Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Just Another Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday!

Today is online retailers answer to brick-and-mortar's Black Friday and the Internet is indeed packed with amazing deals for the gift giving season. The reason for Cyber Monday is simple. Not everyone wants to spend the morning after Thanksgiving at the mall (me included) to get their holiday shopping done. For some, shopping from your home or office is so much more convenient. So with most people back to work, they are letting their fingers do the shopping.

There's no need to head outside. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite sites just for you. Check out the amazing sales going on right now and get clicking!

Ann Taylor: Take 40% off plus free shipping on purchases over $100
Ann Taylor Loft: Take 30% off your entire purchase plus free shipping on purchases over $100
Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap, Piperlime and Athleta: Take 20% off plus free shipping on any purchase
Henri Bendel: Save 30% and free shipping
Bliss: The holidays are extra stressful. Why not indulge on some beauty with great savings. Take 30% off hand-picked gift sets and enjoy up to 50% on select items.

You won't go wrong with this age defying gift set from Bliss. It pumps the skin with as much moisture as possible for a younger you. On sale now for $115 from $128.

Bloomingdales: Take $50 off your purchase of $250 or more
Edressme: Find your holiday party dress here and take 30% off every style
J. Crew: Take 20% off all sweaters plus free shipping on all orders of $150 or more

I love the faux jeweled buttons on this cardigan. It's an easy way to bring a dose of glitter to all your outfits. This wool blended favorite is on sale for $54.40 from $68.

Saks: Free shipping on every order plus 20% off select gourmet items

Victoria's Secret: Enjoy 20% off your entire order. Perhaps something pretty spectacular for you?

The ultimate push-up bra in allover lace, The Miracle Bra® will light up your nights. $58. There is also one with sequins for even more glamour.

If you haven't done so already, sign up for this fabulous shopping web site Shop It To Me. This is an amazing web site that proactively sends you clothing that matches your size and brand preference as soon as it goes on sale. And they have some assortment of brands I love like Vince, Diane von Furstenberg and Theory to just just a few. On my list alone there are over 6,300 items on sale today. It has changed the way I shop. Today, they are offering an amazing deals with 20% off your entire order plus free shipping.

You can also find some amazing deals at and

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Have So Many Things To Be Thankful For

I am thankful for my parents who have supported me in every which way possible. Thank you for teaching me to do the right thing always, to do what I love and for raising me to be the strong, independent woman I am today.

I am thankful for being surrounded by my awesome friends who amaze me every day and keep me sane. I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate your friendships, how you’ve stuck with me in the good times as well as the bad. I'm very thankful for all your support and for reading and commenting on this blog. All of your good, positive energy has a way of changing all the negative attitudes that creep into my days and make them seem so unimportant. I’m so lucky to have you.

I will always be thankful for our cat Sam who has given us unconditional love we receive from him every day.

I will forever be thankful for my fabulous husband Michael who is my best friend and who has loved me for me. I'm grateful for our wonderful first year of marriage, his continuous support and being my biggest cheerleader. I am also thankful for all the laughter he brings into my life, our Yankee tickets and cooking for us every night. Mostly, though, I’m grateful for his patience.

I’m also grateful that I’m older and the wisdom and confidence it has given me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fabulous Hostess Gifts Ideas So You'll Be Invited Back

We’re going to New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year, to my parents' house. My mom usually cooks up a storm, leaving us little to bring but more wine. For all her hard work cooking over a hot stove this week, I want to give her a little something special she'll enjoy. So if you're like me, and you’re one of the lucky ones not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, you should show your appreciation for all the planning and hard work by bringing a thoughtful gift. Whether it’s a gift for a child, something for the table, a festive present for the holiday season or something she’ll enjoy after everyone has left, it’s always best not to come empty handed so you’ll be sure to be invited back next year.

Here are some awesome gift ideas for your hostess for all the hard work she has put into making this annual feast. These can be easily sent ahead of time or if you love them so much (and I know you will), why not order one for yourself too! After all, you’re traveling on one of the busiest weekends of the year and that's deserving of something, right?

1. Gifts for the Home. Everything from wine stoppers to cocktail shakers to great bowls and glassware, gifts for the home can be used all year long and your hostess with the mostess will be sure to think of you each time she uses your special gift. I really love a pretty pitcher. It makes a table that much more elegant. This one from Ona available at Crate and Barrel is especially sleek and eye-pleasing with its off-center handle.

