Friday, July 31, 2009
By now we're all aware of the dreaded "Mom" jeans, but I've realized lately that bad jeans are not just limited to moms. Dads, too, it seems, can succumb to the same loss of personal style that happens to moms once they become parents. Only it seems like it takes the men a lot longer to recover! Sure, they have plenty of suits or clothes for the office, but what about their weekend wear? Are they still wearing those same acid-washed, pleated jeans from the 80's? Please, say it ain't so!
With a few tips from Adam Rapoport from GQ Magazine dads can regain their style with a hip and stylish pair of jeans. Here's what to look for:
1/ Go for a straight leg jean. Men don't have hips to balance out so they don't really need the bootcut - unless they are bootwearin' dudes.
2/ Opt for darker denim for a chic and contemporary look that can go from office to evening.
3/ Guys, skip the low rise and wear your jeans at your waist for the most flattering look.
4/ Fake whiskers, acid wash and pleats are a thing of the past and will make you look so five minutes (or 20 years) ago. And that's not referring to your age.
So dads, ditch your old, unflattering jeans and grab a pair that's going to make you look like hot stuff! You don't have to spend a bundle. Go to your nearest department store and grab a pair of Levi's, head to the Gap or venture into a boutique for some Chip and Pepper, Seven for all Mankind or Rock and Republic's, if you really want to go all out. A great fitting pair of jeans is something you'll find yourself wearing time after time.
My son Dylan is 2 (he turns 3 in October and loves to tell everyone he meets) so he thrives on learning to do things himself. Whether it's something simple or something more complicated or dangerous (like cutting a watermelon) he at least wants to have his hand on my hand when doing something so he can feel like he's a part of the process.
We received a Tag Junior Book Pal ($34.99) to review and Dylan loves it! He can hold the book pal all by himself and place it on different pictures in the book. The book pal doesn't so much read to him as it does provide pieces to the story. If he holds it on the baby elephant getting a bath he'll hear watersounds and the elephant talking. His favorite noises are the jungle sounds and we both love listening to them before bedtime, multiple times. Made to satisfy preschoolers' curiosity by offering different sounds, questions and explanations, the Tag Junior Book Pal is highly recommended. It comes with just one book but there are multiple titles available including one of my son's current faves, "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?". This is perfect to encourage kids to read on their own as well as for trips in the car, to satisfy a preschooler's interest in books, and helps to empower your little ones to feel like they're doing something all by themselves.
Recommended for ages 24 mos. - 4 years
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This spring and summer the maxi dress has been that ubiquitous item that so many women have embraced and come to love. And with good reason. Maxi dresses are versatile, chic and most of all, comfortable. They look just as great for daytime as for evening. But now that fall is right around the corner you may be wondering if you'll have to stash them away until next year. The good news is that many maxi dresses can be taken out of their element and given a makeover that will make them your go-to item once the weather turns chilly. Here are a few suggestions for turning your summer essential into your fall fave:
1/ Dress up your neutral maxi dress with a pop of color. Choose a rich, earthy hue that's so perfect for fall to give your look an update.
2/ Don a jacket or cardigan but keep it short and sweet. The key is to go short (jacket) over long (dress), especially if you're on the shorter side. If your jacket extends below your waist, belt it to keep from losing your waist and to create some definition.
3/ Swap out your flip flops or thongs for a pair of suede wedges or boots. Keep heel height to a minimum to keep from getting it caught in your hem.
4/ Go for chunky statement jewelry to bring your maxi right into fall. Add a big handbag, wrap a scarf around your neck and you'll look tres chic!
5/ While many maxi dresses easily transition into fall, it's best to save the tissue thin, gauzy dresses for the height of summer. Also, anything with a tropical print, in pastel colors or smacking of summer should be tucked away for next summer. With so many sales on maxi dresses right now it's a great time to invest in one. If you haven't yet jumped on the maxi dress bandwagon, find out how to buy the best maxi dress for your shape here - then stock up!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
You've been invited to a big outdoor party and have been planning your outfit for weeks. You found the perfect shoes to go with a dress you already had in your closet. But wait - the shoes are 3" heels. We all know that heels and the great outdoors do not mix well, especially if it's just rained. You'll be sinking into the ground all evening. But the shoes look so perfect with the dress!
