Monday, November 29, 2010

Dinner for All Four of Us!

Finally! A dinner that all four of the people who live in our house actually LOVED - and it's from Cooking Light, so the fat/calories/etc. are not too bad. It's Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon (made with low fat milk and Applewood Bacon...I also subsituted whole wheat pasta in place of the fettuccine noodles). My little ones even asked for "seconds," which rarely happens! I am still shocked by dinner tonight...hope your family enjoys it, too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Card Time!

What a great time to connect (or re-connect) with family and friends...with holiday cards! I realize some find this an old tradition, but we love to decorate our living space with the cards we receive each year, especially now that most of them have beautiful pictures on them! And those of you who have seen my house or office know that I love being surrounded by reminders of family and friends - and their smiling faces.

I also love carrying around pictures of Cole & Cass with me…and my most recent photo album creation is sitting happily in my purse as you read this. The latest cool thing I have noticed about Shutterfly is that you can select a bunch of pictures, tell it you want a photo album, and they will automatically group “like” pictures page-by-page! How cool is that?!? My entire last album was created by them, not me. Fantastic time-saver. I’ve started getting a new album every few months so I can avoid printing a ton of photos and having to file them myself. And the albums are really reasonably priced (the latest special is $10.39). Here's the link to their site:

Now I am testing out holiday cards…here is my favorite – what do you think?

Still working on it...but here's the site so you can make your own holiday cards:
Looking forward to seeing and sharing some gorgeous cards this year!
: )

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Perfect Red!

This just about says it all...what a great, brief post on lipstick color! Thanks to City Girl for the review -

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Forget the Sunscreen!

I was out for a jog this morning, and the weather is gorgeous! As I was squinting in the beautiful sunshine, I realized I should have put on sunglasses and sunscreen...for some reason, it just slips the mind when it's not "summer"....has this happened to you?

With the long sleeves and long pants we are wearing, using suncreen on our hands and face isn't always top-of-mind. However, if you use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen, that helps. No extra step required! Remember, most of the signs of aging (80-90%) are externally driven (ie, environment, sun damage, smoking) - not genetics.

Squinting can lead to fine lines around the eyes, and going outside without sunscreen is just a bad idea...always. So take care of your skin this winter - lots of moisturizer, and keep the sunscreen on hand.

P.S. I read an article in the paper yesterday...did you know that sleeping on your side or stomach can also lead to more wrinkles?!?! All that pressure for so many hours is not good for the skin. So try your best to sleep on your back! Whew.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Tiny Bit of Color

Something I never quite understood was the emphasis on one particular cosmetics product - blush. There always seems to be a lot of commentary and worry over how to apply it just the right way.

Thinking about our "non-made-up" faces, though, do any of us naturally blush exactly the same way? Some of us have a little more color higher on our cheeks than others. Some of us get blotchy...and some of us barely show any color at all. So why try to re-create a natural blush with products in an unnatural way?

To me, one of the biggest concerns with blush application is when you can tell it exists on someone's face. For example, a streak of color slashed across the cheeks to create the illusion of cheekbones is not flattering (use bronzer in the hollow and a highlighter on the bone instead...not pink, rose, or sunset colors).

Blush should be a natural complement to your skin, not a primary focus.

And for many of us, our skin gets flushed in the heat regularly anyway. Not to mention a little color from the sun. So there's no need to make our faces even more pink!

For a quick and easy, non-stressful blush application:

*Try a "sunset" shade - it tends to work well with most skintones (similar to the middle of the top petals of the rose to the right)

*Lightly load your brush with product
*Smile, start at the apple of your cheeks, and blend towards hairline
*Stop. No need to double-layer blush.
*Repeat on the other side

Or, you could have someone tell you a really funny joke...laughter will cause your face to light up beautifully...
: )

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Over the past few months of makeup workshops, I've discovered how very versatile a beautiful brown eye shadow can be. If you find the right color (something close to actual, deep, true-to-color and slightly shimmery) - here are some of the things you can do with it:

*Quick eyeliner: (see "stamping" technique in previous post) on top lashline only, add mascara = done

*Everyday eyeliner: apply to both upper and lower lashline (only halfway across lower lashline)

*Dramatic evening look: use chocolate on the lid, a smokey gray in the crease, then dot a white/shimmery shadow where your pupil would be when your eyes are closed = gorgeous!