2. Gifts for Fitness and Health. If you know your hostess is watching her weight or wants to counterbalance all of those extra calories (you know where they always end up), the gift of fitness and health is a great idea. Resistance Bands are a great gift idea for the frequent traveler who doesn’t want to sacrifice their workout regime. Exercise Balls are also a fun way to stay in shape and these exercise gadgets usually come with an instructional DVD.

3. Gifts of Food and Drinks. You may not be bringing the main attraction, but gourmet olive oil, exotic salts, delightful chocolates and wonderful wines will really add to the day or will be appreciated for sure on another night. You’ll really warm the heart of your hostess with some rich, delicious hot chocolate. My all-time favorite is from Mariebelle. It’s the perfect treat for a cozy night at home.

4. Gifts of Sweet-Smelling Candles and Room Fresheners. I’ve been a huge fan of Diptyque Candles forever. I haven't splurged on one yet for myself, but I've always loved going into homes where someone has caved. If I ever had a dinner party, you read it here first what I would love. It is that perfect luxurious gift that is sure to win you some points. The candles are available at Saks and Neiman Marcus.

5. Gifts of Beauty. For a hostess that serves Thanksgiving with style and grace, she would swoon to have anything from Jo Malone. They have pretty amazing beauty products from their creamy body lotions to fragrant bath soaps.

You don’t necessarily have to applaud after you finish your turkey, but you can give the gift of the best smelling hands. Philosophy makes a great perfumed restorative hand cream called Amazing Grace that will instantly give your hostesses' hands a little TLC they need after working so hard.

Philosophy makes other amazing scented beauty products that are sure to become a hit this holiday season. You might also like to try:

Holiday Cookbook , 6 recipe-inspired 2 oz. shampoo, shower gel and bubble baths in red velvet cake, cinnamon buns, spicy pear cobbler, pumpkin spice muffin, gingerbread and double rich hot chocolate.

Gingerbread Shower Gel, a high foaming shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath.

6. Gifts for Children and Pets. If you are going to a home with small children or pets, you’ll never go wrong by surprising the little ones with something to keep them busy during dinner. For pets, brining their special treat or toy will always keep their tails wagging. Pottery Barn Kids makes super adorable plush stuffed turkey dolls to add a lively touch to any Thanksgiving table. They even make gobbling sounds when the tummy is pressed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fabulous Fridays: Get Your Vampire Glow From Fresh

With New Moon premiering today, I wanted to shed some light on creating that vampy glam look.

Fresh’s Twilight Freshface Glow is an instant dose of magic to your skin. This lightweight cream creates a beautiful ethereal look and provides a sultry moonlit glow from within.

Twilight is basically an illuminating primer so it serves two purposes. It instantly smoothes the skin, minimizes the appearances of pores, and, and the same time, it makes your complexion appear absolutely flawless and glowing. Who doesn’t love that?

“Twilight is a sheer cream that instantly imports a stunning, yet natural-looking radiance to all skintones,” the company said.

Fresh is a skin care company that also sells beauty products, so you know this makeup is also good for your skin. The formula is enriched with nourishing meadowfoam seed oil, hydrating restorative evening primrose root extract and antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C and E.

You can use this sheer cream in a number of ways. You can wear the Twilight cream and nothing more, giving you a young, fresh, dewy look. Other times you can treat it as a makeup primer and add a smidge of the cream before and/or after applying foundation for full coverage and less of a glow.

This versatile, skin-enhancing cream can take you from a dull, tired face to one that looks like you are glowing from within.

Get the look today at Fresh and Sephora. It’s $36 for 1 oz. tube.

Even though I’m for Team Jacob, I’ll be rocking an Edwardian glow when I see the movie this weekend. Tell me what team you’re on in the comments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretty Polish: OPI’s Suede Collection

I love dark, bold nail polish. The dark colors like a deep berry and navy are always so classic and uber-feminine this time of year.

OPI’s Suede Collection, released for fall 2009, will add a dose of glitz to your finger tips. The new collection features six classic shades revamped in a glittery, matte finish. These polishes are part of their existing matte nail polish shades. They have the same non-glossy finish you love, but with a fun glittery sparkle finish. It’s a perfect combination for the holiday season. Pick your favorite from these jewel-tone colors to polish up your ensemble.

The colors are really cool and unique. The formula comes out fairly sheer, but a second coat will do the trick. They are meant to be worn with a matte finish, but if you prefer a shine, simply add a topcoat for added glamour. These colors also dried super quickly and had a satiny smooth finish. The company warned the Suede Collection doesn’t wear as long as the original lacquer, but in my experience it lasted for the better part of the week.

