective new customers. However, the internet competition is fierce. Whether you own a large or small company, you need to think of ways to optimize your website's visibility. The way to do that is to somehow get your website a high enough ranking so that it will earn more views. More views will eventually translate into more business. So how does one go about doing this? One way is to utilize a service called USWeb . What USWeb does is help optimize your website's visibility so that it will draw more customers. With 70-80% of web customers using search engines to find information, it's important that you can find a service to get your website noticed over others. USWeb can do this for you. Originally founded in 1995, USWEB has offices across the country and have been helping their clients achieve revenue, profit, marketing and customer loyalty objectives through their unique internet strategies and systems. They can help you identify your target audience in a cost effective way that will improve your brand awareness, audience development and, most importantly, your customer retention. So, no matter how stylized your website and/or your services are, USWeb can help design an internet marketing strategy just for you.

How To Look Ten Pounds Slimmer

While you are pondering which diet you will begin January 2nd, 2007 to lose those ten pounds you gained since Thanksgiving, here are some tips to help you look ten pounds slimmer instantly:
1) Buy a wrap dress - These adorable dresses can be found almost everywhere and they are very flattering to most figures, especially those who need to lose a few pounds.
2) Wear V-neck tops - Give your neck a more elegant, elongated look by wearing V-neck tops.
3) Don't wear pleats - Don't wear them in pants, don't wear them in skirts, don't wear them in anything....period.
4) Think monochrome - By wearing all one color, you will give yourself the appearance of a longer, streamlined look.
5) Keep pant legs long - By wearing a longer pant leg (1/2 inch from the floor), you give the appearance of a longer, leaner leg.
6) Wear heels with pants - See number 5 above. By doing both, you will make yourself look taller and thinner.
7) Wear vertical lines - Pin stripes are great to give you a more elongated look.
8) Watch your skirt length - The perfect length for any figure is just below your knee. Try wearing a skirt that has a slight flair at the knee as well.
9) Wear long necklaces - Again, this look elongates the neck and your upper body.
10) Choose clothes that fit well - Stay away from anything that pulls in the wrong places or is too baggy. They will do nothing to make you look better and will zap your self confidence. Clothes that fit well will make you look and feel your best.

Alicia Silverstone Finds Her Comfort Zone

Who could forget Alicia Silverstone's performance in her break-out movie, "Clueless"? Alicia, now 30 years old, recently told
Shape magazine that she has found a diet and lifestyle that works for her. Although Alicia has struggled with weight issues in the past, she says she now has found that a vegan diet helps her keep in shape and keeps her healthy. In the beginning, when she first began her journey as a vegan, she found herself eating far too many carbs and felt herself crashing in the middle of the day. Eventually, she found that adding numerous grains and vegetable protein to her diet, helped her to lose weight and keep her energy at a balanced level through out the day. Although Alicia does take yoga classes, she tries to have some fun while exercising by walking her four dogs and digging in her garden for hours on end (you can burn up to 200 calories an hour by pulling weeds). Most important to Alicia is helping to improve the environment. She says those who recycle shopping bags, support local farmers and who choose to drive hybrid cars are the real heroes and those are the people who really make a difference in our world.

A Healthier Smile In The New Year

Lots of people will make resolutions this coming weekend to improve their lives in many ways, but how many people resolve to have a healthier smile? Besides the fact that an unhealthy mouth can lead to many other health problems, an unhealthy smile can add years to your face and make you look older than you really are. Today, most people over the age of 40 are concerned with aging well and it has to begin with your dental care. Probably many of you don't even have a regular dentist and wouldn't know where to begin looking for one. Try to find someone in your area that is reputable and within a reasonable distance from your home because if you have to travel to great lengths to get there, you probably won't go. If you live in the area of Alexandria, Virginia, you can go visit Charles Brown dds pc who is part of the staff of Hayfield Dental Care. He has been at this dental practice for over ten years and is capable of performing a wide range of dental and surgical procedures to help you in your quest for a healthier smile. When he attended dental school, he was awarded the distinction of being ranked first in his class and has zero complaints since the beginning of his dental career. In fact, all of the dentists at Hayfield Dental Care have received advanced or special training which means most procedures can be performed right in their offices without having to be referred to another dental specialist. When you are looking for a dentist, these are just the kinds of things you want to keep in mind to make your journey to a healthier smile that much easier on you. When you are done, you have the satisfaction of knowing you have a healthy mouth and a beautiful new smile!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Giving A New Meaning To Doggie Bag

It wasn't so long ago that Paris and Nicole could be seen walking the red carpet with puppy in tow. In fact, Paris Hilton's little chihuahua, Tinkerbell was one of the reasons why we ended up getting our chihauhau, Mandy, but that's another story. Toting their pooches everywhere, these celebrities, who also include Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, have set a trend which now has spawned a new phenomenon....Pawparazzi by Noodle Head Fun. This adorable line of toy pups with their cute accessories, are all the rage with girls 6-12 years old. The line includes such adorable dogs as Bailey, the Jack Russell terrier and Salsa the diva chihuahua. There's also Powder, the supermodel kitty and bad-boy actor, Cocoa. The little pooches not only come with their own jewelry, but also with Kate Spade inspired handbags. They are so trendy and hot right now that even women are buying them along with their daughters so they can have matching handbags. The trend shows no sign of stopping any time soon. Expect to see more dogs added to the line in 2007 including a Russian gray cat, a dachshund and maybe a beagle as well. The line can be found whereever toys are sold and also at Amazon .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How We Really Age