Don't despair - just pick up a pair of SoleMates High Heeler ($9.95) heel covers and you'll breeze right through the event. Available in both clear and black, SoleMates simply slip right onto most stiletto and kitten heels to help keep you from sinking into the grass, or even cracks in the sidewalk! Engineered to fit snugly on your heel without damaging your shoes, guaranteeing your outfit to be a shoe in for the evening!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
With all the joys there are of parenting, there's one little side effect that many of us may not be too happy about: decreased intimacy. It's not all surprising - after all, you're sleep deprived, over-worked and have precious little time to yourselves. But wait! Don't throw in the towel just yet! Make the most of those precious few minutes for an experience you'll both enjoy.
Oh, but you're just not in the mood. You're wearing your frumpy sweat pants, your t-shirt is stained with spit up and you just don't feel sexy. No worries - just get rid of your outfit and put on something fabulous (if you have time) or just get rid of your clothing altogether. Pop open a little K-Y Intense and, whoa mama, look out! No matter what kind of day you've had K-Y Intense will take your mind off of it to help stimulate arousal and get you in the mood in no time. Use with a little lubrication, if needed, and get ready for some hot summer nights!
We're giving away samples of K-Y Intense to five (5) winners. To enter send us your email and tell us why you'd like one of these (but please, save the graphic details for the bedroom). Deadline is midnight, EST, August 2, 2009.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Have you ever curled your lashes? Years ago it was a popular thing to do, and recently it's come back into popularity. And with good reason: curling your eyelashes helps mascara go on easier easier, your lashes look fuller and your eyes look bigger.
Here's how to do it:
1/ Using an eyelash comb or a clean mascara spoolie, comb your eyelashes smooth.
2/ Open the eyelash curler and fit your upper eyelashes between the pads. You want to get as close to the base of your lashes as you can without pinching your skin. You can find eyelash curlers at your local drug or super store, or try this one from Shu Uemura ($19). It received a "Best of Sephora" designation.
3/ Gently and slowly close the pads around your lashes and squeeze the curler for a few seconds. Don't squeeze too hard or for too long or you'll get a sharp dent in your lashes. If this happens you can squeeze your lashes in between your thumb and your forefinger – the heat from your skin will soften the curl. Also, you can angle the curler so the bottom moves away from your face. This creates a more pronounced curl.
4/ Move the curler along your lashes gradually, squeezing as you go. You want a soft, gradual curl. Comb through your lashes again before you apply mascara.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
With a growing trend toward healthy eating and a focus on organic and local ingredients, we all need a little indulgence now and again. So when I heard about Sarah Magid's new book, Organic and Chic: Cakes, Cookies and Other Sweets that Taste as Good as They Look, chock full of decadent recipes made with healthful and organic ingredients I was delighted! See, Sarah puts her own fresh and healthy spin on some old favorites from our childhood, and turns them into a treat that's not going to leave us feeling guilty for all the no-no's we've consumed. With a whole section dedicated to Reformed Junk Food, Sarah fulfills our Ring-a-ding or Snowball craving with something equally (if not more) delicious that we can feed our families and feel good about. But Sarah does so much more than give our junk food faves a makeover. She is an artist in her own right. After years working in the fashion industry for Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew and Henri Bendel, Sarah has a talented and trained eye for all things lovely, and nowhere is this more apparent than in her unique approach to cake decorating. Sarah Magid is an artisan baker in NYC who whips up lovely, organic cakes that taste as good as they look. She gives us tips on decorating as well as hints to change flavors, substitute ingredients or things to help in a pinch. With cakes that look as if they were created by a fashion designer, Organic and Chic brings an organic touch to baked goods that are simple enough for us to do at home, and enticing enough to lure us into the kitchen on a regular basis.
One reader will win a copy of Sarah Magid's Organic and Chic. To enter tell us what your favorite sweet indulgence is. Don't forget to include your email. Deadline is Midnight, EST, July 31, 2009.