Here’s the names, in clockwise order:

OPI Ink. One of my most favorite shades in a dazzling blueish/purple hue.

Russian Navy. A deep blue shade finished with a touch of shimmer adds a chic accent to all your fall looks.

Suzi Skies In The Pyrenees. The dark charcoal shade with a silvery shimmer is just stunning.

Don’t Know Jacques. This shimmering golden mocha polish is the perfect shade for the fall season.

We’ll Always Have Paris. A pretty, rich plum colored polish is warm, romantic hue with loads of silver sparkle to it.

Lincoln Park After Dark. A deep purple shimmer gives a bold attitude.

So what do you think of wearing dark polish? Would you wear them? Let me know in the comments.

Healthcare Update: No More Mammograms

I don't need a mammography.

An influential government task force just released their findings that women in their 40s don't need routine mammograms. We just have to wait until we're 50 and then we just need one every other year. I must say I’m shocked, downright appalled by this finding.

I hope to hear ABC’s Robin Roberts and NBC’s Hoda Kotb, both in their 40s and breast cancer survivors, take on this issue on the news today.

Even more troubling, the recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, established by the federal government to provide guidance on disease prevention to doctors, insurance companies and policy makers, also said self-exams do no good and women shouldn't even be taught how to do them. So I guess they are saying don't go looking, it will cost the insurance companies extra money.

"The benefits are less and the harms are greater when screening starts in the 40s," Dr. Diana Petitti, vice chairwoman of the panel said.

The American Cancer Society sharply challenged the findings and upheld its long-standing position that recommends annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

The cancer society, in a statement by Dr. Otis W. Brawley, it’s chief medical officer, said, “This is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over.

The message from the task force is clear: A mammography between the ages of 40-49 doesn’t save enough lives and that this benefit is eclipsed by the risks to be worth it. According to the panel, mammograms saved only one life out of 1,900 women ages 40-49. They should tell that to all the cancer survivors, some of whom are my friends, co-workers and family members. I shudder to think how far the cancer could have progressed had they never gone for their mammography. How many of them would be alive today if this sentencing were in place when they were diagnosed?

Let me be the judge of when a test to determine my health and my life is unnecessary. The risk/benefits trade-offs like further testings, biopsies and added anxiety, are widely understood and worth it to me. Having a routine mammogram done is an insurance policy that would make me sleep better at night.

How dare this government task force publish this irresponsible nonsense. These recommendations are a real throw back in time for women. What’s next, women just don’t need medical care at all. Are they going to take away our right to vote? How come ads for prostate cancer screenings almost always feature a man in his 40s? I guess this will be considered at a later date.

Mammograms and self-testing are the most reliable screening method for breast cancer detection available today. We all know early detection is the best fight against this disease. And in many new cases, your family’s history has nothing to do with it. To take these two tools away would be a crime to women.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. More than 192,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths from the disease are expected in the U.S. this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Year and Counting

I'll be returning shortly...We're off spending our first anniversary in Mexico. Adios amigos.

Trend Alert: The Infinity Scarf

I love scarves. I even wear them on cool summer evenings and have oodles of them for the fall. There is just something about wearing this extra layer that makes me feel super secure. And in this season of instability, who couldn’t use that extra soft touch. I’m totally obsessed with this season’s must-have infinity scarf. It’s a quick and chic way to update your ensemble.

These endless circles of glamour are definitely super-chic and are the epitome of cozy warmth. It’s no wonder these heavenly knits are found everywhere from retailers like Ann Taylor to Zara. Even Oprah recently had a style intervention about them. The infinity scarf also provides endless styling options and may I just say it’s a completely effortless way for a great look. The infinity scarf has no ends so can be looped around and around your neck. No need to worry how to tie the scarf. Just throw it on as your rushing out the door.

This loopy style can be worn as a hood, in a single loop around your neck like a loose cowl or wrapped twice around for extra volume and added warmth.

Infinity scarves should be simple in design and can easily glam up your outfit. You can pair it under a jacket for an extra layer of warmth or team it with a boyfriend tee or silk camisole for weekends or a night out. Celebrities are sporting the look and it would look amazing on anybody.

Here is a great way to be creative in your fashion. I found a couple of examples that I think are a great way to update your wardrobe.

Echo's infinity scarf is incredibly soft and is a great way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe.
The Limited’s infinity scarf is made with a super soft yarn land ooks like it was handmade.

This chunky, cable-knit infinity scarf from Shopbop’s own Bop Basics collection is perfect for hitting the slopes in style.