*Darken another color: if you have a shadow that isn't quite dark enough (or when you apply it, is has no depth...and can barely be seen) - tap your eyeshadow brush into your brown first, then your other color. It will deepen the shadow without making it too harsh.

*Eyebrow fill: Using a slanted brush, and short strokes - you can create a beautiful eyebrow to frame your face. Of course, if you have light hair - use a lighter brown color

All these options, with just one color - that's smart spending!
: )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Toxins in Cosmetics?

There seems to be a lot of press about this's pretty nerve-wracking to think about all the things that could be in the products we put on our faces and bodies every day. Yesterday, there was a story on (here's the link to the video), and now this Jillian Michaels info.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Drinks and Weight Loss

WebMD has a great summary of many beverages (from tea to veggie juice and light beer), and how they can help or hurt weight loss efforts:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eye Shadow and Eyeliner

Have you tried skipping the pencil or liquid liner when applying your eye makeup? It's a little intimidating at first, but the outcome can be really soft and pretty when done well.

The most important tool in this type of makeup application is your brush - you must use a slanted brush..anything else just doesn't seem to work well.

Using a small angled brush, load it with the eye shadow (a color similar to chocolate works beautifully). Using a “stamping” technique, simply press the brush on the lid starting in the corner with the longer part of the angled brush into the corner. Reload and continue. Tilt upwards at the end.

Do the same “stamping” technique under the eye. Use a q-tip to slightly smudge under the eye.
*Tip: Use a large fan brush to dust away any excess…similar to sweeping with a small broom.

Eye shadow stays on very well through the day - but, if you're not quite confident in the shadow alone, you can always put some eyeliner on with a pencil, then cover it using the technique above. Double-duty liner!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What type of oil are you putting on your skin?

Since I have extremely oily skin, I was always afraid of anything with oil in it...little did I know that some oils are very nourishing for the skin, and should definitely be used regularly! The post below does a great job explaining the differences in oils...and how they can benefit your skin:

Mineral Oil vs. Arbonne Oil (reposted from

Recently an Arbonne Consultant asked, “What’s the difference between mineral oil and the oil Arbonne uses?” This question is a very good one. Let’s define the difference between several types of oils used in the cosmetics industry and then define the Arbonne difference.

What is an oil?
Simply defined, an oil is any substance that remains in a liquid state at room temperature and that is insoluble in water — in other words … it floats on top. Oils can function as moisturizers or cleansers, depending on the formula into which they are added. As a cleanser, they can help surround and lift dirt off the skin and out of the pores which can be washed away. As a moisturizer, they help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) because they are able to deliver hydrating lipids to the skin’s surface. In fact, the primary benefit of including oils in cosmetic formulations is specifically for their hydrating ability. Some oils, because of their traditional medicinal uses, are able to help soothe, calm and comfort surface irritations and sun damage.

The most popular oils used in cosmetic formulas are the following:

Mineral Oil
Vegetal Oil
Essential Oil

Let’s look at each of these …

Mineral Oil is liquid petrolatum. It is a by-product of the petroleum industry in their production of gasoline. Mineral oil is a lightweight inexpensive oil that is odorless and tasteless. There are two grades — industrial (as in machine lubricant) and cosmetic (as in beauty products). Cosmetic grade mineral oil is used by many skin care companies. Mineral oil is used in their formulas as an occlusive ingredient, coating the skin’s surface to inhibit TEWL and to give an emollient effect that is suitable for treating dry skin. Cosmetic mineral oil is generally USP (U.S. Pharmacopia) and BP (British Pharmacopia) grade, is highly refined and purified, and is not an industrial grade containing benzene, a known toxin and carcinogen. One of the common concerns regarding the use of cosmetic mineral oil is its presence on several lists of comedogenic substances (ingredients that clog the pores). These comedogenic lists were developed many years ago yet remain frequently quoted in some dermatologic literature.

Vegetal Oils are derived from … you guessed it … plants! Vegetal oils are used as fixed oils, base oils or carrier oils (as in aromatherapy) in cosmetic formulas. Vegetal oils are usually obtained from the fatty oils in seeds, kernels or nuts. Some vegetal oils are odorless, others may be sweet and nutty in aroma. Vegetal oils also have film-forming properties, are less occlusive than mineral oil, yet still help retard transepidermal water loss (TEWL). In addition, vegetal oils may naturally contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients and essential fatty acids (EFAs). For example, vegetal oils that naturally contain Vitamin E act as antioxidants. Safflower Oil contains oleic and lineolic acids that are beneficial to the skin. Olive Oil is effective in hydrating and soothing the skin. Other vegetal oils such as Avocado Oil, Apricot Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil and Sweet Almond Oil help prevent evaporation and provide lubrication to the surface of skin, making dry skin look and feel better.