Growing old is no fun, but there are things you can do to maintain optimum health. One way is to keep your body as flexible as possible. Our spines are like the trunk of a tree; it can tell you how old you feel by it's flexibility or lack thereof. The rest of your body (both skeletal, muscular and vascular) is also a good indicator of how you are aging. Here are some things you should know and what you can do to help maintain optimum health:
1. Bones - Women must pay careful attention to their bones. We tend to lose bone mass when we reach our 40s and it can significantly decrease after menopause. Up until age 50 women should be taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day along with 200 units of vitamin D. After age 50 you should be consuming 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 units of vitamin D. If you are over 70, you can take up to 600 units of vitamin D a day, but never more than that as it can be toxic. Make sure you get a bone scan at age 50 and try to add some aerobic and weight bearing exercise if you haven't already done so.
2. Joints - Again, exercise is key to maintaining good joint health. Keep your leg muscles strengthened to support your knee and hip joints. There are joint soothers that you can buy in health food stores which can also be very helpful to keep joints from stiffening. Remember to warm up joints prior to exercise and apply heat to alleviate stiffness.
3. Heart and blood vessels - Again, exercise is key in order to maintain a healthy heart. Try to work in 30 minutes of brisk walking a day if possible. Also, eat more fiber rich foods such as oatmeal and whole grain breads, rice and pasta. Add folate to your diet, limit sodium intake and try to add fish to your diet at least twice a week. Also, eating vitamin B12 fortified foods or taking a B12 supplement is recommended after the age of 50.

Monday, December 25, 2006

When Dodging Pays Off

If you are a person who loves challenging internet games, then check out Endway . Not only is this a fun and very addicting game, but the winner can get a $100 prize. Not a bad pay off just for having some fun. The object of the game is to dodge other players. If you can reach the top, then you have a chance to win the prize. Even if you don't win, you get to play a game that is exciting and challenging!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Have A Very Merry Internet Christmas

Since tomorrow is Christmas and since this year it is politically correct to wish you a merry Christmas, I thought I would post this lens from Squidoo called Christmas Ideas . This is the most popular lens on Squidoo right now and Christmas is probably the most googled word right now. So check out the neat ideas and while you're at it, visit my own lens (which pales in comparison), but it's a work in progress. Are you someone who will be by yourself this Christmas? Think about starting your own lens then and have a very merry Christmas! Take a look at Susan's Squidoo .

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

There's an old song called "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve", which basically is about how lonely it can be on the one day of the year when you are supposed to not be alone. Yet, there are many people out there that are not only alone New Year's Eve, but the other 364 days of the year as well. I know how difficult it is to meet someone (I was single once myself), but the internet has made it fairly easy to meet people since legitimate dating sites pre-screen for you to help you find your perfect match. The only problem is their free trial periods block out important information to help you connect to others. What choice do you have, but to purchase a membership to something that has no guarantee that you will meet. Now, there is a very cool website called Just Say Hi which is completely free with no strings attached and no hidden fees. The other great thing about this site is that it takes less than 60 seconds to join up and meet other singles in your area. The site won't cost you any money and very little time. If you start right not, you might actually be able to answer the question to the song "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve", by saying "I've got a date!".

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Message From Blog Advance

Message from BlogAdvance

Because it's christmas not many people will be surfing, so for the ones that do we have decided to increase the surf ratio to 1.5 for every blog surfed.

We will keep this running until the 26th of December...think of it as our little gift to you all.

Finally we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members a safe and a very merry christmas.

Hope santa is good to you all!

BlogAdvance Team -)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Bad Year For Britney

I don't think even Rosie O'Donnell is having as much bad publicity as Britney Spears. She's been voted the worst pet owner, worst celebrity of 2006 and most annoying celebrity in a list of 50. I can understand when Paris or Nicole continue to exercise poor judgment in these areas; afterall, they still get their name in the news and in the overall scheme of things, isn't that the most important thing to a celebrity? I don't know how Britney fits this mold seeing she is going to have to fight for custody of her children with a man now known as 'Fed Ex'. Can she still be considered a role model? Yes, inasmuch as she can be held up to young girls as an example of what not to do (don't get married too young, don't have kids right away and don't go out of the house without your tidy whities). As for Rosie, I am totally convinced after this last attack on Donald Trump, that 'The View' is behind her all the way. Her rants are causing a sharp rise in viewers and they (including Barbara herself) are loving the attention as negative as it has been and isn't that all that matters in the end. I'm not saying Donald Trump isn't just as guilty. 'The Apprentice' is about to begin it's latest season and he has found a platform (Tara Connor/Miss USA) to stoke his PR machine. From a cultural standpoint, this stuff makes me cringe, but the entertainment value is priceless.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Blogger Dilemma

I was going to post about something else today, but Blogger has given so much aggrevation today that I just need to vent. If you are a blogger who uses Blogger as your blogging domain, then I may not be alone in my frustrations. As you may know Blogger began a beta phase a while back which many bloggers took advantage of. I am still blogging on the old format because the word beta just screams "under construction". I've worked long and hard on my blogs and I don't want to risk losing everything I have worked for over the last year because of glitches in their system. I've heard enough horror stories of blogs that were lost in the change over. Now, it looks like we may not have a choice since Blogger's beta phase has apparently been completed. Because of the change over, the first thing I noticed was that I was unable to sign in to Blogger up until now. The sign in page was re-directing me to a blank page. Finallly, I was able to get in through my laptop, but this does not solve the problem of switching over to the new format. I'm so afraid of losing the work I have created that it has created a "sink or swim" impact on myself and others. If I sound like I'm whining too much, it's because I am. This is the first time I've ever whined about it and it may not be the last. To be continued.....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Problogger Writing Challenge

Problogger has another writing challenge which has some very nice prizes attached. If you enjoy writing, then definitely get involved in this one. Even if you don't get a prize, it will challenge you to write something different and unique and you can garner some nice traffic for your blog. For more information, just click
here .

