Monday, December 29, 2014

Phyto-C Icy Blue

Phyto-C Icy Blue is all about the moisture. Hyaluronic acid provides intensive hydration by binding water  to skin tissue, and  vitamin B-5 restores the skin. The combination of these two ingredients creates a serum that nourishes the skin, and enhances skin elasticity...diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. The menthol cools dry , irritated winter skin. Perfect for this time of year!

Use code # ICYBLUE15 and receive 15% off Icy Blue products/good until 2/9/15
Go to myphyto-c.us to see all Phyto-C skincare products / order on line

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tinseltown by William J Mann

Who doesn't love a juicy Hollywood story? It's the 1920's... starlets, thugs, studio heads, drugs..and murder. William J Mann brings all this to us...a true tale of Hollywood, decades later a murder still unsolved. Curl up in a comfy chair and become a detective.

"The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.
By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.
In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.
A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century."
Harper Collins, publisher. Available in bookstores now.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Amore by Roger Friedland

Roger Friedland is a sociologist who studies love, sex and God. In his new book, Roger, his wife Debra and his twin daughters move to Rome. He has a chance to teach where he and his wife had honeymooned. He is also looking for love..and he knows he will find it everywhere in Italy. Discouraged by the way Americans have taken the love out of sex, he wants to immerse himself, his wife and daughters in to the Roman culture: where flirting is expected and out in the open..where lovers show plenty of PDA in the streets..where AMORE is part of everyday life.

"Part memoir, part cultural exploration, Amore follows an American father as he and his teenage daughters journey into the heart of Rome, into the way Romans love and what they have to teach about its erosion in America.
As his twin daughters approached adolescence, sociologist Roger Friedland was worried. The thing that most bothered him was not the erotic heat of its youth culture, but the lovelessness of its sex.
Offered the chance to live and teach in Rome, Roger and his wife, Debra, seized the opportunity to take their family to live in a city where love is alive, family bonds hold, divorce and rape are rare, and “ciao, bella” is a constant refrain.
In Amore, Friedland shares the stories of his family’s enchanted and unnerving passage into the heart of Rome and considers its lessons for America where love is at risk.
Amore is a love story, a family’s voyage between two states of feeling."

This book is full of facts about sex. I love the questions and comments from his daughters, Hannah & Sarah, as they start to get curious. Who better to ask then a sociologist professor dad? Definitely has some humor among the lessons. Great book for the cold winter nights ahead of us:)
Published by Harper Collins



I

Monday, December 15, 2014

When the Cypress Whispers/Yvette Manessis Corporon

Another new author for me, Yvette M Corporon has written a beautiful book. The description of Erikousa, an island off the coast of Greece, with the sun and the white washed houses..the breezes through the cypress and about love and family....perfection.
Daphne has a successful restaurant, has flown to this island with her daughter Evie, to marry again...to Stephen a wealthy man.  Her yia yia lives on this island, and
Daphne is overwhelmed with memories from summers spent here, in this small community, on these beautiful beaches. You would think that all was just right with the world,,except it isn't quite. Daphne's first husband was killed in an accident, had she truly healed from that? Was she in love with Stephen or looking for a safe haven? How would her yia yia help her through all this...and what about the grandmother herself. New secrets of quite a different life on Erikousa start trickling out.

"On a beautiful Greek island, myths, magic, and a colorful cast of characters come together in When the Cypress Whispers, Yvette Manessis Corporon’s lushly atmospheric story about past and present, family and fate, love and dreams that poignantly captures the deep bond between an American woman and her Greek grandmother.
The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne aspires to the American Dream, yet feels as if she’s been sleepwalking through life. Caught between her family’s old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career, she cannot seem to find her place.
Only her beloved grandmother on Erikousa, a magical island off the coast of Greece, knows her heart. Daphne’s fondest memories are of times spent in the kitchen with Yia-yia, cooking and learning about the ancient myths. It was the thought of Yia-yia that consoled Daphne in the wake of her husband’s unexpected death.
After years of struggling to raise her child and pay the bills, Daphne now has a successful restaurant, a growing reputation as a chef, and a wealthy fiancé—everything she’s ever wanted. But across the ocean, Yia-yia can see through the storybook perfection of Daphne’s new life— and now she is calling her back to Erikousa. She has secrets about the past to share with her granddaughter— stories from the war, of loyalty and bravery in the face of death. She also has one last lesson to teach her: that security is not love, and that her life can be filled with meaning again. "

Sounds luscious doesn't it? Now that winter has arrived, it is time to pick a novel with warm breezes and sunshine as part of the story..so well described by author Corporon. Visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy and settle in with a cup of hot tea and some baklava, maybe:)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marini Holiday Exfoliator

Another great product from the Jan Marini skincare line. A cranberry orange  scented exfoliator, just in time for the holidays (although it would be awesome any time of year) 
Uniquely designed spherical dissolving beads. proteolytic enzymes and glycolic acid eliminate harsh abrasives ( the reason I am very careful about exfoliators). JM's Holiday Exfoliator resurfaces your skin and leaves it polished. And I love that look and the feel..smooth.. What a canvas for applying make up. Moisturizers get absorbed right into your skin, and they work better. Loaded with antioxidents. enzymes from green unripened papaya (long known for it's skin care properties), and glycolic acid ..nothing could be better for that Holiday Glow!
Go to janmarini.com and browse all products and to order your Holiday Exfoliator now!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Topganic Hair Care Products

 



Love my new favorite shampoo and will be heading to Topganic.com to order conditioner. Right now I am using the Argon oil version for dry and color treated hair.
Argon oil is something I have been wanting to try , I have been hearing about how lovely  it is  for skin and hair. Not only does this shampoo contain argon oil, but also vitamin E and Dead Sea minerals, perfect for winter dry hair.
I can actually shampoo, towel dry and put a comb right through my hair. It is silky and shiny. Love it.

