Summer 2011 Hot Nail Polish Colors and Trends

Pirates of the Caribbean Silver Shatter nail polishA fun summery manicure or pedicure can be the perfect treat for your appearance this summer. There’s still plenty of time to test and enjoy the hot nail polish colors for summer 2011. Consider the current nail polish trends or make up your own to get a pretty new look for your fingers and toes in the warm weather. Check out our summer 2011 hot nail polish colors and trends report to get the latest on the hottest shades for the season.

No matter if you plan to hit the beach or just spend the weekdays working and the weekends relaxing, check out these hottest shades for summer and beyond to give you a fun and flirty look this summer! Here is our preview for summer 2011 hot nail polish colors.

Summer 2011 Nail Polish Trend #1: Bright Candy Colors
Coral, pink, orange, blue, green, and other bright and cheery candy colors continue to be a huge hit for summer 2011 nails. Orange tones especially are holding their place as one of the hot nail colors for summer 2011 (not to mention last year’s craze). Summer manicure and pedicures look fantastic with a single shade or a nice combination of colors like a bright and contemporary French manicure or a solid mani with an elegant stripe here or there.

Combinations of these bright candy color nail polish shades can sort of look tropical, especially with blue and orange or pink and green. You can also enjoy trying different colors across different weeks, changing up your nail polish as often as you are comfortable redoing your nails.

I received a handful of bright nail polish colors to try for our summer 2011 guide to nail polish. JULEP, a classy nail polish brand with lovely, skinny bottles and vibrant colors, offers three gorgeous shades for spring and summer nails. JULEP’s hot nail colors for 2011 include Natalie (a bright pinkish coral shade), Gloria (an orangey coral color), and Amy (a medium blue tone). I really enjoyed the entire experience with these colors and this brand. The bottles are very skinny but the nail polish brush is still efficient and easy to use. I enjoyed using the Natalie color for my manicure and the Gloria color for my pedicure.

Some of the other hottest nail lacquer colors for summer 2011 include ORLY’s Pinup Collection, which features Va Va Voom (Pink Neon Crème), Here Comes Trouble (Sparkle Green), Coquette Cutie (Coral Crème), and Bubbly Bombshell (Purple Glitter). I received the latter three for testing purposes and must admit the two glitter colors are my favorites out of the three ORLY shades I received. The purple and green glitter polishes have a unique blend of tiny sparkles and bigger pieces of glitter, offering a more dimensional look. The glitter nail colors work especially well as a topcoat, adding a special sparkle to any manicure or pedicure.

Summer 2011 Nail Polish Trend #2: Color-Changing Mood Nail Polish
The trends for summer 2011 hot nail polish colors get even more fun and feisty with nail polish that actually changes color when you wear it! In the Mood nail polish is a “mood nail polish” that works much like a mood ring, changing colors when your body temperature changes. Unlike a mood ring though, these colors only take on two shades apiece.

I received three shades of In the Mood nail polish to try out for this summer nail color review. Naughty is a beautiful sparkly orange nail polish color that changes to yellow on warm fingers or sometimes in the sunlight. I’m not a big fan of yellow nail polish by itself, so while I adore the orange, I’m not totally crazy about wearing this when my hands are warm and the shade turns to yellow. The bluish purple shade, Guilty, turns a sweet shade of lighter blue when it gets warmed up. The pink shade, Ditsy, switches back and forth between a darker pink and a lighter pink. The textures are more of a matte finish with a smooth and lovely texture. I really enjoy the concept of mood nail polish since I am a child of the 80s and I’ve had my fair share of mood rings and color-changing jewelry. I recommend these or other fun mood nail polish products for a fun and different take on your traditional manicures and pedicures!

Summer Nails 2011 – Trends #3 and #4

Perfect Lip Gloss for Raspberry Lovers – Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine

Maybe it isn’t fair for me to write this review, since I am a huge fan or raspberry as well as all things lip balm or lip gloss. Or maybe that makes me the perfect person to write this review. Either way, I am super excited to share with you the amazing find that is Philosophy’s Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine. This is my best beauty splurge yet – I believe I spent a full $10 on this goodie, but it’s well worth the cost for this luxurious lip treat that I’ll enjoy all summer long, and beyond.