Bath & Body Works

I know the last thing anyone wants to think about after Christmas is shopping, but get ready! The first big sale after Christmas will be Bath and Body Works huge half-price sale which begins on December 27th. This will be a great time to shop for those of you who got gift cards from this store. Stock up on their fabulous fragrant body sprays and lotions as well as some great gift items which you can store for birthdays and showers. Shop now for your loved ones; on December 27th, shop for yourself!

Watch Out World, Here Comes Pay Per Post

I've written on many occasions on both my blogs (see You're Not The Boss Of Me ) about how you can earn more money from blogging. One site that is just exploding right now is Pay Per Post . They recently added more features to their website like Rockstartup on You Tube . Needless to say, this was a brilliant move on their part since You Tube is a major draw and Rockstartup is drawing thousands of bloggers there. I know many bloggers who write for Pay Per Post and they are very happy with the site and the money they are making as a result of their participation. So, if you need more cash, then check out Pay Per Post and Rockstartup on You Tube .

Monday, December 18, 2006

Shop With Benefits

So, you think it's too late to order anything in time for Christmas? Think again! Benefit Cosmetics is offering FREE overnight shipping for three days only. Shop today and you will have your gift items mailed immediately. Benefit Cosmetics has a wide array of gifts in many price ranges. You can see for yourself by clicking on the Benefit icon in my sidebar. Happy Holiday Shopping!

Shapely Secrets

I'm no stranger to Greer Childers, the person behind the 'Shapely Secrets' infomercial. I began doing her Body Flex program over seven years ago and I can attest to the fact that it does really work. As they say, results may vary, so you may not lose 14 inches in two weeks, but if you do the Body Flex program regularly, you will see results. Now, Greer has come out with a new program called 'Shapely Secrets'. There are actually seven shapely secrets in the program which include "muscle to muscle motionless exercise" and a diet program. The infomercial, which runs for 30 minutes, guarantees that you can lose one size in just 14 days, but again results will vary. I've not tried this program, but I've been in contact with a few people who have. Basically, this is a great program for a person new to exercise and you will probably see some results from using it. Experfienced exercisers will probably not benefit much more than they have already achieved from regular exercise and they may be disappointed with the program. So try it if you are new to exercise and need a jumping off point (this is a good place to begin for that), but you can save yourself a great deal of money by buying Greer's Body Flex program from Ebay. I can attest to this program and say it really does work. By the way, I had the pleasure of running into Greer in a Vegas casino and she was a very lovely and genuine person.

Is Perez The New Joan Of Arc?

Celebrity blogger and distant cousin of those Hilton sisters, Perez Hilton, is being taken to court by the photographers whose photos often appear in his blog
Perez Hilton's Celebrity Blog . Apparently, they (the photographers) are pissed that Perez is using copyrighted photos for his posts (so far I don't see the problem), but the problem arises when he puts in his own captions (defamation of private property?) and comments according to the photo (isn't that what bloggers do?). How much weight this lawsuit carries remains to be seen. Afterall, this is the internet and much of what is out here is up for grabs's the freakin' internet. If they (the photographers) win this lawsuit, just how much will it trickle down to the rest of us bloggers who, by the way, just made Time Magazine's person (or people in this case) of the year. Can they really shoot down Time Magazine when they (Time Magazine) perceives us to be the most influential people to impact world news? I think not! In any event, this is great PR for Perez because, in the end, the only thing that matters is that they spelled his name correctly.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On The Twelfth Day Of Vacation Get A Hundred Dollar Rebate

Recently, I wrote a post about my dream vacation of traveling to Italy. Now, more than ever, I have an incentive to book. The reason is that Hotel is offering up to a $100 rebate for vacations you book through them. You can get $20, $30 or even $100 back, depending on how many days you book with them. This website is incredibly easy to navigate for either hotels, air transporation or car rentals and much more (even cruises!). Furthermore, this website guarantees the lowest rates on the internet for all your vacation needs. This might not be a bad gift for your sweetie, if you haven't already gotten one and make someone else's dreams come true while you are saving yourself some money and getting back a rebate too!

This Apprentice Is No Longer The Bachelor

Bill Rancic, the former Apprentice winner of Donald Trump's reality show, just got engaged to Giuliana DePandi, from E!News. The two have known each other for several years, but began seriously dating around ten months ago. Bill, who recently appeared on Rachel Ray's talk show, proposed to Giuliana during a romantic helicopter ride around Chicago where he lives. Of course, she said yes and she also said it was the most amazing moment of her life. Bill is still very much involved with the Trump Organization and you will be seeing him during this coming season of 'The Apprentice' which takes place in Los Angelos...........In other reality TV news, expect to see two new reality shows on ABC produced by Oprah Winfrey herself. The two shows are tentatively entitled "Oprah Winfrey's The Big Give" and "Your Money or YOur Life".