I really want the James Perse cashmere infinity scarf. The grey color will go with everything in my closet and it's a perfect representation of the designer's easy-to-wear clothing.

I love this cashmere infinity scarf from Banana Republic because it’s comes in an extra-long length, perfect to wrap around your neck a couple of times for a cozy look.

I'm on board for this essential fall accessory. Let me know in the comments if you will like this trend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street Celebrates The Big 4-0

As I embark on my 40th year and deal on a daily basis with becoming a responsible adult (whatever the means), I was tickled to learn Sesame Street is celebrating 40 years of Sunny Days today. Who knew that we were the great pioneers of the children’s television movement. I want to give a special shout out to the gang on Sesame Street. I can’t imagine life without the lovable characters like Big Bird, Bert & Ernie and Oscar the Grouch. I learned the alphabet with The Cookie Monster (C Is For Cookie), how to count with the Count (one and a two and a three) and learned life lessons like manners and how to treat all people equally with the lovable Grover and the rest of the gang. My childhood would not have been the same without the creative and unprecedented blend of education, idealism and entertainment that Sesame Streetprovided me every weekday afternoon.

Sesame Street celebrates 40 years of teaching children

I just loved that show, with all of its memorable songs and skits, and have so many happy memories of Sesame Street. I’m sure I’m not alone. Share yours in the comments.

Monday, November 9, 2009

L'Occitane Takes You On A Fragrance Odyssey

My favorite travel destinations are anywhere near the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve been to Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Israel and would one day love to visit Turkey and the beaches of Croatia. There is just something so fresh and alive about these amazing places. I especially love all the rich aromas that permeate every pore of my body and satisfy all my senses. When I found out L’Occitane was going on a fragrant journey to some of my these places I was intrigued. The beauty company, known best for their pampering products, recently added two beautiful fragrances as part of their popular Voyage en Méditerranée (Travel in the Mediterranean) collection and I was immediately swept away.

This fragrant odyssey begins with the Mimosa de l’Estérel, with notes of violet leaves, mimosa and almond accord. At the end of autumn, the Esterel hills, are aglow with hues of gold from the unforgettable scent of the blooming mimosas. Known as the “Winter Sun”, the mimosa’s tiny golden pompom flowers fill the air with its powdery scent. This beautiful smell is light, delicate, feminine and clean.

Mimosa de l'Estérel from L'Occitaneis a light, powdery fragrance

The second fragrance stop of the collection is Labdanum de Séville, with notes of citruses, spices, labdanum, benzoin and vanilla. Labdanum, a redolent resin used in perfumery, grows wild in many Mediterranean countries and can be found in abundance on the rocky, sun-drenched grounds of Andalusia. The opulent, woody and musky scent is beautifully enveloped in this perfume.

Labdanum de Séville from L'Occitane is a spicy, yet citrusy scent

I found both fragrances to be very natural and subtle enough to not overpower the room. Both were optimistic and would make for a fabulous new scent for the fall season. Additionally, both have classic notes like citrus and woods to make these a perfect addition to your fragrance collection. Each scent is different and adds a unique twist to your fragrance wardrobe. Some are perfect for work, while others make a perfect evening option.

Enjoy one of L’Occitane’s seven Mediterranean fragrances and take a brief visit to a sunny destination. Each 2.5 oz. eau de parfum bottle retails for $66, proving that great fragrance doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Available at L'Occitane.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ball Game Over!!! The Yankees Win The World Series for the 27th Time!!!

They did it again! Congratulations Bronx Bombers on your 27th World Series Championship. Enjoy the celebrations and I'll see you at the Yankees parade tomorrow.

The Yankees celebrating their 27th World Series Title

I watched my team be crowned the World Champions of baseball by beating the defending champions, The Philadelphia Phillies, 7-3 in game six at their gorgeous new ball park, capturing their first title since 2000. For a Yankee fan, it felt like forever.

I'm feeling a bit tired from staying up so late all week, but I'm beyond thrilled for my favorite team.

I've been a Yankee fan since 1977, before most of these players were even born. I'll always remember my first game. It was a double-header against the Oakland A's. I sat in the upper decks with my Dad, sun beaming down on us. We stayed for both games, and I think they split them. I've been a loyal fan ever since.

New York is ready to party again. The players and millions of fans will celebrate together during the New York classic ticker-tape parade up the Canyon of Heros in lower Manhattan on Friday starting at 11 am. The parade starts on Broadway at Battery Place and continues northbound to Chambers Street, with showers of confetti showering Derek, Andy, Mo and Jorge and the rest of the world champs along the way.