Go to Topganic facebook page for great giveaway,,,,,#giveaway #haircare #deadsea 
 













Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Phyto-C B-5 Gel

Looking for one product to make a big difference ? Look no further. Phyto-CB-5 Gel is that product.
It's all about moisture with this gel, with three key ingredients: vitamin B-5, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethenol. These ingredients help bind moisture to your skin, making it look and feel younger. This I can attest to.. Applied morning and evening , it is absorbed very quickly and acts instantly. I love the soft feel of my skin after applying. Great base for mineral make up because it diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.
Phyto -C  B-5 Gel has quickly become my night time skin care regimen of choice. Will be ordering the eye products next ..phyto-c.com

Friday, October 31, 2014

Le Mieux Face & Eye Masks

 Probably  don't need to tell you that the holidays are coming and winter along with it. The furnaces are coming on one by one and with that  is dry, itchy flaky skin. The drier your skin, the more those little lines and wrinkles show :( Not too many of us can afford a day at the spa, but LeMieux Cosmetics have the next best thing..a moisture mask for the face, and firming mask for the eyes.
The Moisture Infusion face mask , is the coolest thing. And I mean that literally. Peel off the top layer of the sheet/mask and press onto your face and leave it there for about 15-20 mins. It has a lovely cooling sensation. It is also loaded with peptides, Vitamin C and botanical extracts. Just like a spa treatment ! I suggest you do this on a snow day..in your robe & slippers, hair up in a towel and with soothing music & a cup of tea.
The Firming Eye Mask is another treat, with potent peptides to tighten and firm  the skin around the eye. Follow the directions, there is a right and left eye mask.
Both of these treatments are "leave-on", so after removing the masks you can massage the treatment right into your skin.
Love, love, love these products.
Go to lemieuxcosmetics.com for more information. They have some great products.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish


Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish is another great skin care product from Japan. Love their lip balm..call me crazy but I love the smell of camphor:) Camphor stimulates blood circulation and gives me rosy cheeks. This skin polish is for face & body and when I get in the shower, I use it on elbows and knees and ankles..anywhere I have rough, dry skin. It has very fine grains of rice bran, with bamboo and walnut shell powder, very fine but effective for sloughing away dead skin cells. Extracts of ginger root and ginseng tone & balance the skin, improves elasticity. Green tea is rich in antioxidants &  geranium oil to soothe and refresh. ..and plenty of glycerin for moisturizing. It is great for the morning shower and then slather on your favorite body lotion and you are all set against winter-y dry air.
Look for Yu-Be products in Sephora, Nordstroms, Whole Foods or on- line at yu-be.com, dermstore.com and beauty.com

John Paul Selects/Marula Cleansing Lotion

First and foremost, we have to get over the idea that a product with oil in it will not work for our face. It has taken me quite a while, I am always skeptical. Marula oil, harvested in Africa, has a 50% higher omega 6 & 9 content than argon oil.  Added ingredient alpha hydroxyl acid complex, derived from natural sugars and fruit extracts, helps improve cell turnover and glycan technology with a natural peptide, helps promote collagen production. This all adds up to  a powerful, yet gentle cleanser, that leaves skin soft and glowing.
Love this cleanser, sets my skin up for absorbing my serum before bed.
John Paul Selects is a line new to me, but the developer's face is not. It is none other than John Paul DeJoria, the man behind our beloved Paul Mitchell Products.
Go to www.marula.com to see and order all products. Read the great story behind the products, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Le Mieux Eye & Lip Cream

The facts: Le Mieux Eye & Lip Cream is a unique liposome infusion concentrate, specially formulated to increase firmness around the eye and lip area. It improves elasticity and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Utilizing a compound called “spin trap,” this unique 2-in-1 deeply moisturizing Halolucent Crystal Matrix formula has potent anti-oxidant properties that help minimize the appearance of deep lines around the eyes and lips. For very dry skin.

So, I have a funny story. I received the sample of Le Mieux Eye & Lip to try. I always try eye creams at night , after I have washed all eye makeup off, just in case I have a reaction to it. Well, my reaction to this eye & lip cream was immediate. I put a drop on my ring finger and noticed it was very "pearly" , greenish, luminescent. I begin to smooth it under my eye and I was surprised at it's thickness and it is kind of sticky. So I am thinking, how could I ever do what the directions say, apply  it twice a day? I couldn't wear this in the morning, no way. So I use it for a week at night and I notice after a few days  my eyes don't look so puffy..My under eye actually looks pretty good, smooth. So, on the weekend I put it on in the morning, put my Miracle Skin Transformer concealer over it, and I'll be damned. My under eyes look younger than they have in years. That green luminescence underneath my concealer turns into the best under eye brightener I have ever tried. I was blown away, really. Needless to say I am using it in the a.m. under my concealer..every day..I love the look. I am also using it on my brow bone, it kind of acts like a primer, too. Love, love this eye cream. Now on to the lips:)
Go to lemieuxcosmetics.com for more information & to order

Monday, August 25, 2014

Jose Eber's The Conditioner

Well known hair stylist to the stars, Jose Eber's The Conditioner is the result of all his experience in the hair care field.
Formulated with special minerals like brown seaweed, algae, minerals extracted from the waters of the French Atlantic.. your hair gets infused with all it needs to stay healthy, shiny and youthful looking. It is not a heavy conditioner, so your hair stays bouncy.
No sulfates or parabens.
Love the delivery, it is like a whipped mousse. I just love piling it up in my hand and then working it through my hair after a shampoo. And the fragrance is so light, hints of quince and apples..so good:)
Do your hair a favor and check out all Eber's products on his website: www.joseeber.com and www.hsn.com

Karin Herzog Finest Chocolate Cleansing

Yes, you read that right:) Karin Herzog's chocolate line will definitely take care of  chocolate cravings, it smells that good!
This cleansing product takes care of make-up removal, eye make-up removal, too.  Restores your skin to the correct PH balance, moisturizes with the help of essential oils (and real swiss cocoa)
Skin feels soft, and hydrated after use.
When I use it , I treat  myself to an "at home" spa moment. Put a dollop on my fingers and rub them together to warm up the gel. I spread it all over my face, and gently rub in circles for half a minute. I let it sit for the other half minute while I get a warm, wet face cloth ready.
Then I smooth it off with the warm cloth. My skin is soft, moisturized and ready to go it alone or  ready to get  made up.
And did I mention that it smells divine? 
Go to www.karinherzog.com for more information and check out the other products in the chocolate line.