Essential Oils are derived from leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of the plant. Essential oils are the fragrant oils found in plants. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and chemically complex, containing many substances and compounds. Some essential oils contain more than 200 identified chemical substances, and have been called by some botanical scientists the “lifeblood of a plant” because they contain compounds that the plant uses to fight infections, disease and parasites. Essential oils carry a distinct scent or essence of the plant. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, massage therapy and ayurvedic medicine. They are also used in fragrances and lotions and incense. Essential oils with their volatile aromas can be used to enhance moods, help promote relaxation, help awaken energy levels, help calm the feelings of stress and help promote well-being. Essential oils should not be used by themselves directly on the skin. Because they are very concentrated, essential oils are always blended with vegetal oils, as in a massage oil; or blended with vegetal oils and other moisturizing ingredients as in a body lotion. Examples of essential oils include: Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Peppermint Oil, Bergamot Oil, Lemon Oil, Ylang-Ylang, etc.

The Arbonne Difference
Arbonne does not use petroleum-based oil ingredients. This includes mineral oil. It is Arbonne’s preference to use vegetal oils and essential oils in its formulations because of our botanical-based heritage and because of the many additional healthy benefits plant oils can also bring to the skin. There are no known skin nutritive, massage and aromatherapeutic benefits from mineral oil. So why go this route when we have all the abundance plant oils can deliver.

Arbonne Oils (FC5 Skin Conditioning Oil, Sea Source 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil, ABC Baby Body Oil, Aromassentials Unwind Massage Oil) are a blend of both vegetal and essential oils, formulated as beneficial skin care products and for massage. These oils are lightweight and can also be used on the face, as a supplemental AM/PM product or for a pampering facial massage.

SO-O-O-O … here’s an analogy - close your eyes and imagine…

Imagine … it’s cold and pouring rain outside ….
Would you rather be standing under an umbrella in that rain?
Or sitting at home, in your favorite chair, watching your favorite movie, eating your favorite ice cream?
In each scenario you are sheltered from the rain. That’s good!
Now … Do you want to just be protected … or …
Protected, Comfortable and Nourished all at the same time?
Which one do you think is analogous to the mineral oil?
Which one do you think is analogous to the Arbonne Oil?
Now… if you had YOUR choice, which one would YOU chose -— mineral oil? Or the Arbonne Oil?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Volume WITHOUT Back-Combing!

I had a great experience with a new hairstylist this weekend - her name is Mistie, and her salon is The Hair House in Destrehan, LA.

She not only gave me a great haircut, but taught me different styles for my curly hair. She also blew it dry straight, and showed me how to style it that way. The time and energy she spent on education was outstanding. One new thing I learned about - that I must share with you! - is "Healing Style" by L'Anza - the Powder Up Texturizer.

Instead of teasing the hair at the crown, and creating a mess of knots, you can get height using this POWDER. It's the coolest thing I've ever tried in my hair. You sprinkle it on, and then rub it in..."tousle" the hair a little at the root - and you've got gorgeous volume without the mess. And it stays!!

Here's the website with more info on these products, if you're interested: - Powder-Up Texturizer

Just had to share - I feel like I have a new toy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fox News Story

This is so exciting! Our company's anti-aging products were featured on a Fox news story recently by an international makeup artist! And there are other GREAT tips for dealing with the heat of summer.

This recent TV segment aired on Fox® news in central Pennsylvania, featuring internationally renowned makeup artist Mickey Williams as she shares some skin care tips for looking your best this summer.

Check it out:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tinted Moisturizer vs. Foundation

For those of us who live where the humidity is high, the temperatures are high, and the likelihood of makeup staying put is understand the foundation dilemma ("should I even bother? will it just melt off? will it even look natural? my face feels like i have a mask on!!").

One way to get the coverage without the "mask" feeling is with a great tinted moisturizer. There are fantastic products that have SPF in them, and your skin feels like you have nothing on it - but, you have the coverage you need...perfect!

Use concealer only where absolutely necessary (mostly just in a half-moon shape in the inner corner of the eyes), and to cover any imperfections...but concealer tends to be very heavy and thick, so you don't want to have too much of it on summer skin.