Editor's Note: Congratulations to Erma H., our winner!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
To me there is just something so captivating about anything that has been silkscreened by hand. I guess with my background in design I have a real eye for anything that smacks of handmade, and any little imperfections just make it all the more special. Today I happened to stumble upon the designs of independent apparel and accessories designer, Jes Switaj, and was instantly smitten with her work. I especially love this cool bicycle silk tie ($25 - $30) that comes as either a child's necktie or a skinny tie for cool hipster dads. I know my little guy would look so adorable in this, and with wheels he could wear he'd be all over it! With other great designs such as beetles, skeletons or sharks you'll love Jes Switaj's handcrafted sensibility and keen eye for clever design.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Just like you, your clothing has a past. Do you know what it is? Perhaps your white jeans looked tres chic at that barbecue last spring when paired with your teal tank and a pair of red flats. Or when the weather turned chilly you pulled on a pair of black tights with your ruffly chiffon floral dress and your strappy gladiators to create a fabulous outfit. Sometimes great outfits come together at the last minute and you create a look that you just love! Wouldn't it be great if you could remember it?
Now you can! With wearing history tags ($17.50/pack) from Closetry you can list what you paired with what and keep a record of it. No more guessing what goes with what, these are a great way to document your outfits both for memory and also to ensure you don't duplicate outfits to your special events. You wouldn't want to show up at your husband's office party wearing the same dress as last year would you? Keeping a record of what you wear will help keep you organized.
Monday, July 20, 2009
We all know that the key to a happy life is frequent treats, right? Apparently Starbucks understands this so they're doing two things to help make it a little easier to indulge.
First of all, Starbucks has revamped and revised it's recipes so there's less to feel guilty about when indulging in a piece of coffee cake or a muffin. They've gotten rid of any nasty trans-fats, high-fructose corn syrup or other yucky additives and now use wholesome ingredients that make a mama proud.
To promote their healthful efforts they are giving away a free pastry on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 from opening until 10:30 am, or until pastries are gone. Just click for a coupon and present it when you're making your daily coffee run. Click here if you want to go paperless and show the barista your coupon via cell phone.
So, now you only have to decide what it'll be...banana bread, low-fat cinnamon coffee cake or another yummy treat to help keep you (and the kids) happy and wholesome. That's something a mother can really love!
Zina has spent her life surrounded by jewelery. Her father, a Polish immigrant, operated a jewelry factory in New York, but instead of working at the family business Zina chose a different path - for a time. After traveling around the world Zina realized her true calling was in jewelry and began a career path all her own. Bringing her artistic instincts and chic design sensibility to handcrafted jewelry was something that came naturally to Zina. "Women want everyday items for work and dinner," she explains. "Jewelry you can purchase for yourself that tells the world how you want to be interpreted."
For 25 years Zina has been creating handcrafted jewelry in sterling silver that expresses her unique sensibilities. After enjoying a loyal following in Beverly Hills, Zina now brings her unique style to the web, available for all women to enjoy. Visit her website and register and you'll be sent a little surprise gift, free of charge.
We're giving one winner a Swirl Ends Bracelet ($125 value), a stylish woven bracelet in handmade wheat link. Beautifully accented by Zina's signature swirl design and a sporty toggle clasp and oxidized for extra excitement. This bracelet would bring an updated elegance to your jeans and a tee shirt, or add a touch of modern glamour to a dressier outfit. To enter, simply tell us what your favorite design from Zina Beverly Hills is, and don't forget your email address. Deadline is Midnight, EST, July 30, 2009.
* The winner of the Swirl Ends Bracelet is Diane B. Congratulations, Diane!
Why put multiple layers on your face when you could wear just one? All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen ($44) from mdSkincare combines three products to give you more bang for your buck and get you out the door in seconds flat. This tinted moisturizer softens and hydrates skin while it protects it from the sun with an SPF of 15. The sheer coverage evens out your skintone and keeps your complexion looking great with a lightweight, flawless finish that’s perfect this time of year.