Friday, August 22, 2014

VioLife Slim Sonic Electric Toothbrush

Thank you VioLife for creating this traveling electronic toothbrush.  It is slim, fits into a super cute case and delivers 22,000 brushstrokes per minute. When I first tried it, it almost fell out of hand..had no idea it would be so powerful..it is so nice and slim and perfect for your purse. Keep one right in the office, too..and one in your suitcase..they are that affordable and that awesome.
Each kit comes with 2 toothbrush heads and the batteries to start it up.
After I use it my teeth look like I just walked out of my dentist office after a cleaning..so polished!

Go to violight.com and see what else they do.. and pick out a toothbrush with a crazy case:)

Every Beauty Brand Cosmetic Tools & more




 Every Beauty Brand has come to our rescue with great products for organizing our make up drawers ( plural,  for me) and addressing all the little quirky things that drive us crazy;)

Love the Make Up Remover Pads. They come in a convenient draw string pack, they are dry and soft , too. Just add a bit of water and swipe over your face. No rinsing or moisturizing is needed..they contain Argan Oil & Vitamin E! But they do not contain the bad stuff..alcohol or parabens.

Love, love the Cosmetic Tool Organizers..one with a sharpener will hold 14 tools like eyeliner pencils, lip liner pencils &  small brushes..no more rolling off the dressing table! One without the sharpener will hold 8 tools.

The Every Drop Beauty Spatula scores a perfect "10" for me. No more trying to cut the bottom off tubes and pump bottles. Long, thin little spatula reaches in and grab every last bit of product!

Ahhh, the Cuticle Care Kit . I am one of those woman whose cuticles dry out and create hang nails, OUCH! The kit comes with rubber nail pusher, a trimmer & knife. Everything you need to keep those cuticles in check.

You can see these products and more ..go to their web page:
everybeautybrand.com to order


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Us by David Nicholls

Have you ever read a book and just kind of taken the characters in, as if they were people you knew? Their problems are your problems, you get high hopes for them, want things to turn out just fine for them….
This is how I felt while reading US  by author David Nicholls. It is definitely a book to start on a weekend, because you won't want to put it down. Told in the first person by Douglas Petersen, it is the story of his life. A scientist by profession, he is a very cautious, measured, organized, conservative man who meets a wild, sloppy, beautiful artist named Connie and promptly falls head over heels in love.
They marry, it took her a month to decide to say yes, and have a child, a girl , who dies after only hours. They mourn together, Douglas takes her on a European holiday to bring her back to life.
They eventually have another child, a boy named Albie , affectionately called Egg. But as Egg grows up, the father -son relationship is not perfect, it is "estranged" really, with arguments and mis-understandings happening daily. The summer before Albie goes off to university, Douglas and Connie plan a European tour, a final family holiday to show Albie all the art museums in Venice, Rome, you name it. Douglas has scheduled out every minute of this vacation, as is his nature. What he didn't anticipate was the middle of the night announcement by Connie before they left..she thinks she wants to leave him.
So the family holiday takes on a new urgency..Douglas hopes to win back his son's love and respect and keep Connie from leaving him. Little did he know it would almost kill him.
Author Nicholls, is a master at the art of conversation. Douglas is so exquisitely developed that I can hear his voice as he talks to others and thinks to himself. I loved him, but I also pitied him his stiff emotions, his irrational fears, his constant worry. I wanted to kick his ass sometimes too, for the things that came out of his mouth.
What else can I say, I loved this book, one of the best I have read. I was so immediately pissed when it ended. I would love to hear how Douglas got on with his life..Mr. Nicholls? Any chance of that ? :)
Due out in September, run and get it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miss Manga !!

As I have mentioned before, I am always searching for THE BEST mascara..I have tried so many over the last few years, always going back to Maybelline's Great Lash for lack of anything better. Recently, I have been using Benefit's They're Real, it's really good..no clumping..but no "pow" either. (I guess that is why it's called They're Real). Still searching...
 I had seen the ads for Miss Manga and figured it was for younger girls who might know who "Miss Manga" is. But there I was in the makeup dept in Target and there was Miss Manga mascara by L'Oreal..less than $10, why not.  Here's what L-Oreal says about it:

L’Oréal Paris introduces new Voluminous Miss Manga mascara featuring the 360 flexor brush to build bold volume with high intensity from top to bottom. For the first time, L’Oréal Paris creates a flexible brush with a unique conical shape to catch those hard to reach lashes with an incredibly even application. The Mega Impact Formula instantly builds oversized volume for 15X lash volume in a flash. Top lashes are amplified and bottom lashes maximized for the ultimate wide-eyed Manga Look.

Love the brush, it is full, soft and it flexes, which is different, that was the first thing I noticed.. the second thing I noticed was my great looking lashes. Long, dark, full..no clumpsperfection, at last :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran's books are not for the faint of heart..Moran is a gutsy, raw, hold nothing back writer. She writes what she knows and that's what keeps you reading..you know that she knows. Oh,  did I mention she is funny?