“Sweet kisses are the best treat,” the tube of raspberry shine says boldly, reminding us of another great reason why we love lip gloss so much. This lip product has a distinctive sparkle and a rich raspberry taste that is out of this world. The tube is a nice size, 14 g. / 0.5 oz, which is typically easy to find inside even the biggest black-hole of a purse. I have had this for several months and though I don’t use it compulsively (I have about 80 lip balm products, probably), I find it just lasts and lasts.

So the raspberry flavor is my favorite. I also love the sparkle and shine this beauty goodie adds to your lips. It is rich and emollient without feeling too sticky. I also enjoy that I can stand it upright on my makeup counter bathroom counter when I’m getting dolled up in the morning.

You can get this wonderful raspberry-flavored lip shine product at Sephora or online at Believe me when I tell you, if you like raspberry, Philosophy, and lip products, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


Life Love Beauty’s Top Trainers Workout DVD Contest

Top Trainers Workout DVD Set - Collection of 10 Exercise VideosEver wish your body was as fit as an A-Lister without paying an arm and a leg for a personal trainer? brings you this opportunity with the Top Trainers DVD set. This set features 10 DVDs that spotlight different fitness techniques, allowing you to challenge your body each day and get it in great shape. Each DVD allows the viewer to explore a different workout routine such as Latin Dance, Cardio, Yoga, and Ballet which are presented by different trainers like Ellen Barrett, one of the country’s top fitness instructors.

Prize: A complete Top Trainers DVD set which is valued at $89.95.

Eligibility: Open to residents of the United States (including Hawaii) age 18 and up or age 13 through 17 with written parental permission. One entry per person. All state and local laws apply. Void where prohibited.

Time Frame: Wednesday, July 20 – Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 11:59 EST

Rules: Please note: You MUST follow the rules in entirety to be eligible for a chance to win this contest.

Top Trainers Workout DVD Set - Collection of 10 Exercise Videos1. Join and confirm your subscription to the Life Love Beauty Newsletter. If you are already a member, skip this step.

2. Email [email protected] a description, photo series, or video of your favorite workout move or routine and tell us why you like it so much! Your description or video should fully explain how to complete the move and  include how many sets should be completed. Please use 20-30 words to explain why it is your favorite move. Include your name in your email so we can add you to the winners’ circle if you win!

All entries in the contest will be complied to create an article that features each participant with his or her favorite move. If you do not want your name published in the article please note this in your entry.

Winners will be selected by a random drawing.

How to Win:
• E-mail your favorite workout move or routine along with your personal review of it.
• No purchase necessary. You have not yet won.
• Winner will be contacted via email, and the will be added to the list of winners posted on following verification.


“It Doesn’t Get Any Countrier Than This” – McGraw Southern Blend

I feel like there are three types of men who wear cologne: Men who wouldn’t otherwise be aware of its existence had someone else not purchased it for them, men who did bother to put a little time and effort into discovering which scents are worth having, and finally, those men who are willing to buy a brand purely on endorsement.

And there are plenty endorsements out there, celebrity or otherwise, hawking men’s cologne. David Beckham, Michael Jordan, and Antonio Banderas, known for being the sweatiest, smelliest high performance athletes and actors have cashed in their names and bottled their fame, charisma, and sexual prowess so that you, luck guy, might partake in their sweet success.

This stuff, McGraw Southern Blend, has two major endorsements going for it: Tim McGraw, and the whole entire South. That’s a lot to distil down to an aggravatingly small one fluid ounce bottle. One the one hand, you have Mr. All-That-Is-Man Tim McGraw. That guy’s moustache alone can bench press 150 lbs, play the guitar, and fix an engine, all at the same time. And on the other hand you have the South; not the incestuous lynch mob south, but the refined, sophisticated, values oriented high-society South. I’m talking watching fireflies and heat lightning through the oak trees from the front porch South.

So has it worked?

No, unfortunately not. For starters, the bottle is a joke. The cap looks like a chintzy gold painted plastic Christmas tree ornament done wrong. The top of the bottle is supposed to be saddled in “leather”, but the plastic is so cheap it could actually be mistaken for treated cardboard.