Use a translucent powder to finish the look. Apply the powder with a large powder brush (or kabuki brush) - dip it in the powder, tap off the excess, then apply to your skin with a light, swirling motion. Ahhh...feels cooler already.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dr. Oz's Opinion - The Price of Beauty

Wow...this was scary (but quite informative) reading. I heard about this information recently, and I finally found the Dr. Oz post online:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cosmetics - Foundation Video

Tips & Techniques: Celebrity Makeup Artist Cooper demonstrates why Arbonne Cosmetics are a perfect complement to your skin care regimen in this new video on YouTube, highlighting the Perfecting Liquid Foundation with SPF 15. Take a look and share it with your friends!
[reposted from Arbonne's FB page]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do You Have to Speak in Front of a Group Soon?

A true test of one's self-confidence is standing in front of a room of people to speak. Most of us are deathly afraid of doing it!
If you haven't checked out a Toastmasters meeting before, I highly recommend it. I've been a member for many years, and the practice/feedback from these groups is outstanding to improve public speaking skills. Here are some tips from

1. Know your material - use personal stories, it will help you remember what you are going to say.

2. Practice! Rehearse out loud. Time yourself.

3. Know the audience. Greet people as they come in. It's easier to speak to friends than strangers.

4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around, test equipment.

5. Relax. Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.

6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. See the audience clapping for you.

7. Realize that people want you to succeed. They don't want you to fail.

8. Don't apologize for one probably noticed it anyway.

9. Concentrate on the message, not the medium (ie, focus on content and not yourself).

10. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Perfect "Natural" Lipcolor!

Finally, finally, finally - after years of searching and too much money to count spent on trying different colors - I stumbled upon a great neutral lip color today!! I am so's perfect for summer.

I always had problems with too pink, too non-existent, too pale, just not right colors - but this looks great and blends well with my skintone. My lips are really pale, and then I have dark hair, dark eyes - and light skin. It is very difficult to find a "natural" lip color that didn't fade away into the background. But not today - Whew!

Lips lined in Cafe, Lipstick in Satin, with a touch of Brown Sugar lip polish...even got compliments from strangers today.

It's amazing how a good set of lips can make a lady's day!
: )

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Cosmetics Tips #1

This is a repost from Arbonne's Facebook page - love these tips!

"It's the start of summer. And since vibrant colors boost your mood, it's also the beginning of a new series of Arbonne makeup tips!

Summer Cosmetic Tip #1: Makeup lasts even longer when you start by applying a primer to your face, including your brow bone and eyelids. Primer prepares your skin for makeup application by ...creating a smooth, even surface."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

To Sun or Not to Sun?

What a struggle! With all of the information we know about the dangers of being out in the sun, exposing our skin to UV rays, skin cancer - ahhh! What to do?!? I just so happen to ADORE the sun, the warm feeling it creates, the slight glow it adds to the skin...but the slice of skin missing from my back due to "pre-cancerous cells" always makes me second-guess the decision to go outside.

This summer, I think a compromise is in order: a little sun, a little cheating - how about a suncreen mixed with self-tanner? I'm going to test a spray that has a botanically-based self tanner plus SPF.

This is my first summer home with the kids, so I can't NOT go in the pool with them, right? And, I spoke with a dermatologist about protection suggestions for the little ones - she recommended the swim shirts with hats at all times. And actual sunscreen LOTION, not the spray kind - she said the lotion is more effective.

And then after the sun, I'll test a formula which contains avocado oil that is supposed to moisturize and repair dry skin. It also includes ingredients that help restore the skin’s delicate moisture balance (and has anti-aging

We shall see! What about you? What are your summer protection plans?

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Type of Face Mask to Use?

I love face masks - they just seem to be a powerful, quick way to change the feel of skin. You should aim for using a mask at least once/week...moreso if desired.

Feeling dry? Use one with extra moisturization.
Feeling oily? Use a clay or mud mask.
Feeling like you need a deep clean? Clay or exfoliate.
Feeling less than soft? Try one with a manual exfoliant.

Here are more details:
Clay masks are great at reducing oil, removing extra dirt and grime from pores, and overall deep cleansing. They also reduce the number of toxins in the skin.

The detoxifying actions of sea mud and bentonite clay help draw out impurities as they absorb excess oil from the skin. Also suited for oily skin to help prevent clogged pores, blackheads and blemishes. Helps detoxify and condition the skin’s surface. It wraps you in comfort and leaves your skin glowing.