How to Build  a Girl is the story of an overweight teen named Johanna Morrigan..a girl who has never been kissed, who doesn't cause any trouble, who fades in to the wallpaper. After a humiliating experience reciting poetry on TV, Johanna decides that life for her must change and she begins by changing her name to Dolly Wilde… she begins to build her life into what she wants it to be.
Johanna's family with five children is on the brink of real poverty, her dad is a washed up wanna be rocker , an alcoholic, on the dole for being "disabled".
Her mom seems to be oblivious to all the strife, but in her defense here she is with three children and just delivers a set of twins.  Johanna, or rather Dolly, gets a job writing reviews for a music mag ( to save the family from ruin) and there the change of life truly begins. To fit in with these guys at the magazine, she must smoke, drink, and carry on as an adult, even though she is only 16. When she writes her first big review of wacked-out rocker John Kite , the other writers think she was too soft on him and her work falls off. In order to keep the work coming, she decides to become the most hated band reviewer ever…writing scathing reviews that made most bands cower at the site of her..all dressed in black wearing a top hat as a trademark. To further her new identity, she beds most of the rockers she meets and gives reviews at the water cooler trying to impress all with "Dolly Wilde's" wild life. But, is this really how to build a girl? 
As I read along, it was like reading about a train headed for a granite wall. The drinking, the smoking, the drugs, the sex..she is just a kid…I was waiting for this horrific crash….

Caitlin Moran was born Catherine..she changed her name when she was just a young teen..and it is pronounced "Cat-lin" just to be set apart from the others. She also worked at a music magazine as a teen..see where I am headed? She writes what she knows, that is why her books are so worth reading.
Moran's book will be on shelves in September.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ballroom by Alice Simpson

Told in interconnecting stories, Ballroom is a beautifully crafted debut novel—reminiscent of the works of Elizabeth Strout and Jennifer Haigh—about a group of strangers united by a desire to escape their complicated lives, if only for a few hours each week, in a faded New York City dance hall.
Time has eroded the glamour of the Ballroom, but at the end of the 1990s, a small crowd of loyal patrons still makes its way past the floor-to-ceiling columns which frame the once grand hall each Sunday evening. Sweeping across the worn parquet floor under a peeling indigo ceiling, these men and women succumb to the magic of the music, looking for love and connection, eager to erase the drab reality of their complicated lives.
Nearly forty and still single, Sarah Dreyfus is desperate for love and sure she’ll find it with debonair Gabriel Katz, a dazzling peacock who dances to distract himself from his crumbling marriage. Tired of the bachelor life, Joseph believes that his yearning for a wife and family will be fulfilled—if only he can get Sarah to notice him. Besotted with beautiful young Maria Rodriguez, elderly dance instructor Harry Korn knows they can find happiness together. Maria, one of the Ballroom’s stars, has a dream of her own, a passion her broken-hearted father refuses to accept or understand.
As the rhythms of the Ballroom ebb and flow through these characters’ hearts, their fates come together in touching, unexpected ways.

Friday, August 1, 2014

EmerginC Body Butter





I love these new Scientific Organics products from EmerginC. In an earlier blog post I told you about their spirulina toner that I love and use on my face everyday. Now comes this fresh-citrus-scented nourishing total body cream. It contains grape stem cells, spirulina, algae, green and white teas, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, vitamins A, C and E, palmariapalmata, pine bark extract and more to nourish, soothe and soften the skin.
I usually shy away from body butters because they always feel so greasy, not so with this one. I was absolutely amazed after I applied it, how quickly it absorbed into my skin. I can apply it after the shower and get right into my clothes without fear of getting grease spots on my linen blouses. And,  I have been applying it to the back of my hands which are so dry this summer, using it twice a day for a week now. I noticed they are much softer, less dry looking, younger looking.. even during the day after many times in soapy water.  Love, love this body butter!
So get yourself to the EmerginC website for ordering…www.ermerginc.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Visitors by Sally Beauman

Author Sally Beauman brings us back to Egypt, back to the exciting discovery of treasures in the Valley of the Tombs. The discovery of King Tut's undisturbed tomb was one of the great discoveries of the twentieth century. The golden coffin with the mummified remains, the jewels and the riches, beyond our wildest imagination!
Author Beauman did not try to re-write  history, but  added the human side to it..the highs and the lows, the celebration and the heartbreak.

Lucy Payne is an eleven year old girl, recovering from the typhoid virus that took her mother's life. She is sent to Egypt with a caretaker named Miss MacKenzie ( Miss Mack for short), by her father, a rather self-centered, cold university professor. What an opportune time to be in the Valley of the Tombs, when Howard Carter is excavating along with Lord Carnavon & other famous archeologists.
Miss Mack believes that Lucy will recover when she is out in the fresh air, taking part in life again.. not only  has she been seriously ill but  is also grieving for her mother.  On the first venture to the tombs, Lucy spies a young girl running about the excavation site..she turns out to be Frances, daughter of an archeologist. And so begins the human story within the magnificent story.
The story is told by a now elderly Lucy, in retrospect. There are many characters in this novel, but the crux of it is centered around Lucy, along with best friend Frances. She meets Rose & Peter, two more children caught up in the drama unfolding in the desert. Lord Carnavon & his daughter Evelyn, social butterfly Poppy D'Erlanger ( Rose & Peter's mother who meets an untimely death),  Howard Carter, and others help to personalize the story. Love and life and loss of both, make this a bittersweet tale.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were just so fully formed, the story so well developed-
I didn't want to put  it down-which is hard to do with a book of 500  plus pages:)
 The fascination with King Tut's tomb lives on and this fictional account of the lives changed by it, makes it even more thrilling.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hair fun with Mia Beauty

I am having the most fun with my  hair this summer…Mia Beauty has some great new accessories, they are my favorite company for hair fun!
String Bling is a fun way to add sparkle to your hair without using glitter spray, or spray in color. Each kit comes with String Bling and some small barrettes. You can cut off any length of bling and tie it into your hair or attach it to a barrette and snap it into your hair. If you tie the String Bling in , you can leave it in for days..you can wash hair, blow dry, curl..it will stay put. Just a lot of fun!