The cologne itself wants to be manly with tobacco and whisky base and middle notes respectively. However, this is as much commentary around current perceptions of manliness as it is ineffective essential oils. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t smell bad, but it doesn’t smell good, either. And what little scent there is doesn’t last half as long as most other colognes I’ve tried. What we have here is little more than a fuzzy memory of southern heritage, a half hearted attempt at emotional evocation, which is probably a long way from where McGraw had intended on landing.

Ain’t That The Way It Always Ends?


How to Make DIY Fish Cupcakes

Adorable DIY fish cupcakeLooking to make a splash at your next party? These cute desserts are sure to be a hit with any age group! These fish cupcakes are easy to decorate and will look terrific even if you haven’t an ounce of artistic skill. Fellow party goers are sure to be impressed with this treat.

Things you will need to make these cupcakes:

– Box of cake mix or personal recipe with all the called for ingredients
Adorable Green and Orange DIY fish cupcake– Frosting
– Food Dye
– Bowls and knives to mix frosting colors and to decorate cupcakes
– M&M’s
– Milk chocolate or White Chocolate (or yogurt) covered pretzels

Step 1- Prepare and bake cupcakes according to box or recipe. Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting the cupcakes.

Step 2- Prepare the colors of frosting that you want your “fish” to be and then frost one cupcake. Keep in mind the colors of the M&M’s that you have if you want to coordinate the frosting with the candy color. You could special order certain colors of M&M’s if you want a non-traditional M&M color. Another Adorable Blue DIY fish cupcakeidea is using multiple colored M & M’s to create a rainbow fish cupcake.

Step 3- Gently place the pretzel on the cupcake. You want to place the pretzel on less than a fourth of the cupcake. This will help keep the pretzel on the cupcake during transportation. Use a little bit of frosting to attach the pretzel to the cupcake and to ensure that it stays on. Also place a bit of frosting on the adjacent side you are putting on the cupcake so that you can attach the M&M’s to it. Two or three M&M’s should fit on top of the pretzel. Instead of a pretzel you could use fruit slices or some type of fruit roll.

Adorable Colorful DIY fishy cupcakesStep 4- Place the M&M’s on the cupcake in two lines in front of the pretzel. Be sure that you place the M&M’s down so that the side that says ‘m’ can’t be seen to the eater! Also place an M&M on top and below the pretzel.

Step 5- Place one M&M (I used brown) in place for the eye. Instead of an M&M, white frosting could be used with a dot of black frosting on top to create an eye.

Step 6- Carefully place two red M&M’s bent inward to each other to be the fish’s lips.

Voila! You created one fish cupcake! Continue the same process for each cupcake. Only make one cupcake at a time so the frosting is still fresh and the candy will stick to the cupcake and not fall off of it.

Colorful fish cupcakeIf you don’t have a cupcake tray or another type of transfer container, you can create one from a shirt box lid. Cover it in tin foil and use plastic wrap on the top after you’ve placed the cupcakes inside. You could even decorate the sides with marker or green paper to look like sea plants to create an aquarium for your fish cupcakes!

Have fun creating these delicious and adorable desserts! Use your imagination to substitute candies if you have any food allergies or simply don’t have them in your pantry.


Sleep Well and Be Healthy

Having trouble sleeping at night? Has your tossing and turning at night begun to affect your productivity during the day? Well you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 60 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems. Of that 60, 40 million suffer from long-term and chronic disorders.

Our body craves sleep as nourishment just as much as food and water. Even one night of missed or inefficient sleep will carry over to the next day. Sleep debt can attribute to loss of reaction time, problems concentrating and performing physical tasks, and adjustments to mood and emotion. It is recommended that the average adult get around seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Our sleep/wake cycle is triggered and controlled by neurotransmitters in the brain. Sleeping through the proper cycles and for an appropriate amount of time gives important neurons time to rest. Many scientists believe that if these neurons do not get this “rest” they begin to malfunction. This is why we have problems with memory and focus after a night of restlessness.

There are various external and internal factors that lead to neurotransmitter disruption. Certain chemicals we consume stimulate certain parts of the brain, making sleeping difficult:

* Caffeine
* Diet pills
* Decongestants

Alcohol has the opposite effect, triggering sleep. However, while consumption of alcohol may help you fall asleep, the quality is severely disrupted. There are five stages in the sleep cycle. Stages 4 and 5 (which is referred to as REM or rapid eye movement) are considered the restorative stages. Alcohol prevents you from entering the deeper sleep stages, leaving you tired and groggy in the morning despite how long you may have slept. Heavy smoking also limits the amount of REM sleep one experiences.