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Few Tips About Tips

Every year around the holidays, many of us are left wondering who to tip and how much. If you are like me, then you are not alone. The topic was brought up recently on Rachel Ray's talk show. Remember Bill from 'The Apprentice'? He came on and gave everyone some ideas on who to tip and how much. The first and most baffling one is your mail carrier. Government workers aren't supposed to accept monetary gifts from postal customers. They can, however, accept gifts worth up to $20. So, if you want to give your mail carrier a gift card, that's fine. What about your daycare provider? Many working moms are probably wondering what to give. Depending on how much time your child or children spend in daycare, it is suggested that you give between $25 and $75 with a small gift from each of your children. The gift can be a small giftcard, scented candle, hand cream, but try to make it personal for them. Of course you will want to tip your hair stylist too. If it will be a monetary gift, then make sure you place it in a card with a personal message. This goes for anyone who you would normally tip with money. The one person you definitely want to tip only with money is your doorman, but again, put the money inside a card with a personal message. For more information about tipping, you can go here .

Friday, December 15, 2006

Angelina On Spin Cycle

It's not unusual to find a star submitting to interogation on the heels of a movie premiere. Such is the case with Angelina Jolie, who is spinning her wheels to try and gain some respect as an actress and a mother. I don't think there hasn't been one interviw where she hasn't had to explain her relationship with Brad Pitt. Afterall, Brad was married to America's sweetheart, Jennifer Anniston before he took up with Angelina. I'm sure the spin doctors were called in to clean up the mess and tie it up in a nice, little neat package, but can she really recoup? She admittedly has had a very dark side to her that includes an alleged love affair with her own brother, a lesbian relationship with a fellow actress and a strange marriage to Billy Bob Thorton. They declared their love for each other by wearing viles of each others' blood on a chain around their necks. Now she wants to be seen as Mother Knows Best, by expressing her desire to expand their (hers and Brad's) family by adopting more children (one from Africa and one from Cambodia). I can't help thinking though that there is a tinge of Mommie Dearest behind all of this. She has a new movie out now, "The Good Shephard" so it's really all about ticket sales in the end. Frankly, in her case it's probably better for her to take a page out of Sasha Baron Cohen's book and let her film characters reflect her talents instead.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Dream Vacation

My dream vacation is to take a trip to Italy without children. My days of traveling with kids has almost come to an end (this is one of the few joys of having teenagers). I want to go to Rome, Venice and Tuscany. The only thing is, I've never been to Italy and wouldn't even know where to begin. A tour is out for me since I like to pick and choose where and when I eat and what sites I want to visit. I found this great site called Hotel . From what I can tell after perusing this site, I can pretty much plan any trip I want for any part of the world, including my dream vacation to Italy. Don't let the name fool you though. This isn't just about hotel reservations. You can pretty much plan your whole vacation from start to finish and get great discounts in the process and who doesn't like to save money? So maybe I'm a little closer to my dream vacation than I thought I was.

Borat's The Best

Amidst all of the controversy in lawsuits stemming from the movie 'Borat', based on Sasha Baron Cohen's lovable character, comes overwhelming success. Not only was he found to be one of Barbara Walter's ten most fascinating people (he did not give her an interview in or out of character), but he has just been nominated for two Golden Globe awards; one for his performance in the movie and one for the movie itself. Sasha recently gave an in-depth interview (one of very few) to 'Rolling Stone' magazine. He explains his need for privacy as a way to separate himself from all the characters he portrays. He probably need not fear all those lawsuits as one was recently dismissed for having no merit. You can expect Sasha to be given the green light to write and produce more movies based on his characters in the near future. So his nominations beg the question, who will show up at the Golden Globes.......Sasha or Borat?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Hot Wheels

It's amazing to me how many car commercials are on television this time of year. My husband said to me the other night, "Do people really buy cars for gifts?". The answer is absolutely they do. Most of those cars and trucks will be given to teens who just earned their license. Maybe mom and dad or grandma and grandpa want their loved ones to drive a safe vehicle fully equipped with airbags. Now is the time of year you want your loved ones to drive safely through out the year. With new cars or trucks will come the diligent search for an affordable car insurance estimate . One company worth checking out is GEICO. Beneath their savvy ad campaigns is a real desire to educate teens on safe driving habits. One brochure you can find on their online library of safe driving material was developed specifically for teens who drive trucks, aptly entitled "Teens and Trucks". This specifically targets safety rules for driving on the highway and how to drive safely in the presence of large trucks. It gives sage advice on changing lanes, avoiding unnecessary swerving and causing sudden stops. So, when you are doing your research, make sure you get more valuable information on this and other safety tips for your brand new driver.

Do Bloggers Ever Get A Day Off?

Last year when I began blogging, it was after the holidays. This is the first year I've attempted to maintain two blogs in the midst of holiday madness. It seems like an impossible task to get one post out, let alone two. I think I've only missed two days of blogging since I began my blogging journey almost a year ago. So how does one stay afloat in a sea of bloggers during these crazy times? I haven't got a clue myself and the stress of the impending holidays is looming down upon me like a growing storm. So much for having a very merry Christmas. Since the cat has got my tongue, or in this case, my mouse, you can always log onto Blog Explosion to read some fabulous blogs, or click the Blog Explosion icon in my sidebar (I think it's still there). Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Give The Gifts That Keep On Giving