Tony Ties are ponytail elastics that you can wear on your wrist for those
 " just gotta get my hair off my neck " moments. They are cute, patterned, glittery or plain colored, and they don't pull your hair. I have a shortish bob, but when I get home on these hot summer days, I just want to get the hair away from my face. I pull the sides and bangs straight up on top of my head and still manage to look cute because I have the navy polka dot ties…love 'em!

 Go to miabeauty.com to get these items and have a look at all the other great products they sell. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith

Save a rainy weekend for this new novel due out next month. Author Smith has written something that you will not want to put down once you start it. Set in three distinct parts, this novel is about the strong love of parent's for their children and the strong pull of land and sea.
Set in the late 18th century,  we first meet Tabitha, age 10. A precocious child, motherless (mother Helen died in childbirth), she loves the sea. Her father John, was a seagoing pirate of sorts in his younger days and he filled her head with all sorts of stories of the high seas. He had wisked her mother Helen away from her grandfather Asa's plantation, married her and taken her off to islands unknown..returning a year later pregnant with Tabitha.
And then we learn of Tab's mother, Helen. Her mother also died in childbirth and she was raised by her widowed father, Asa, a very prominent business man in the town of Beaufort. He made his living from the land, gathering pine tar for turpentine. On Helen's 10th birthday, Asa had gifted her with a slave girl named Moll, and they had formed an unusual friendship as they grew up together.  Helen turned into a very strong willed, capable young woman and when politics (the end of the Revolutionary war) call her father away from home, Helen runs the plantation. In one of the last skirmishes of the war, which happens in Beaufort, Helen meets John, a Continental soldier and falls in love.
The third part of the novel, is filled with guilt and grief. For Asa , a grieving father and grandfather..for John grieving a wife and daughter. For Moll, grieving a son sold off to slavery.
I was so taken with this story, that I felt like a swift blast of wind had blown right through me at the end of it. I closed the book and put my hand on the cover and rested it for a minute, to catch my breath.
This is a must read on your book list.
Harper Collins Publisher, due out in August.





Monday, June 30, 2014

More Great Skin Care Products To Rave About!


Whitening Lightening is becoming one of my favorite places to look for innovative skin care & beauty products. Love their lip glosses and now their BB Plus Illumination Facial Creme. And that is exactly what it does, illuminates. It is creamy..you can apply it directly to your skin or mix it with your liquid foundation. I use a mineral make up, so I use it right after my moisturizer/primer. I apply it on my cheekbones, a touch on my forehead, a line right down my nose right on through to my chin. Then I apply my mineral foundation and I am glowing. Not sparkly. Like Bronzy-Glowy:) 
Go to whiteninglightening.com to order and have a look at their lip glosses. 

Miracle Skin Transformer makes some great products. I think my favorite is Treat & Conceal.  It hydrates and treats under eyes, and dark pigments and blemishes. It covers dark circles and also soothes the skin with white chamomile, white rose extracts, and marine collagen.  It doesn't highlight fine lines like some concealers, it actually works to minimize them . 
Go to miracleskintransformer.com, ulta.com, or nordstrom.com. It will also be at Kohl's store beauty counters soon.


Out of all the skincare products we buy & use every day, lip care is probably not at the top of our list. Not lipstick, lip care. 
Yu-Be Lip Balm (formerly Lip Therapy) delivers nutrient-rich moisture to lips to relieve dryness and chapping. Shea butter and beeswax lock-in moisture with an emollient texture that softens lips. Coconut oil hydrates and guards against environmental damage while rosemary extract tones and disinfects. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and aloe vera extract soothes inflammation. 
I love applying lip stick after I use Yu-Be. My lips look plumped and moist and lip stick just glides on. Go to yu-be.com to order.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Publisher Harper Collins launched the Austen Project this winter with the publishing of six novels. Six authors re-wrote a Jane Austen novel in present time, with modern twists.
Trollope has re-written Sense & Sensibility around the Dashwood sisters Marianne & Elinor , with an annoying bit part for Maggie, the youngest. When their father Henry dies quite suddenly, leaving mother Belle high & dry with no will, no money and no marriage certificate to boot, the step brother John and his awful wife Fanny ( a great play on words, because she is an ass!) kick them all out of the Norland manse to fend for themselves.
With no money, no jobs and no skills, the future looks pretty grim. A long lost, wealthy cousin rescues them and sets them up in a lovely house. ( But that doesn't keep them from continually whining about what they don't have)
 Older sister Elinor , the level headed one, gets a job and tries to support the new household. Mother Belle is an airhead who I don't think could hold a job, Marianne is an asthmatic who evidently is too sickly to work and Maggie is in school.
So, Belle sets to pushing the girls on to wealthy men to be married off..doesn't sound too modern, does it?  (At times, I did wonder if this novel was still written centuries behind present day) So both older girls get caught up in painful romances, Marianne gets devastated and depressed and Elinor won't let herself feel the pain.
Author Trollope does a great job at keeping true to Austen's story although now & again she does manage to get in a few good licks of her own.  We all know the story, I really was surprised that Trollope kept my interest.
What I decided after I read it, was that it could very well stand on it's own without the "Austen" provenance. I enjoyed it, but I think I enjoyed it because I let the whole Austen thing go.