Following the parade, Mayor Mike, who was at The Stadium last night, said he will present keys to the city to the champs at a City Hall ceremony right after.

I am so excited to take part in this most incredible parade. I went in 1998 and it was so exhilarating. Looks like the weather will shine brightly over the festivities. Looks like it's going to be a bright, crisp fall day.

What a night! What a series! Thanks for the wonderful season and the lasting memories.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Splish Splash, I'm Taking A Mud Bath

We’re so busy in our lives. It’s hard to find the time to slow down and take a moment to enjoy some down time by yourself. Last night I found myself with some unexpected free time, so decided to take an aromatherapy mud bath. It wasn’t with champagne or roses, just a couple of fashion magazines and a large bottle of water. For me, this felt like a half-hour vacation.

I immersed myself in a deeply relaxing, highly calming and definitely luxurious mud bath from Not The Same. This best-selling at-home spa treatment uses a special blend of epsom salt, sea salt, “mud” volcanic ash from Calistoga, Pascalite clay and pure essential oils. Blended together, this formula is designed for pain relief, detoxification, increased circulation and deep relaxation. They offer three aromatherapy blends: Lavender, Stress Relief or Eucalyptus.

Not The Same's mud baths take you away from body aches and stress

I began to feel more relaxed by the minute. Being enveloped in warm, silky water simply erases the day’s stress. The water’s warm temperatures made my sweat for sure, but my pores were left cleaner. The natural ingredients also made my achy body feel rejuvenated and helped remove the harmful toxins. Even better, the water doesn’t turn to mud, but rather changes the water to a brownish tea color. This makes the cleanup a breeze.

To use, fill your tub with warm/hot water. Add the powder when you get in, not while the tub is filling. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, even longer for more therapeutic results.

The mud bath tradition goes back into history, to the days of Cleopatra. Today, mud baths are a popular treatment at spas. There are several natural mud baths, which form when hot springs meet volcanic ash, that have popped up around the world, including Calistoga, California and Rotorua, New Zealand, where we stayed a couple of nights on our honeymoon.

A natural mud bath in Rotorua, New Zealand

A lovely splash of mud from the Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua, New Zealand.

The mud draws toxins out of the body through your skin, at the same time your body is absorbing minerals from the mud and salt. The release of toxins from our bodies makes the mud bath an effective, stress-relieving and pain-relieving bath you can experience in your own tub.

Lisa Scheerer, one of the owners of Not The Same, started the natural bath and body care the business to share the benefits with friends. “When we get into our 40s, taking better care of yourself can make or break your next couple of decades,” she said. “It’s important we help our bodies flush out the toxins we taken in.”

One of the important roles our skin plays is to release toxin, but a lot of times your body needs more help with it. With detoxification and internal cleansings, you can help your skin release toxins we take in through the environment, food and alcohol. And as we get older, Lisa said it is more important that ever to detox our bodies to help fight the aging process. “Taking a mud bath helps your body release toxins faster and helps your skin retain that youthful complexion,” she said.

You can order your mud bath here and is available in 4 oz. packets (1-2 baths per packet) for $6.95 or a 1 lb. (6 baths) containers for $18.95.

I spent my free hour getting muddy for fun. What do you do when you have a free hour? Share your ideas with me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fashion Hit or Miss: Peep-Toe Booties

I love having options. Especially when it comes to fashion. But I’m just not getting one of the hottest trends this fall -- the peep-toe bootie. The idea of wearing boots with my little piggies sticking out makes no sense to me. The boots look like a cross between a boot, a sandal and a pump at once. All the designers - from Steve Madden to Christian Louboutin - have their own versions. I’m seeing these peep-toe boots popping up everywhere I go. I generally love the boots until I have to see toes. To me, it looks like the toes are still stuck in summer mode while the rest of the foot is hunkering down for the fall.

I have no words to describe how much I hate this trend. The sleek, elegant look of the boot is ruined by unsightly toes. I'm not even sure what nail polish shade goes with these boots? The ones I saw today ran the gamut from neon pink to wickedly dark hues.

Don't get me wrong. I love peep-toe pumps and think the look is sexy when paired with a stiletto heel. It's just not the same with a boot. It's such a strange concept to me when you are thinking it's boot weather, but have you toes sticking out.

Alexander McQueen


Jimmy Choo

Giuseppe Zanotti

I want to stomp out this trend. What do you think? Would you wear peep-toe boots? Let me know.