For a mask to help moisturize, you can even try an at-home mask using mashed avocado mixed with honey.

Always be sure to follow the mask instructions - don't leave on a mask longer than recommended as it may cause irritation instead of benefits. And when applying your mask, use "upwards" strokes for best results. Enjoy the 15-20 minutes of you time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Working from Home...One Girl's Opinion

I cannot tell you many times I've been asked recently how it feels to not go to a full-time office anymore. As you may know, I resigned an 11-year corporate career to become a better mom and wife...and to start my own home-based business.

Here are my experiences - both positive and challenging, so far:

Positive: No alarm clock
Negative: Staying up wayyy too late

Positive: Finally meeting some relatives that I've known for over 30 years
Negative: I've become almost too social lately...hard to focus on work!

Positive: Car Pool line!!
Negative: A very short quiet work day (wait a minute...?)

Positive: Extremely flexible working hours
Negative: Work time doesn't seem to stop

Positive: Helping others start their own home-based business, and seeing it grow
Negative: People don't realize it's an actual JOB

Overall, I have to admit this has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I do miss the corporate world, but I miss my children and husband much less now. : )

Can't wait for the summer! Pool time every day!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Basics of Aromatherapy

Wow - learned some new information today on aromatherapy. I knew there was a logic behind the different scents, and certain ones definitely help with moods...but this seems to make a lot of sense, especially in regards to one of my all-time favorites - sea salt scrubs:

The word “aromatherapie” was first used by a French biochemist in the 1930s. He is believed to have burned his arm during a lab experiment. After the accident, he rushed to soak his arm in the closest available cold liquid, which turned out to be a tub of lavender oil. Not only did the scientist gain relief, he then studied aromatherapy for the remainder of his career. Who knew?

Before my wedding, I was first introduced to a sea salt scrub...heavenly. All of the dead surface cells are sloughed away revealing brighter, healthier-looking skin. On my actual wedding day morning, I had a professional sea salt scrub, and my skin was so soft and pretty that day. I've been using a scrub at home ever since, and the ingredient list below helps me understand why it makes me feel so alive. Go figure! These are things to look for in your own scrubs/aromatherapy:

Lemon for vitality, toning and freshness.

Coriander leaves you feeling joyful and happy.
Kukui oil is a rich emollient that soothes and softens skin.
In addition to its natural antiseptic and anti-irritant properties, birch oil is generally used to tone the skin and promote circulation.

And besides being a great snack, did you know that sunflower seeds produce sunflower oil, which is the vegetable oil that is highest in vitamin E? Naturally high in essential fatty acids, sunflower oil moisturizes and conditions the skin.

Feeling softer already...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Up for Skincare, Down for Foundation

Here's a quick rule-of-thumb I learned while researching skincare and makeup, and I find it works quite well:

When washing your face or applying skincare products (toner, moisturizer), always wash or rub in an upwards motion. This helps cleanse the pores and apply product INTO the skin.

When applying foundation or powder, rub in a downwards motion - for two reasons: (1) the cells on the skin are like a roof, and you want them as flat as possible, and (2) you want to make the little tiny hairs on your face as UNnoticeable as possible, and this does the trick.

So, UP for washing and moisturizing, DOWN for makeup.
Whala - beautiful!

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Vogue!!

This is so exciting...the new cosmetics line that was just launched by the company I'm a consultant for is in VOGUE!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What I've Learned about Eyebrows

Over the past several months of helping women transform their look with simple makeup tricks, the most powerful (and unexpected) lesson I've learned is that eyebrows can completely change the look of your face...they can "open" your eyes and draw attention in an amazing way. But most of us skip this quick and easy step in our makeup routine.

My experience of late has been that many women have their eyebrows waxed or tweezed, but the work stops at that point. Here are a few brief tips on getting the most from your brows:

1. Select an eyebrow pencil a few shades lighter than your hair color (or light brown for blondes) fact, it seems that very light brown is quite flattering on most brows.

2. Using short motions, fill in your brow going against the hairs (make the strokes go towards the center of the forehead/bridge of nose...not towards the temples).

3. Brush brows in the opposite direction to smooth them, and hold them in place with an eyebrow gel or wax (or hair gel in a pinch).