Apothederm Hydrating Eye Cream

The tag line for this eye cream on the Apothederm's website is " your skin will drink it up" and that is the honest truth. I have been using this  eye cream for 10 days, and that is exactly what my under eye skin has done. I use it at night and in the morning before applying concealer. Concealer goes on very smoothly and looks more natural..but the best part is the pouchy under eye area has calmed down. First thing I noticed after just a few days. Allergies this time of year make my eyes look awful..but the puffiness is way down.
Apothederm is fast becoming  my go-to skin care line..Smart Peptide Technology…I 'm sold.
Go to their website to learn about all the Apothederm products and order if you wish. I see that it is also available at walmart.com.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

This book is a little gem, you could read it in one rainy afternoon. When I first started reading it a few pages in, I am thinking , this is a book of random thoughts. A woman is writing down her random thoughts is all...and then I kept going. A story started to develop in my head..one thought at a time. How uniquely written.
A young woman, a wife, tells me how she came to marry & have a baby and work with quirky writers on their novels all in little snippets. Like looking at one of those flip books..all these little pieces of her life end up forming a whole. A whole life , if not a completely  happy one.
Through these little paragraphs..sometimes just a sentence long, I got a snapshot's view of a young woman who wanted to be an artist but ended up a writer , of a  young mother who realized her every waking thought was about her child's happiness, about a young husband who grew tired of being passed over for attention…
Such a great book. It will leave an impression.
Published by Random House, on book store shelves now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

emerginC Spirulina Toner

I love toners. I think they work wonders preparing my face for my moisturizers. emerginC's new Spirulina Toner has quickly become my favorite. 
Spirulina has been touted to help the body in a wide variety of ways, warding off free radicals and eliminating toxins from the skin, increasing skin metabolism to enable faster skin cell turnover and skin healing, and helping prevent candida bacteria overgrowth that can cause acne breakouts.
emerginC is a remarkably effective, full line of active, result-oriented products containing a wide variety of pure, potent botanicals and fruit acids, as well as cutting edge medical and cosmeceutical-grade ingredients from all over the world. Their products are paraben-free, as well as free of artificial colors and fragrances, and we try to source ingredients naturally wherever possible. In addition, they do not test on animals or use animal ingredients. 
Love the refreshing smell and feel of the Spirulina Toner. Visit emerginC.com to order products, and have a look at what else they have to offer. 


Friday, May 30, 2014

Updike by Adam Begley

I will admit I have only read one Updike novel, Rabbitt Run, many years ago.
But that never puts me off reading a good biography. And Begley has written a good biography.
John Updike was both talented and ordinary. Talented because he had an artist's eye ( he really wanted to be a cartoonist) and ordinary because he was an upper middle class, suburban married man..cocktail parties, get togethers with his neighbors and yes, affairs with his neighbor's wives.
He was also a talented & prolific writer, writing novels, book reviews, art reviews, short stories, essays..all loosely and sometimes not so loosely based on the life he was living.
Author Begley wrote about all this and more. We get a look into his childhood, his college years, his married life through Begley's interviews with Updike family & friends. He wrote novels while he wrote essays, while he wrote reviews…this man Updike was a writer as no other author before or since. And he wrote about life as he knew it and then extended the reach for a more interesting existence. All captured by Begley in the this book.
So what  happens now..I will go back and read about Harry Angstrom's  further adventures in Rabbitt Redux, Rabbitt is Rich & Rabbitt at Rest. Thank you Adam Begley for showing me the error of my ways :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Loving Mia Beauty Products

After such a long winter, and in some places it is still iffy whether spring has sprung….regardless of what the calendar says…..it is lots of fun to try new things. Makeup , perfume, hair styles, there are so many things that you can spruce up for the sun-season. I am loving the Mia Beauty products that I have tested.
My Memorial Day was brightened, even though there were dark clouds over head, because I was wearing a Mia Beauty Flower Halo. Loved it..it was comfortable, so comfortable in fact that at our MD parade, someone said "love your hair" and I totally forgot I had the Flower Halo on. It is so cute, it works for me, and my  4 year old granddaughter who decided she would have to wear it after I did.
Go to their website and have a look at all the colors and types of flowers. And while you are at it check out all their other products. All reasonably priced, too.
Live a little this summer and visit miabeauty.com

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose

Since I read Hemingway, I have always been fascinated with Paris in the 20's & 30's. Teaming with great artists and writers, expats mostly writing about their new home..life in Paris..oh it was decadent.
Author Francine Prose has captured it perfectly in her new book Lovers at the Chameleon Club. I love to read books that have been written with each chapter an entry by a different character. I think it gives a book a kind of excitement, a "don't want to put  it down, what is happening now" feel.
Prose has chosen to write about several characters, their lives all entwined, each one with their own problems and each one on their own paths. The French Resistance has begun and Hitler has started to rear his ugly head and all of France will be affected.
Lou Villars would be the central character..a young girl, who is mentored to become a famous woman athlete, who is attacked by her mentor and then she flees to the Chameleon Club where she cross dresses and becomes part of the burlesque show.
Gabor Tsenyi, a fledgling photographer, captures a photo of Villars and her lover that makes both subject and photog famous. We learn about his character in letters sent home to his parents.
Lionel Maine is  a struggling writer who writes about Paris in ways that get him banned. Prose reveals his character in his articles that are published.
 Lilly de Rotheschild, married to a gay Baron, falls in love with Tenysi and does everything she can to support his career. She is revealed in a memoir that she writes.
There are others just as interesting: Yvonne who owns the Chameleon Club, Suzanne who becomes the wife of Gabor Tsenyi and  Nathalie Dunois, great niece of Lou Villars, who is writing a novel based on the tragic life of her great- aunt.
So many characters usually make my head spin but the way this novel is put together by Prose, it all makes perfect sense and flows from one character to the next.
All is very loosely based on real lives and you can actually go on line and find the famous photo!
Very well written and a great choice for book clubs.
Harper Collins Publisher

Monday, May 5, 2014

Some Fun with Mia Beauty Products

Oh, I love spring..time to have fun, get outside, wear colorful clothes! I was invited to a friend's official spring fling cocktail party recently and decided to try Mia Beauty's Clip-n-Bangs. After having four kids my hair has thinned from that thick, younger mane that I used to have. I have an angled bob haircut and I have a very thin spray of bangs. I clipped the Mia Bangs into the crown of my own hair..it just so happens the match was perfect…..and what a lush bang I now had..Off to the party and the best thing of all? The compliments I received,or I should say my stylist received, on how great my cut was. I just kept my secret weapon to myself..until now…loved it.
You can bring it with you to your stylist and have them cut to fit, or you can do it yourself. These Mia Beauty products are so much fun!