Snoring is a very common sleep disruptor that affects 90 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring is caused when the breathing pathway narrows. In cases of sleep apnea, the throat closes completely, stopping breathing. In these cases it is important to consult with a doctor.

There are many factors that attribute to snoring.

* Age
* Obesity
* Sleep positions
* Anatomical abnormalities: deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, etc.
* Functional abnormalities – colds, allergies, etc.
* Alcohol consumption and other muscle relaxants

In most cases, snoring problems can be treated with simple lifestyle changes such as diet and sleep position. In some instances, such as with an anatomical issue, surgery may be performed to widen or clear up the breathing passageway. Some more serious cases may require you to wear some sort of device like a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure appliance). It is important to consult with a doctor if simple lifestyle changes are not improving the situation.

Sleep deprivation can be very dangerous. Aside from hindering functionality such as memory and mind calculations, it also impairs judgment and reaction timing. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the effects of sleep deprivation on driving. The study found that those with sleep deprivation had even slower reaction times than someone who was intoxicated. Driver fatigue contributes to approximately 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths per year.

There are a few behavioral changes that can help encourage good sleep.

* Exercise routinely.
* Make sure you are relaxed before bed.
* Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants.
* Avoid alcohol.
* Keep a consistent schedule.
* Do not lie in bed if you are not tired: Get rid of the TV.
* Maintain a proper diet.

Of course, with any persistent or chronic health problem, if simple lifestyle changes do not help, you should consult with a health care physician.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is central to being well rested. Proper amounts of quality rest allow the body to perform at optimum functionality and balance. Sweet dreams!

About the Expert:
Joel Mark is an online author who is passionate about basketball, weight training, and fitness. When he’s not outside exercising, he studies a lot about health and nutrition, which runs the gamut from avoid sleep apnea masks to nutrition.


Ship Shape and Ready to Sail – Pure Nautica Discovery

It’s the first week of July and summer has finally found the Pacific Northwest. Fitting then that I should get my hands on Nautica’s new-for-2011 Pure Nautica Discovery, a summer scent if ever there were one.

Keeping well within the brand’s wheelhouse (get it? (wheelhouse is both a nautical term for the location a ship’s steering wheel and jargon for “sweet spot” (OK, never mind, jeez))), the bottle fades from nearly clear up top to a lovely topaz blue color. Grooves at the bottom of the glass add a weight to the bottle that anchors the brushed aluminum look of the cap. It’s a smart, safe package to be sure.

So what’s it like to wear?

Top notes are nice and airy; a little citrus noise balanced with a splash of sea water. It’s not too fruity which is fine because this scent is definitely marketed towards the male half of the population. Middle notes don’t stick around long, but lavender, ginger, and coriander do make themselves known, for a while at any rate. Bottom notes, the ones that hang around all day, are surprising; sandalwood and Virginia cedar settle down to a very pleasant aroma that does not lend itself to fatigue – very important if you’ll be wearing this every day. Really, it’s like carrying around a mug of spiced summer cider. Delicious.

This is a scent devoid of all drama; perfect for someone just discovering cologne. Wear it to work, around home, and even out in the evenings. This is likely not for the connoisseur, it doesn’t really speak to a specific personality. Wonderful, then, for most of us.


Trends in Birth Announcements and Kids’ Birthday Invitations

When it comes to announcing the birth of your child, the birth announcements are your calling card welcoming the new bundle of joy into your family. Similarly, a child’s birthday invitation typically foreshadows the event, its theme, and the mood for your son’s or daughter’s birthday party. The trends in birth announcements and kids’ birthday invitations are always changing, with many timeless classics always available – photo cards, monograms, and more.

Whether you prefer to make your own invitations and birth announcements or wish to order your own custom invitations, consider these tips and trends on birth announcements and children’s birthday invitations.

Trends in Birth Announcements
Announcing the birth of your son or daughter is as precious a moment as they come. You’ll most certainly want to show off a snap of your little bundle of joy. Don’t forget about these other important trends in birth announcements.