Whala! You have framed your eyes and drawn attention to one of your most beautiful assets.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Quick & Easy Smokey Eye

There are many different ways to achieve the "smokey" eye is one that is very quick, and quite beautiful:

1. Line your eye with black eyeliner all around (a little goes a long way, so a thin line is perfect).

2. Using an eyeshadow brush, apply titanium (shimmery dark gray) shadow on your lid - up to and including the crease (use a lighter hand on the crease). Be sure to only sweep the shadow in one direction to avoid getting shadow in your eye.

Using a slanted brush, apply the shadow under the eye, as close as possible to the lash line.

3. Use a light pearl color in the inner corner of the eye (again, using a shadow brush).

4. On the outer corner of the lid and lash line, apply black eye shadow to add some drama.

5. Mascara - apply black only - use a "back-and-forth" motion at the root of the lashes, then sweep upwards. This will help frame the eye.

The biggest issue I see with doing a smokey eye is fear of dark long as you are using a brush (and not a sponge applicator) for the blending, it will look great. Blend, blend, blend...and if you feel it is too dark, soften it with a light pink on top of the dark color. You will look gorgeous!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Family Exercise Time
Over and over again, I hear how busy moms (and dads) are – and how difficult it is to try to fit in some time to exercise. It occurred to me that there IS time. . .you just need to see it. Here are three opportunities our peer group has identified:

First, if your child(ren) is(are) on the after-school-activity circuit…soccer, t-ball, baseball, dance class, etc…you may constantly be on the road. “I feel like all I am is a taxi cab” seems to be a common comment. I say, “That’s perfect! What a great opportunity to exercise yourself!”

If you have an hour with nothing to do but wait for your child’s activity to be over…DO SOMETHING WITH IT. Our children go to Tumblebus once a week – which is a great program that builds self-confidence and enhances physical and motor development in children. It’s a gym on wheels with bars, beam, vault, ropes, rings, zip line and monkey bars inside (for children ages 2-10; for more information call 985-725-0143 or email

During that hour, parents must stay on site – so, a few of us decided to jog around the parking lot and up the local street. We’ve turned an hour of sitting in our cars doing nothing into a 30-minute cardio session followed by a round of push-ups. Kids exercise; moms exercise.

Another great “family time” option is just going for a walk around your neighborhood. Bring the dog, have the kids ride a bike, skip, jump rope, bounce a ball, tell a story about every green thing they see…whatever it takes, just walk out the front door.

The last idea came from a former colleague of mine who moved to New Orleans from up North. He was so excited to have a swimming pool he could use most days of the year. Every night after work and school, he and his daughters would hop in the pool for 30-45 minutes of swimming time. He would do laps while they played and talked. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool – go for it! Make it a habit and embrace these hot summers with a cold splash.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Liquid Eyeliner - Not So Scary

Liquid liner is a mystery to some of us...difficult to apply - and especially hard to make a straight line while your hand is moving and your eye is blinking.

Here are some tricks to make your liquid liner look beautiful - without the anxiety.

1. Always use black liquid liner - and find one with a brush that doesn't have a lot of "give" - you want to have control over the brush (ie, not a floppy brush).

2. Only apply liquid liner to the upper lashes/lid - apply black EYE SHADOW POWDER on the bottom lash area if you choose (with a slant brush), but only on the outer edges.

3. For the most "finished" look, you want to have a 3-step process. It sounds like it would take too long, but once you've practiced a few times - you can do both eyes in 60-seconds.

First, apply a black pencil eyeliner to the outer half of the upper lid.

Then, go over the entire upper lid lash line with a black eye shadow powder (using a slanted brush).

Lastly, apply your liquid liner on top of the shadow - again, only on the outer half.

With this technique, the shadow masks any imperfections in the line drawn - but still gives you the beautiful liquid liner end product. Perfect!

If you'd like for me to show you this in person (if you're local - New Orleans and surrounding areas), I'm happy to - just give me a call! : )

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bronzer: Many Uses

Summer is on its way, and many people start to think about that "sun-kissed" glow. Bronzers are an excellent way to achieve the tanned look without the harmful rays. Here are some how-to's:

To add WARMTH to your complexion -
Use a powder bronzer - they are much easier to control, and go on smoother (no blotchiness).

Apply with a large, soft makeup brush (some call them kabuki brushes), and apply bronzer to the areas the sun would touch -
*bridge of nose
*top of cheeks
*middle of chin

Be sure to blow off extra bronzer from the brush before applying to face so you don't get too much bronzer in one spot.