The past Saturday was a beautiful Spring day. Sunny, warm.. everyone was outside enjoying the day. I was meeting friends for lunch at our favorite spot and I decided to add some cuteness to my 'do.
I snapped a Mia Beauty's Clip-n-Dipped Ends into my hair, and instantly I was feeling the fun.  I generally make my bob smooth, but this day since my Dipped Ends had a little springy curl to it, I just scrunched my bob and went wavy. Got all kinds of ooh's and aah's from my friends.

If you are looking for some summer fun for your hair, go to miabeauty.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Apothederm Brand Skin Care: Serums

Apothederm brand of skin care products launched in early 2011, but the active ingredients and formulations have been years in the making.
The patented SmartPeptides™ allow the products to specifically target your areas of concern such as crow’s feet, laugh lines or stretch marks. These peptides give targeted results – they act as cellular messengers to help stimulate and restore critical functions.
What you put in your body and on your skin is important to you, and it’s important to Apothederm, too. All the Apothederm products are formulated with that in mind. They are all paraben and phthalate free, and they do not contain pore-clogging or formaldehyde releasing ingredients.

Meet The SmartPeptides:


  • Heptapeptide-7 is the latest advancement in peptide technology from Helix BioMedix. This bioactive peptide has been shown in laboratory tests to promote keratinocyte proliferation and migration to support skin renewal, essential processes for healthy, vibrant skin.
  • Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 helps boosts collagen production, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles while increasing firmness of the skin. It also helps to eliminate dull and dry skin with the addition of a lipid delivery system.
  • Hexapeptide-21 works within the skin’s own natural repair and regeneration system. Hexapeptide-21 is designed to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover to help improve the appearance of damaged skin.
I have been using Apothederm's Nourishing Serum at night  for 14 days now. I can tell you that it has a different feel than the other serums I have tested. The other serums have mostly felt a bit oily when they go on, not so with Apothederm, it feels like a gel. It goes on very smoothly and then, while it is drying, seems to tighten and  once it is dry, just feels like soft skin. I am loving this serum. I have noticed a big difference in my skin, it is both soft and smooth…So easy to apply make up to this face :) I also started using it on the backs of my hands, just to see what effect it might  have. My hands have really suffered over the winter. First day I  noticed the smoothness right away, even after washing all day. So now, that is part of my skin care regimen as well.

Reduce Visible Signs of Aging with Bright Skin Serum. Specialized formula refines, brightens and hydrates for a more even complexion. SmartPeptide™ technology specifically targets impurities to refine blotchy, discolorations and imperfections. 
My skin  looks and feels glow-y and I had plenty of sun spots to test this on! You must be diligent in using it, but I have noticed a reduction in color of spots after two weeks. 

Go to apothederm.com for more information or to order products. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Out of the Woods by Lynn Darling

Moving from your NYC apartment into a cabin in the Vermont woods, you can guess would be a HUGE change of lifestyle. Add to that you are a recently widowed woman, just dropped your only child, a daughter, off at college a few states away and  you have yourself some major life altering events.
Author Lynn Darling is looking for direction, not only so she doesn't get lost in the woods but also for the remainder of her life. Who is she now, who will she become, what does she want, what will life throw at her… all these questions are questions I have asked myself over the last few years. Who am I , really?
She moves into a little house in Vermont, gets herself a puppy, meets a few neighbors and sets off for walks in the woods. To see if she can navigate the trails and the wild, to see if she can survive in solitude after the hustle & bustle of NYC, survive the growing up of a child, to survive the loneliness of widowhood.  To find out what she is made of….
Lynn Darling is a survivor, for just as she is getting her bearings, a diagnosis that will alter her life one more time.
This is an honest memoir, one every woman over fifty needs to read. Well written, almost prose-like and lyrical . Lynn Darling has a way with words and a way with life. Very touching.
Published by Harper/Collins it is in bookstores now.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Skin Care Must Haves & Something Fun for Spring

Will this Winter ever end? As I write today, they are predicting a Nor'easter with winds 40-50 mph, blizzard conditions..looks like a category 2-3 hurricane on the weather maps…ugh!

Lucky for me to be testing some awesome skin care products..when Spring comes, I want to be ready:)

My hands are a mess. Fall & winter means cold & flu season and I have washed every bit of moisture out of my hands long ago. They are dry and cracked and my cuticles are just awful. I was offered a sample of YU-BE Skin Cream, and I jumped at the chance. 

YU-BE was developed by a Japanese pharmacist back in 1957, for dry , cracked hands. He put concentrated glycerin (a process he developed) added Vitamin B2 & Vitamin E, Sodium Hyaluronate which helps to retain moisture and reduces fine lines, and camphor for it's anti-inflammatory properties.
When you put this on your dry hands, they are immediately soothed, and they look so much better and feel softer. I am hooked. But remember- it is a skin cream..you can use it on your face, your lips, your feet ( divine) , wherever you need it. It is non-greasy, too, your skin soaks it right up because it needs it!
YU-BE Skin Cream is available at Sephora, whole Foods Markets, or on line at : yu-be.com


Adventuress Skin Care introduces two products that I am now currently using. This new skin care line was launched in 2011, and was developed by Michele Carter, an outdoors woman and motorcycle enthusiast. She was looking for skin protection from harsh wind & sun damage and it had to be simple and something you could carry with you.
The You-Vee's Sunscreen Wipes, I love. I keep one in my purse. I love the beach, even on cold days, so I am able to apply sunscreen no matter when I decide to head out and get some fresh salt air. So convenient and it moisturizes as it protects your skin from harmful rays.
I am also loving the Fearlessly Refreshing Facial Wipes. Talk about feeling refreshed. After being in an office all day, I just want to "take it all off" when I get home and that includes my make up.
Convenient, packaged individually, so easy to keep one with you for only the go revival. Seven plant extracts including, willow bark, quince, sugar maple, orange, lemon & olive leaf.  They all help to reduce redness, reduce age spots, soothes, hydrates.. and they are alcohol free so no tight , dry feeling after.
To have a look at this great line of skin care products, stop by www.goadventuress.com for more
information and to order.