You may be one of those people who hasn't yet begun their holiday shopping. If that's the case, then consider giving gifts that were created to help others. Below is a list of gifts that you can give, that were designed to raise money for various specific charities. When you purchase them, you have the satisfaction of knowing that it will give the one you love pleasure, while giving to a very worthy cause:
1) Holiday Blues by Philosophy - The cobalt blue bath and body gel (pictured to the left) was created by Philosophy skincare just for the holidays with all proceeds going to the Ricky Martin Foundation. The pop star created the foundation to help children all over the world obtain healthcare, education and social justice. The bath and body gel has a pleasant scent of evergreen and can be purchased for $20 at
Amazon and Sephora .
2) MAC's luxe red metal compact adorned with a beaded chain contains six sultry shades of their famed Viva Glam lipsticks. It sells for $32 at all MAC stores and the proceeds go to the MAC Aids Fund to help support men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS.
3)DKNY Jeans is selling hip t-shirts for women and kids for $15-$24. The t-shirts say "Give Thanks" or "Believe" and are just one of many designer goods that help to support St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital. To check out all the neat things you can get by other designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Liz Claiborne, go to St. Jude.
4) Chico's will donate $100,000 to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and various local shelters. If you go to Chico's you will find an adorable little angel pin called the Promise Pin for only $10.
5) If you have more money to spend and want something more luxurious, then check out Gucci . Here you will find many products from creative director, Frida Giannini such as a large hobo bag selling for $2,600 as well as high-heeled sandals ($615), cosmetic cases ($250-$275) and Ipod case ($445). Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to benefit UNICEF programs that provide education and other vital services to children in Mozambique.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Youth Is Wasted On The Young

Or maybe youth is just wasted. Today it was reported that Nicole Richie was stopped by police in the wee hours of the morning. Her black SUV was reported driving the wrong way on a two way street, but by the time cops got to her, she had already righted her vehicle. Nevertheless, Richie was tested and although she wasn't drinking, she had admitted to the police that she had taken a Vicodin and smoked pot. The police reported that she was extremely polite and cooperative. Well, at least she has good manners, but these girls (Paris, Lindsey and Britney) are just messing up over and over. Is there no rehab, no half-way house for these poor, little rich girls?

More Supermarket Shopping Tips

As a continution from my previous post about getting the most our of your supermarket shopping for weight loss, here are some more shopping tips:
1) Cinnamon - This is a great spice to add to oatmeal, whole grain toast or any baked goods you make this holiday season. One study showed that just a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
2) Tofu - Okay, you may not like the consistency, but adding it to soups, stews and other recipes can help to reduce your hunger through out the day and, in the long run, help you to eat less. Besides that, it's healthy!
3) Nuts - Eating a handful of just about any kind of nut can also help you to lose weight by reducing your urge to snack. Almonds are very healthy as well as walnuts which contain omega-3 fatty acids and pecans which can help reduce risk of heart disease. Stick to raw nuts if you can.
4) Hot Red Pepper - Eating a bowl of spicy chili regularly can help you lose weight. Apparently, the capsaicin which naturally occurs in red peppers is a natural appetite suppressant.

Talking Out Of Both Sides Of Her Mouth

On the heels of her controversial remarks about Kelly Ripa being homophobic, Rosie O'Donnell made light of the fact that Danny Devito's appearance on 'The View' was making big headlines all over the world, by mocking how the Chinese viewed it. She did a very racist imitation of them and Queens City Councilman, John Liu, is fighting mad. In fact he wrote a very terse letter to Barbara Walters about her repulsive remarks, that it made him cringe. The Asian American Journalists Association called the comments "a perpetration of stereotypes of Asian Americans as foreigners or second-class citizens". Of course, she did reply on her blog, but with no apology to the Asian community. You can read all about it on Rosie . I used to enjoy watching her on her own talk show, but now she has become a caricature of herself as evidenced by this one I have posted here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weight Loss Begins At The Supermarket

As a follow-up to my last post, here are some great shopping tips for those who are serious about losing weight and keeping it off. The journey begins at the supermarket and here are some great tips as outlines in the January issue of 'Good Housekeeping' magazine:
1) Eggs - Forget the carbs and eat more protein. Begin with eggs in the morning. Eating two scrambled eggs in the morning with a slice of toast and reduced calorie spread, can prevent you from over-eating the rest of the day. The protein may help to prevent a spike in blood sugar, keeping hunger at bay much longer than by eating a bagel or muffin. Better still, use only the egg whites or just one yolk.
2) Beans - Adding higher fiber foods to your diet can stave off hunger. Beans can be added to many recipes (soups, stews, salads). They are very healthy and can also help lower your cholesterol.
3) Salad - Adding a salad to your meal can help you consume less of the bad stuff. Salad often makes you feel fuller almost immediately which can keep you from eating more bread, mashed potatoes or even dessert. A tossed salad contains vegetables with lots of nutrients. Stick to a low-fat, low-sugar dressing too.
4) Green tea - This has been touted as a weight loss aid and it's really true. It's not the caffeine, but antioxidants called catechins which may help speed metabolism. Green tea may also help to lower cholesterol.
5) Grapefruit - Remember the grapefruit diet? Newer studies have found that eating or drinking grapefruit or grapefruit juice may help reduce insulin levels due to the fruits phytochemicals. The process may force your body to convert calories into energy rather than body fat.
Tomorrow, I'll post part two of this post and list more foods that help you fight fat and stay healthy.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holiday Damage Control