Just had a baby but feel that your tummy isn’t budging? Whip it into shape with the Bamboo Belly Bandit, an abdominal compression binder that helps to tighten and shrink your post-partum belly ($65.95). Designed to help reduce uncomfortable uterine swelling, the Bamboo Belly Bandit helps to alleviate bloating and offers support for a new mama’s back and legs. Crafted from – you guessed it – breathable, antibacterial and sustainable bamboo fibers, the Bamboo Belly Bandit is perfect for moms who have had natural births as well as C-sections. You'll be back to your svelte self in no time!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
When traveling it can be a challenge trying to limit how many shoes you take along. I know while packing for my current vacation to Lakeside, OH, I tried to keep things as streamlined as possible but ended up bringing no fewer than 5 pairs of shoes with me. But guess what! I've been wearing the same pair of shoes everyday! If I had been smart and brought some Maggiez interchangable shoes with me then I could wear the same pair day after day while changing the look to coordinate with my outfit.
Designed to give you limitless options Maggiez come in quite a few thong-style sandals and allow you to swap out the straps and adorn them with a fun button. But there is more to these chic shoes than meets the eye. More than just a throwback to the interchangable watchbands popular in the 80's, Maggiez come in a variety of styles and colors to suit your many moods and occasions (even dressy ones!). Because it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind - now your shoes can follow suit!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We're having a fabulous time on our vacation in Lakeside, Ohio. After what seemed like an eternal 12-hour car trip, we arrived on Saturday. We have been settling in nicely in our two-story bungalow on Cedar Street. Everyone here is so nice and this has to be one of the most family-friendly places I've visited. We're traveling with several generations (my family of 4, my brother-in-law and my husband's parents who are in their 70's) and there is plenty to do here for everyone. We love that we can walk/scoot/ride bikes downtown. I got up early yesterday for a yoga class and tonight we'll all go to see Circo Comedia, a performance free and open to all Lakeside guests that features comedy and acrobatics. We're right on Lake Erie and have a lovely view of Put-In Bay and more. This is a great area for families and has many tourist attractions, activities and more within an hour's drive. I'll give you all the deets when I return. Hope you're having a wonderful week!
Wish You Were Here!
please click here
I used to have no problem getting my two-year old son, Dylan, to hop in the bathtub after a long, dirty day. But lately he has bristled at the mention of the word bath. I'm not sure why he's adverse to getting clean because when he's finished he always feels great! So I was excited to offer him a pack of Washy Squashy Modeling Soap ($12) as a little enticement. Fortunately he took the bait and begged me for his next bath.
Dylan loves making things with his hands and smooshing, molding and playing with anything that resembles clay. Washy Squashy Modeling Soap is perfect because it's soap that can be molded and modeled when it gets wet. It comes in a rainbow colored 6-pack. But the best part is that it's more than just a toy - it's real soap that really will get the kids clean. Made with pure ingredients it's created by Sandy Maine of Sunfeather Natural Soap Company, which began as a small soap-making company, and has evolved into an all-natural, socially responsible collection of bath and body products including lip balms, lotions, bar soaps, shampoo and men’s items and more.
* Try their line of Bug Off, products formulated to naturally repel pesky insects and safe for the kids.
Friday, July 10, 2009
nekFIT, a Creative Labs Vado in pink, one pair of Earth Footwear, Baby Banz $65 gift certificate, We Are Girls Who Like to Run childrens book, Joggermom $50 gift certificate, pair of Puma col sox, one EA Sports Active, ChaLEAN Extreme set11 and new Releases: Turbo Kick FAN AND Hip Hop Hustle FAN. Whew! That sure would keep me motivated! But aside from all the fabulous prizes, she'll have the fans of Bookieboo cheering her on and offering moral support. So if you've got some weight to lose log on to Twitter and do it in style!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Lyss Stern is one chic mama! Not only is the the gorgeous mother of two fabulous little boys (Oliver, 2 and Jackson, 5), she's the driving force behind the website Divalysscious Moms, the most coveted mommy database in NYC with more than 125,000 names on her mailing list. But she doesn't stop there. This past April her book, IF YOU GIVE A MOM A MARTINI…100 ways to find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself, co-authored with Julie Klappas, debuted and is filled with ingenious tips from high-profile mothers from around the country on how to relax in just 10 minutes. Lyss is also the proud owner of a terrific sense of style and a wicked sense of humor. We caught up with her to see how she does it all, and looks fabulous to boot!