Right about now, no matter what the forecast tells me, I am ready to "spring forward' and try some fun products. Color Your Smile is such a fun way to boost moisture in these dry, cracked winter lips. Contains collagen peptides to smooth and plump your lips, and they are highly pigmented so you get great color & shine. The really fun part is that each tube has a small mirror and get this..a little light in the wand so you can apply perfectly, after the big first date and  right before the first kiss of Spring love !! Would make a sweet surprise for the teenage Easter Basket ;)
Go to www.whiteninglightening.com to check out the great colors and to order.

I was away last week for my birthday at a work related event. I was meeting people for dinner and I wanted to added a little sparkle to my outfit in light of the special day. I remembered I had packed Mia Beauty's Hair Stickers and I thought, now there is a bit of fun! These peelable, reuseable stickers are just the ticket to liven up your do. I put two sparkly flowers right by my ear where my hair was tucked and it was just enough to let people know..yeah, I am special today :) Another great idea for the Easter Basket…www.miabeauty.com



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Clever Girl by Tess Hadley

Tessa Hadley has done a good job with Clever Girl.
 Stella, the main character, a child born to a single mom in England, dad disappeared and Stella's mom doesn't tell her much..she is told he is dead, basically.
She loves being the only person in her mom's life, sleeping together in one bed, being close. But that euphoria is rudely interrupted by her mom's new husband, Gerry.
Stella is smart, but gets mixed up with a kid named Valentine who leads her down the path of alcohol, drugs, sex, quirkiness..until she ends up pregnant and he heads to America with out knowing he will be a dad. Single mom with one baby, she ends up in a commune , in a relationship with a great guy named Nicky, ends up pregnant with son number 2, but soon Nicky is murdered by a deranged friend of a friend….you suspect that Stella will never catch a break.
This book is so well written, it is like reading Stella's diary. While it may have started a bit slow, soon I did not want put it down. And at the last few words..I was hoping there will be a sequel.
The book is in book stores this month, and the way this winter is going, there appears to be plenty of time to spend curled up by the fire reading.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Post Cards from Cookie by Caroline Clarke

Imagine you were adopted at birth, had great adoptive parents and a good life. Never entered your mind to look for your biological parents, would never hurt your mom & dad by looking. You are now grown with kids of your own and a minor medical issue comes up. You start to wonder if there is any information in your file about your bio-parents that you should know.
You contact the Home for Unwed Mothers, where you were born and arrange a meeting. You go in and sit down and think that you don't expect to hear much of anything. Back in those days, not a lot of information was kept about birth mothers. A woman walks in carrying a file folder, a kind of thickish file folder…she begins to read it to you. She begins to describe to you the mother you never knew…and it sounds familiar…the young girl, the dates, a reference here or there….and you walk away from the meeting and realize that your birth mother was very likely your friend Timmie's older sister. AND your friend Timmie was Nat King Cole's daughter…your grandfather was Nat King Cole.
Sounds like I made it up doesn't it? It is a coincidence of the wildest order, fate, karma..magic?
Caroline Clarke discovered this truth and decided to contact her birth mother , Carole  "Cookie"  Cole. Over a period of seven years they wrote postcards, telephoned, emailed and met face to face seven times, until Cookie's death from cancer. This memoir is their story.
As you read along, you can feel author Clarke's raw emotion, as if she is sitting down with you and recounting the story in disbelief…it is like a fairytale, with not the happiest of endings. Written from the heart, the best kind of book.  
The book comes out in April and I recommend it whole-heart-edly.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Priscilla by Nicholas Shakespeare

It is always so interesting, this period of the 20-30-40's, to read about it's women.There were a few very strong, very surprising women who did not fit the mold. Priscilla Mais was one of these women. Her nephew Nicholas Shakespeare, through a series of love letters, photos and a draft of an autobiography, pieced together a fantastic tale of his aunt, quite different from the one the family passed down.
She was beautiful, of that  there seems to be no question..but the "survivor" of the French Resistence story seems to be just that, a story. Born in England and shipped off to France after her mother ran away with a lover, she befriended another English school girl, Gillian. Back in England after school, she was a young woman headed back to France for an abortion. There she met & married an older, impotent aristocrat, but her marriage didn't last. While her husband was off fighting the Germans, his family sent her packing so that they were not attacked for harboring an enemy alien.
Priscilla was indeed interred for a few months, but was released due to pregnancy…she was a good actress. Along came a string of lovers, single & married who were charmed by her beauty and seemingly fragile nature. Shady characters, black marketeers, German officers..you name it. She did survive, and showed up in England, on her old pal Gillian's doorstep, having "survived" the occupation. (Gillian ended up discovering the truth and wrote about it, unpublished however)
Shakespeare uncovers the not so noble truth about his aunt in this interesting story.
In his  words:
" At first glance, it was embarrassing to discover what Priscilla got up to. Of course, I wished for my aunt to be heroic. I wanted her to be an exception. But she was not an exception, she was just an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances".
There is no doubt that Priscilla was a survivor, and I think you will come to that yourself after reading the book. If you like to read about strong, resilient women, then this one's for you:)