Also, don't forget your blush - bronzer is not a replacement for blush...together, they are a beautiful combination.

Not only can you get the perfect sun-kissed look, but you can also apply perfect CONTOURS using a bronzer. Most bronzers have too much terracotta or too much frost, which will totally reverse the effect of a contour or the sun-kissed look. Make sure your bronzer isn't shimmery.

When using a bronzer for contouring, your best bet is to use a fan brush, or hold your blush brush between your fingers to "fan" it out. Here are some contouring spots:
*below your cheekbone
*on your temples
*under your jawline (helps separate the jaw from the neck)

These tips are very quick uses of a bronzer...only use it to enhance (not change the color of) what you've already got...your natural beauty!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Protein Shakes

As part of my overall post-Superbowl, Mardi Gras, Easter, etc., etc., diet overhaul - I have been enjoying mixing and matching different protein shakes and fruits to see what tastes good and helps me feel full. WOW! This morning's shake wins:

Berry and Banana Fruit Smoothie (my new FAVORITE – YUM)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 – 1/2 banana
Add berries to taste (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
Water / Skim Milk

Here are some others that are delicious as well:
Chocolate Almond Shake
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 T almond butter

Chocolate Strawberry Shake
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 scoop fiber booster
Handful of fresh strawberries

Lessons learned and Helpful Hints:
Using a Magic Bullet makes this soooo easy.
Freeze fresh fruits for future use.
Try adding fresh spinach to shakes (you can’t taste it!).
Make sure to find a protein powder without a lot of sugar...and keeps you full!

Have your own recipes? Would love to hear them!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to Use a Primer

You may have noticed the popularity of primers recently…with good reason – their purpose is to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles (especially effective around the mouth) and pores, and to smooth the skin. They are very helpful with facial scars as well (sunken scars will be filled with the primer, creating an illusion of smoothness). The result is a velvety finish to the skin.

You would use a primer before applying foundation. When applying a primer, use a cosmetic wedge to evenly distribute the product. Start in the T-Zone and work your way across the forehead, down the nose, across the cheeks and on to the chin. Apply over the eyelids and across the lips as well, for added life to eye shadows and lipsticks. Being a little generous as you apply the primer around the eyes and over any frown or laugh lines will help soften unwanted lines and smooth the entire canvas.

When selecting a primer for your cosmetic bag, test the product first on the back of your hand – a good primer should deliver a velvety finish while creating the illusion of smoother skin. In addition, see if the primer gives a matte look to your skin. Primers create a barrier between your skin and the foundation, allowing the true tone of the foundation to be seen. If an oily complexion is your challenge, a primer also helps reduce oil throughout the day. Again, applying the primer with a cosmetic wedge assures that excess oil from the fingers and bacteria accumulated from under the nail will never be added to your canvas!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kids and Veggies 101

[originally posted on]
Some of my friends are blessed with children who love to eat fruits and vegetables. I always watch in astonishment while we are at City Park or the Zoo and the children gladly eat an orange or some broccoli. They pull out their little bag of apple slices and munch away. Not my children…no, they are on a constant search for the “man in the wagon with the sticky candy” – yes, Roman candy/taffy is their snack of choice.

Sure, when they were toddlers it was no problem. They didn’t know any other way of eating, but then reality kicked in – pizza at birthday parties! Chicken nuggets with Grandma! Meanwhile, I’m buying organic fruits at the local farmer’s market, serving vegetables with every dinner – and watching the look of horror on my 5-year-old twins’ faces as they realize the cauliflower is actually TOUCHING the wheat pasta on their plate!

I finally bought the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.

I struggled with deceiving the children just to get nutritious food in their bellies. The premise of the cookbook is to use purees that are added to regular meals…thereby hiding the beets, prunes, carrots, zucchini, etc. in the French Toast, spaghetti or muffins.

We have tried several recipes – and finally hit a home run! We enjoyed shopping at the German Coast Farmers Market in Destrehan this past weekend, and decided to put our vegetables to good use. Unbelievably, this recipe was a favorite for the entire family – I hope it is for your family, too.