Brace yourselves! Everyone is in holiday mode and the non-stop eating is just beginning. The average person will probably gain at least a pound or two and, for some, even more, between now and New Year's Day. Don't put off your resolutions until then. Start now by doing some damage control. Here's a brief summary of what food and drink you should avoid and what you can substitute instead. Let's start with cocktails. Stay away from the eggnog which, according to Weight Watchers, has an 8 point value. Instead opt for a glass of champagne for 2 points or a 12 ounce glass of light beer for the same amount of points. If you need to have a cocktail, go with a Cosmopolitan for only 4 points. Limit yourself to one and spend the rest of the night and points on food. If you're thirsty, have a glass of club soda with a twist of lime for zero points. When it comes to dips, stay away from the sour cream and onion, which has a 4 point value and go for the thousand island dressing for 1 point or, tastier still, the gaucamole for only 2 points. As always, candy, cakes and cookies will be within reach everywhere you turn. The one with the lowest point value will be the gingerbread cookies with a point value of 4 for two cookies. Pecan pie has a 12 point value for one slice so avoid it. If you must have pie, then stick with pumpkin which has a value of 8 points per slice. The most important thing is to do everything in moderation when it comes to eating and drinking. Use smaller plates when you attend parties to prevent you from overeating. If you think you'll be starving by the time you get to a party, eat a small, light meal at home first. Don't deprive yourself completely. Pick one or two splurge items and fill up on fresh veggies and fruit and don't forget to dance. This way you can burn all those calories you consume. Most of all, just have some fun this holiday season. For more information about these tips and much more, visit
Weight Watchers .

Friday, December 08, 2006

College Isn't Just A Dream

Last night my husband and I attended a financial aid seminar. Our son will begin college next year and we've been planning for a long time for this moment. In order to maximize his potential for a good education, we are endeavoring to educate ourselves about how to finance it without going too far into debt. The woman who conducted the seminar was a financial aid counselor at a local university. She said something that really readjusted my thinking. What she said was, it really doesn't matter where you go to school as long as you get a college education. Any college education will ensure you a better future with more financial stability. Of course, for many students, regardless of their age, physically going to school is impossible for one reason or another. This is where online learning can make an otherwise impossible dream come true. One such university that offers Bachelor degree programs in such areas as business, human services psycology and information technology is Capella University. This accredited online university, which was established in 1993 offers b oth undergraduate and graduate programs in over 76 areas of study and 16 certificate specializations to 16,000 students in 50 states and 63 countries. So, if a college education seemed like just a dream for you, perhaps earning an online degree can make your dreams come true for you.

She's A Royal Loser

Apparently, the women who won Prince Lorenzo Borghese's heart in this last season of 'The Bachelor' is turning out to be the biggest loser. She has been seen and photographed with a fellow teacher, also from Florida, kissing and canoodling on a beach as reported by 'The National Enquirer'. Of course, when pressed for information, she insists that she and this teacher are just friends and that she, according to a source, has no intention of pursuing a relationship with Lorenzo, who resides in New York. Unfortunately, most of these reality relationships hit the skids once the cameras stop rolling..........In other celebrity news look for a new perfume from Gwen Stefani for her L.A.M.B. fashion line and a new fashion line from Madonna for H&M. This is the second time Madonna will be lending her name for a clothing line for H&M and H&M supplied Madonna and her crew with an offstage wardrobe during her last tour.

I Walk, Therefore I Am

Danny and Katherine Dreyer, authors of 'ChiWalking', have put together a holiday survival guide for walkers. It includes a daily walk (between 1 hr. and 45 minutes to 3 hrs.) which can burn up to 1,300 calories by the end of your first week (based on a 150 pound person). Outside walks and meditative walks (walking alone with no music) can be as little as 15 minutes at a time. The meditative walk is designed to help clear your head of all your holiday stress so that you can re-focus and organize yourself afterwards. Besides meditative walks and outside walks, there are also errand walks which include mall walking (feel free to shop while you're doing this) as well as grocery shopping or anything else that requires you to use your feet. Walking is still considered the number one exercise for getting in shape and all you need is a great pair of walking shoes. In fact, wear your walking shoes through out your day to remind you to keep moving so you can burn calories over the holidays and minimize weight gain from all those holiday treats.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Room Without A View

It is being reported that Rosie O'Donnell, co-host of 'The View' is looking to move on very soon. She allegedly is sick and tired of all the drama that goes on before, during and after the show. One of her reps has commented that her contract with 'The View' is only for one year anyway and she is in talks with FX to do a spin-off of 'Nip/Tuck' to continue playing the character of Dawn Budge, the lottery winner who takes ownership of a plastic surgery practice. Rosie also has switched agents. She wanted someone who is more experienced with television since this is where she is and hopes to stay. She wants to remain close to home to be with her children on a daily basis. Of course, all this is just a rumour for now, but it wouldn't suprise or disappoint me if she left the talk show, which is going downhill as I write.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For Those Who Get New Luggage For Christmas

How many of you will be getting or giving new luggage for the holidays? We all know someone (and maybe ourselves included)who love to travel the world, looking to meet new people, eat great food and experience the wonders of the world. When you do give that special someone their new luggage, include a card with this website called luggage online. What your wandering friends or family members will discover is a place where you can find new destinations they've never heard of and all the various tips to help them plan their trip. In fact, they can either save money here or find new ways to spend it if they choose. There seems to be some great information on planning a trip from start to finish with no detail left out. Now, when you give the gift of new luggage to your parents, children or best friends, you can be sure that they will use it well.