OCM: You clearly are a creative spirit with not only a family but a very full plate. What's your secret to keeping a little balance in your life?
LS: As the owner of Divalysscious Moms and the mother of two young sons I am frequently asked how I balance motherhood with owning my own business. The key ingredient for running a business and being the mother of children under the age of 5 is organization. While every working woman has her own recipe for success, here is my "Mommy Entrepreneur Recipe For Organization.”
1. Your Children Come First. That means that any email and phone call can and will come after the children are happy and settled in. With today's technology, it seems that everything is urgent; however your children's well-being comes first. Most importantly, your children need to feel secure.
2. Prioritize. Make sure that your work can be done early in the morning before the children wake up. Yes, that means sometimes waking up at 4:30am to finish work (of course you'll need a large cup of coffee!)
3. Have a routine. Having breakfast with the children and taking my older son to school in the morning are crucial aspects of my daily life. Dinner, bath time, and bedtime are also extremely important for my children and for me. I try my best to put down the Blackberry and eat with the children, bathe them, read to them, and spend quality time with them before bed.
4. Have a “Mommy Time Out”. Moms that run their own businesses also need to take a few minutes out of their busy day for themselves. I have a strong philosophy that if mom isn't happy then the children won't be happy. Take ten minutes to meditate, look through a magazine, or even take ten minutes to phone a friend. This time will rejuvenate you and allow you a much needed break.
5. Delegate. Always remember that being a mom and a business owner gives you the right to delegate the work. This means surrounding yourself with a great support team comprised of positive people who have high energy. Make sure these are people that you can trust and people that can help you. It's always better to ask, then to be completely overwhelmed.
OCM: Your book "If You Give a Mom a Martini..." is full of clever ways for us moms to carve a few minutes out of our days just for ourselves. But how to you carve out time for beauty?
LS: I must admit I do make time for my beauty routine. Once a week I go to my hairdresser Eugene - we're so close that I call him my "brother". While I am getting my hair blown out I also get a manicure while I am in the chair. To me it's all about doing everything you can at once and maximize the time you have. If I need to get my eyebrows done then I'll also make sure that I do my errands in that part of the city that morning. Again all about saving time.
OCM: What does your morning beauty routine look like?
LS: It's fun being the only "girl" in my house. I think my boys look at me like I am an alien from outerspace in the mornings. My daily morning beauty routine is quite fun. After I take a shower, I put in my rollers and make the boys breakfast, they love waffles with oranges. Then I usually do my makeup, 123 ( a little blush, mascara and lipgloss) while the boys are watching Noggin. Then it's off to take the boys to school, and I am off to work.
OCM: As the the Lifestyle Correspondent for Cookie Magazine you have access to all the best new products, trends and styles. What are your favorite beauty products and fashion trends at the moment?
LS: A dear friend just introduced me to Dr. Brandt's products and I am addicted to them. I also love my Crème de la Mer and Rodin Olio oil for night. Fashion trend - that's a hard one - I definitely love this Bohemian Chic trend thats going on. I am loving my Prada Butterfly sunglasses and, of course, my Havianas flip flops for every day.
OCM: Can you give us your best tips to keep busy moms looking chic?
LS: Busy moms everywhere take note. Just because you're a mom does not mean that you should not be chic. In fact, now that you're a busy mom this is the time to look and feel the best that you can be from the inside out. A Divalysscious Mom is a woman who feels even sexier, stronger and more gorgeous AFTER she has a baby; a woman who understands that loving your child doesn’t mean losing yourself, and that being a mom is the most fabulous time of your life.
OCM: Anything else you'd like to share with us?