Meatball Soup
3 oz. bow tie whole wheat pasta (or more, if pasta is a favorite)
Cooking spray
1 T. Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2 t. salt
3 c. reduced-fat, low sodium chicken broth

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When pot is hot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened but not browned. Puree tomatoes and their juice with the carrot puree in a food processor. Add tomatoes to the pot along with the purees and broth. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

3 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ c. sweet potato puree
¼ c. skim milk
2 T. grated Parmesan
¼ t. pepper
¼ t. paprika
½ pound lean ground turkey

Put the bread in a large bowl – add the egg, sweet potato puree, milk, parmesan, 1 t. salt, pepper and paprika. Let soak until the bread is very soft. Stir to break up the bread, add the turkey, mix until smooth. Form into mini-meatballs ½ inch in diameter.

Add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink (12-15 minutes). Stir in the pasta…sprinkle with parmesan – and finally! A dinner the whole family can enjoy.

This recipe is one of many delicious recipes in the Deceptively Delicious Cookbook – as you can see the recipes are not complicated. You can find it on Amazon,.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

To Detox or Not to Detox?

[orignally posted on]
Have you ever done a Detox before? Have you been thinking about doing a Detox? The other question to ask yourself is: what’s driving you to detox – quick weight loss? Kick-starting a new diet? Are you feeling sluggish? Do you get sick all the time? Have you finally had one too many Po-Boys, fried food and Daiquiris so you want to try and reset your body?

Our body’s main detoxification organs and systems are liver, colon, kidneys, gallbladder, lungs, skin, lymph, and blood. They help rid your body of wastes and toxins. However, our bodily functions were designed when the world were less polluted. Our detoxification organs get overloaded & we need to help ourselves push the “reset” button. In our lifetime, our bodies will process 100 tons of food… that’s 20 elephants! A detox can help you “reset.”

We also live in a world with much more toxins and pollution, our body organs and systems have to work a lot harder to rid the exponentially increased waste and toxins.

Detoxification is a “cleansing” of the body – to release toxins – and depending on the method behind the detox, results vary. Methodologies vary widely – from juice fasts to supplements to only raw foods or fruits. Some encourage chewing; some do not (to “rest” the gastrointestinal tract”).

What Is a Toxin?
Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors.

A toxin can create an irritating or harmful effect on your body; it becomes toxic when your body cannot effectively eliminate this toxin.

You may be surprised at the toxins we are in contact with every day – pollutants, smoke, pesticides, fertilizer, plastics, petrochemicals, and even pool water. We also are not fully informed of the toxins that exist in the process (chemically altered) food we eat. These affect all of us!

We all experience external and internal toxins through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the things we touch, the food we eat – not to mention the stress we experience. Over time, toxins can build up and overwhelm the body, weakening the immune system and leading to:

Poor Digestion
Skin Breakouts
Weight Gain
Premature Aging
Note: Children, pregnant or nursing mothers and the elderly should not participate in detoxification programs. There are many detoxing systems and programs out there – it’s always recommended to consult with a physician before doing a detox.

Cons of Detoxing:
Some extreme detoxes cause people to lose weight too quickly, and once the detox is over, the weight returns immediately.

Others lack essential nutrients, and can cause the loss of electrolytes and poor nutrition. Some side effects may include fatigue, headaches, vomiting, or nausea.

Death, possibly from detoxification triggering a heart attack, has been reported for some undergoing intensive detoxification programs. Those fatalities were linked to previous health conditions such as drug abuse and undetected heart problems so it is important to understand that these types of programs should not be taken lightly.

Pros of Detoxing:
Detoxification supports the body’s natural ability to cleanse and restore itself

Improve your immune functions

Scavenge free radicals and eliminate toxins

Strengthen body’s fight against cancer cells and generate healthy cells in your body

Increase energy and Focus

Cleanse mucous, congestion, fermentation, inflammation in our digestive tract

Improving circulation and purification of your blood

Reform your lifestyle addictions for sugar, salt, high glycemic carbohydrates, alcohol, junk foods, nicotine, etc

Doing a Detox once a year or every other year – can enhance the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and create a better relationship between you and your body – raising your awareness of what you put into your body and what you come into contact with everyday.

Choosing to Detox
When and if you choose to detox, strive to find a plan that will increase elimination from the body, cleanse the colon, enhance circulation to clear toxic substances, yet still provide nutrients to support and protect the liver, the main organ involved in detoxification.

Do your research and pick a program that you know you will be able to follow and that has provided positive results for other people.

Don’t choose a detox created for weight loss. Weight loss is NOT the point of a detox. Resetting your body and removing toxins from your body is the point of a detox.