You've Got Mail

Last night I was having a conversation with my cousin Roberta. I told her that I had sent her some cute jokes and pictures through e-mail. She told me she didn't open them. Apparently, she (not her, her computer) got a virus because of these things that are passed around to hundreds of people, and, as a result, her computer caught a virus. Now there's a new website that looks like it could help in this regard simply by allowing you to plug in only the e-mail addresses you choose, and not the other nine hundred that are usually passed around with these kinds of e-mails. What's more, you can do some neat things with this site like plan family reunions or send out holiday greetings (but, please not those form letters that tells everyone how fabulous your life is when it really isn't!). It's fairly new and registration is free. There are also message boards and lots of other neat stuff to explore. I love these kinds of new sites that open up your world and essentially make life much easier. The site is called Social Mail and it looks easy to navigate and could be fun to use!

On Shaky Ground

It's always sad to hear about failing relationships, but at this time of year it's even a little more disturbing. Apparently, Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, are living under strained conditions as a result of complications in the adoption of little David, a Malawian orphan. Although Guy loves David very much, he is a little disgusted with all the media attention that is putting added stress on an already strained relationship. One British publication made it sound as if he was just going along with the adoption as per Madonna's orders and hinted that he would have rather been working on his marriage first before adding another child to the family. A nanny who was working for the family, recently quit because of all the tension in the house besides having to work for a very demanding boss. Another source states that Madonna would like Guy to share in her increasing devotion to Kabbalah. Of course, there was no comments from her reps.........Finally, it has been announced that Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughen have split. Jennifer hasn't seen Vince since October, but had recently denied rumours that they were no longer a couple. Apparently, during her trip to London to visit him during his filming of 'Fred Clause', they amicably split and will remain friends. Not a very holly, jolly Christmas for everyone.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More 24

Just when you think you'll have nothing else to look forward to in January, a new season of "24" will begin. This season, Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Jack Bauer, will be joined by actor, Rick Schroder from "Silver Spoons" fame. Rick will play Mike Doyle, a forceful CTU agent who helps Jack foil terrorists..........N'Sync member, Lance Bass has split from his boyfriend, Reichen Lehmkuhl. The split came shortly after Lance came out. Reichen has a new book coming out called "Here's What We'll Say" which is a memoir of how he kept his sexual orientation from his Air Force colleagues.........Both Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were no shows at last night's Billboard Awards in Las Vegas. Apparently, producers were left with no show host, which didn't seem to hinder the telecast whatsoever. The big winner last night was Mary J. Blige.

Monday, December 04, 2006

George Clooney Loses Best Friend

Actor, George Clooney, lost his best friend, Max earlier today. Max, a 300 pound pot-bellied pig, passed away while the actor was promoting his latest motion picture. He got a phone call that Max had died while on the road and said he was deeply saddened by his loss. He often joked that his longest relationship was with his pet pig. He adopted him 18 years ago and was surprised at how long he lived. George also lamented that his bulldog also passed away this year as well. When asked if he would ever get another pig, he replied that all his pig needs had been fulfilled by Max.

Click And Shop

If you are like me and time is a precious commodity, then you will be doing most of your holiday shopping online. Below is a list of tried and true legitimate sites that offer great deals on fashion and beauty products. Don't forge to check out my other blog You're Not The Boss Of Me for some great safety tips for shopping online.
Auction Drop This is a great resource for bulk and overstock designer clothing, jewelry and accessories. This is a bidding site, but you can bid with confidence knowing that the designer items are authentic.
Fig Leaves is the largest online retailer of branded intimate apparel for everything from sexy lingerie to sleepwear for the whole family. You can also get some great deals on swimwear and they offer some great holiday shopping tips for everyone on your list.
Oak NYC is a Brooklyn-based business that just went online this past summer. They offer great deals on brands such as DKNY, United Bamboo, Nicole Farhi and Vivienne Westwood (Gwen Stefani's favorite!).
Piper Lime is owned by the Gap (what don't they own?) and they offer over 100 brands of shoes for adults and children. You can also find guest editors offering up tips on fashion trends.
Seen On offers clothes, accessories and home goods worn or seen on your favorite television shows like "Ugly Betty", "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost". Very cool!
Shopbop has great cutting edge fasions from Diesel, Frye and Juicy Couture.
Social Expressions RI stocks favorites from Oprah's "O List". You will find everything from her favorite reading glasses, scents, home goods and jewelry here.
Tom Ford offers great eyewear and now, his new fragrance (Black Orchid). He'll be featuring menswear in the spring so watch for that.
ZapposBest site for shoes and accessories ever. Best shipping and return policy ever (free shipping both ways 365 days a year). Over 500 brands, 90,000 styles and 2 million paris of shoes and boots for everyone in your family. A personal favorite!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Making Wishes Come True

Are you stumped about what to get someone on your holiday gift list? Don't hesitate to make a donation in their name for a worthy cause. I work in a childrens' hospital and I have seen first hand, the miracles that the Make A Wish foundation have created for sick children. This is a wonderful organization that can take a child away from their illness, even if for a few moments in time, and transport them to a place of sheer joy and happiness. Even if you don't want to do this as a gift idea, do it because you will make some child somewhere overjoyed that their dream is coming true. If you have children yourself, it's a great way to teach them about the importance of giving to others who are either less fortunate or who have to spend Christmas holiday in a hospital room. Besides making someone else feel better, you won't believe how good it will make you feel and isn't that what this season is all about?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Do You Ebay?