LS: I Love telling how Divalysscious Moms, the name for my company, came to be. The name started with the word delicious. A friend used it to describe something I did and it just clicked. Delicious + Lyss. Then when I was thinking about what I wanted to do for moms, I realized that planning for them was not simply about giving them something to do but is about making moms realize how amazing they are. Like they are stars, celebrities, divas, and Divalysscious Moms wants to make moms feel special.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Ever lost your favorite pair of earrings when you took them off at the pool, or while having your hair done? Store them in a Gemvelope ($25 - $45) and you’ll know exactly where you put them! Gemvelopes are cute little fabric envelopes designed to stash your jewelry whether you’re having your nails done, going swimming or packing for vacation. Designed with a special cushion for stud earrings, a strap for rings and necklaces and a pocket for bracelets, there’s a place for everything. Gemvelope's compact size allows you to keep one in your purse for convenience, or tuck several into your suitcase for your next trip.
Monday, July 06, 2009
You haven't worn this watch since 1997 but hey, it still works. You loved your white water rafting vacation last summer, why not hold onto the brochure to remember all the good times? You put so much energy into researching and purchasing your new digital camera, how could you possibly think about recycling the box?
As soon as we make an emotional connection to these kind of items or even experience a little memory relating to it, they instantly embody all the qualities you once enjoyed and their current uselessness is easily overlooked.
To ensure you don't confuse your treasures with fool's gold, ask yourself the following question: What's more important to me right now, keeping this item or simplifying my environment and creating some new space? Go ahead… let it go.
* Pick up this month's InStyle magazine with Michelle Pfeiffer on the cover. Turn to pages 174 and 176 to learn tips to organize your photos, edit your snap-shots and then show them off with contributing ideas and tips from the Spacialist!
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Today is going to be like Friday for many of us, with tomorrow being an unofficial holiday in preparation for July 4th on Saturday. What do you have planned? Something fun, I hope. I'll be heading to the beach later today to spend a long weekend with my family at our getaway in Pawley's Island, SC. We've been going there for years and really do love it. It's close enough to everything to feel civilized, yet far enough from the strip to feel like a getaway. We love to get crab cakes from the Crab Lady Co. (she catches the crabs herself!) and fry them up at home, take in the scenery of Brookgreen Gardens and just soak in the sound of the waves on the beach while the kids build sand castles.
To celebrate Indepedence Day whatever you have planned you can show your colors with stars and stripes. It's cute for the little ones to wear red, white and blue clothing emblazoned with flags and other motifs, but if you're looking for a more sophisticated way to wear it I have some great suggestions.
Try topping off a blue dress with a white sweater, short-sleeved cardigan or even a belt. Add a pair of red platforms or sandals for a pretty summer look that shows your patriotism.
Top classic American blue denim shorts with a red and white striped top. Team with a cute pair of wedges and some pretty gold star earrings.
Pull on a blue and white top with a red skirt for a chic take on our nation's colors.
Add a red and white bag, scarf or necklace and you've got a look perfect for the 4th of July.
If you need a soundtrack for your get-together or to listen to while watching fireworks, here are a few suggestions:
“4th of July,” by the Beach Boys
“Sparkler,” by Fivecrown
“Burnt by the Sun,” by David Byrne
“Fireworks,” by Plain White Ts
“Long Weekend,” by Rubyhorse
“Popsicle,” by Talking Heads
“Freedom,” by Akon
“Red, White and Blue,” by Robert Plant
“Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer,” by Nat King Cole
“Traffic,” by Stero MCs
“4th of July,” by X
Playlist courtesy of mSpot.com.
Have a happy and safe weekend!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Along with warmer weather comes lighter and more revealing clothing, but you don’t have to sacrifice modesty for the sake of cooling off. Keep your headlights under cover with Boob-eez reusable headlight concealers that'll set you back just $12 - $15. Made from a durable silicon material backed by a washable adhesive, Boob-eez allow for multiple uses and easy care without straps, adhesive or elastic. Wear Boob-eez with or without a bra. Their super thin edge makes them virtually undetectable under workout wear, clothing or swimwear.
Have you ever tried to jam an inch or two of paper into a manila folder, only to find that the papers peak up so high they block the title that you just wrote on the tab?
If so, this Space Treat is for you!
Maybe you've noticed, or maybe you haven't, but the manila folder has ridged horizontal lines (usually about 2-5 of them) across the bottom inch of the folder.
Fold at these nifty ridged lines and create a "box bottom" which better accommodates these wider chunks of paper without blocking the view of the tab.