I've been selling and buying on Ebay for years now. I'm always amazed at how many of my friends are either afraid to purchase or sell something on Ebay. Over the years, Ebay has refined it's buying and selling process to the point where a kid could do this, but you really wouldn't want your kid let loose with your Paypal account. Buying is super easy. You don't even need a Paypal account, although it's advisable that you sign up for one. Many sellers accept money orders in payment of their goods (I do). If it's more convenient for the buyer and it entices them to buy, then good for you. Also, you save yourself some money on Paypal fees (yes, there are fees, just like a bank). If you want to sell on Ebay, it's a little more complicated, but if I can do it so can anyone else. Don't know what to sell? Take a look around your house for anything you no longer want or use, including unwanted gifts and start there. Used clothing is very hot, especially anything with a designer tag as well as accessories. Electronic and technical equipment is always huge. You can even sell your home on Ebay. Do you have unwanted books, CDs and DVDs? You can use Ebay's sister company, to sell these items at a fixed price. Ebay is a win/win situation for the holidays, whether you are looking to buy gifts or sell items for some quick cash too. However, like anything else in life, this isn't perfect. Once in a blue moon you will come across a seller or buyer who is unscrupulous. Be aware of this and be careful and know that Ebay has a great support system, including forums to help you navigate your way though any possible situation. The old saying, "Let the buyer beware", definitely applies, but I would also add "Let the seller beware" too.

A Message From Blog Advance

Here's a new message from Blog Advance. Remember, if you want more information or to join, just click the Blog Advance icon in my side bar:

Well, Christmas is coming up and we could all do with some extra cash during the silly season, so BlogAdvance is going to help one lucky blogger. The ultimate surf competition is now underway with a cash prize of $100 up for grabs.

The competition will run from now till the 15th of December and the rules are simple:

* Make sure your blog has your BlogAdvance referral button on display in your sidebar
* Surf via BlogAdvance!!!!

Pretty easy and no strings!

On the 15th we will send the highest surfer $100, via PayPal, to do with as they please. Remember: if the highest surfer is not displaying their BlogAdvance referral button, the prize will go to the next blog that does. So stay tuned for the next newsletter where we will announce the winner.

Special thanks to Intuity Hosting for sponsoring this competition and if you're using a free blog platform and have been thinking of taking the next step of owning your own domain, go and visit where you'll find the right package to suit your blog's needs, with competitive pricing for top quality service that costs next to nothing


3. BlogAdvance Forum

BlogAdvance Forum has has a facelift. In fact, it would be fair to say it's had a new lease of life!

Come take a look, register and participate in the blogging community forum that started it all. While we can no longer boast of being the largest blog community forum on the internet, we still offer advice for better blogging, blog reviews from several members to give a broader base from which to improve from and it still has a lot of heart.

Re-register today and come in on the ground floor.


4. Where Have My Credits Gone?

We are receiving some emails from members asking why they haven't received their credits from surfing. We would like to make it clear that all credits earned from surfing are allocated directly to your blog(s) to release the credits you have to click on your blog(s) and edit the credit allocation from within your user control panel. Once you have done that all credits will be transferred to your account and you canbegin allocating how many credits you wish to use.

If you're still having problems please check out our tutorial section on the BlogAdvance forum.



This is for our new members, so you old timers can skip to the next section and get an extra 3 minutes of surf time in.

When you join up with BlogAdvance, you receive 25 free credits to help kickstart your blog on our rotation, but you need to allocate those credits to your blog. Simply go into your User Control Panel, which is up the top of your screen when you first log in and click on Allocate Your Credits. Once you've clicked on that, it'll take you to another screen where you can allocate your free 25 credits to your blog. Having trouble finding this option? Well we've colored this option in red and we've made it bold, all the harder to miss!



Just to help you that little bit further, BlogAdvance will be upping the surf ratio from 1:1 to 1.5:1 on the weekends. So from Friday to Saturday, you have a chance to not only better your chances in the $100 sweepstakes but to drive more traffic to your blog. Watch out for days when we're feeling extra generous and bumping up the ratio an extra .5 per click and we go 2 for 1! We won't be announcing it, so log in and see if you get lucky.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Right Hand Ring Conspiracy

Style Dash posted today about the marketing conspiracy of the right-hand ring. The contention is that this is just a brilliant marketing idea to get women to purchase a diamond ring for themselves even if they are sans partner. It's no secret that this is the last untapped demographic. If you've ever thrown a wedding or had a baby, then you know that these are multi-million dollar businesses that pray on the vulnerabilities and emotions of brides-to-be and moms-to-be. So where did that leave all the single women? Someone just had to come up with the idea of selling them on something that defined them. Out of that necessity, was born the right-hand ring. I'm not really sure how successful this really is anyway. Many women may feel that buying a diamond ring for themselves just means that they've given up their dream of ever finding a husband so they may be holding out. For the rest of the women, they probably didn't need or want anyone to give them permission to buy themselves a nice piece of jewelry. I agree! No one should need an excuse to buy themselves something that makes them feel good. Diamonds can definitely do that for a girl. They may not be a girl's best friend, but they definitely run a close second.

Blonde Ambition

Beautiful, Jessica Simpson, was seen dressed as a beer-fest barmaid, for her upcoming movie, Blonde Ambition. She is playing the role of a secretary looking to climb the corporate ladder. She may not be the highest paid actress in Hollywood (that would be Nicole Kidman, who is making 17 million dollars for her last picture, yet to be released) or Renee Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon (both making 15 million for their last pictures), but somehow I don't think she needs to shop at Walmart. Other highest paid actresses include Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz both also earning 15 million, with Drew earning part of that as a producer. Halle Berry earned 14 million for her last picture and Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie both earned 10 million, while Jennifer Anniston only earned 8 million and is at the bottom of the list. For more information in the entertainment world, check out People or TMZ .

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