“For birth announcements the trends (aside from pink and blue for genders) are including lots of browns and greys,” says Megan Harris of CardsDirect LLC, a site offering greeting cards and invitations for every occasion. “Gender neutral colors are also very popular: turquoises, yellows, oranges, etc. Birds are very in right now. Cute little birdies for birth announcements are a huge hit. We have a GREAT paper selection, called ‘ice pearl metallic,’ and this is a popular selection for birth announcements, as it is very sweet and gentle; photos print beautifully on this paper.”

Trends in Kids’ Birthday Party Invitations
Sometimes with kids’ birthdays you are at the mercy of your child’s favorite TV show or cartoon character. Party themes start while we are young and many of us continue to love themed parties right through our teenage years, into our twenties, and beyond.

“For kids’ birthday parties, the themed invitations are always a hit!” Harris says, citing the availability of nearly 300 invitations for kids’ parties, from sports parties to princess parties and even invitations specific to hosting a surprise party.

Personalizing Your Birth Announcements and Kids’ Birthday Invites
“One thing that CardsDirect offers on all birth announcements and birthday invitation is the option to upload a photo anywhere on the card, or you could even have a photo be a full bleed on the back of the invitation or announcement,” she adds. “Our excellent customer service team is around to help all customers with this awesome feature and so much more. Everyone wants to see a smiling face on invitations and announcements, so we really encourage the use of this, at no extra cost!”

Harris and others at CardsDirect encourage their customers to experiment with the available options for different designs and papers – don’t be shy.

“Be explorative and try new and unexpected options,” she says. “Our customers who are brave with what they order are always the happiest!”


101 Baby Shower Themes – Creative, Cute, and Clever!

Baby showers can be lots of fun when you take the time to plan all the details. Check out these 101 baby shower themes to help you plan a perfect shower for the mom-to-be. No matter if you are planning a baby shower for a surprise baby, a boy, a girl, or twins, you can certainly find a creative baby shower theme to match. Keep in mind all the fun party themes from your own childhood and the current trends in characters and party ideas.

Looking for some ideas for gifts and prizes for a baby shower? Spend some time browsing your favorite discount stores and online shops to find themed items to make the baby shower dynamic and exciting. You can really have a lot of fun planning baby shower games and activities, coordinating a theme, and putting all the pieces together for a perfect baby shower.

Consider these fun and creative baby shower themes for your boy baby shower, girl baby shower, surprise baby shower, or ‘twins’ baby shower.

Baby Shower Themes for Surprise or Gender Neutral

1.    Jungle Animals baby shower theme
2.    Elephant baby shower theme
3.    Zebra baby shower theme
4.    Giraffe baby shower theme
5.    Monkey baby shower theme
6.    Duck baby shower
7.    Rubber Ducky baby shower theme
8.    Owl baby shower
9.    Turtle theme
10.    Frog baby shower
11.    Bunny baby shower
12.    Baby animals theme
13.    Safari theme
14.    Farm animals theme
15.    Under the Sea theme
16.    Mickey and Minnie theme
17.    Disney baby shower theme
18.    Winnie the Pooh theme (or Baby Pooh theme)
19.    Dr. Seuss theme
20.    Sesame Street theme
21.    The Wiggles theme
22.    ABC / 123 theme
23.    Hawaiian Luau theme
24.    Nautical theme
25.    Yellow and Green theme
26.    Purple and Green theme
27.    Holiday shower – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, etc.
28.    Contemporary / Modern shower theme
29.    Wish Upon a Star theme
30.    Tea Party baby shower
31.    Garden Party baby shower
32.    Harvest theme
33.    Cabbage Patch shower
34.    Teddy Bear theme
35.    Baby Birdie theme
36.    Western theme
37.    NYC baby theme
38.    Vintage baby shower
39.    Tie Dye theme
40.    Celebrity baby shower
41.    Surprise baby theme (yellow and green with lots of question marks)
42.    Game Show baby shower theme
43.    Goodnight Moon baby shower
44.    Book theme
45.    Rocking Horse theme
46.    Nursery Rhymes theme – Old MacDonald, Little Bo Peep, Peter Cottontail, etc.
47.    Noah’s Ark baby shower
48.    Mother Goose baby theme
49.    Stork baby theme
50.    Baby Blocks theme
51.    Winter Wonderland theme
52.    Beach theme
53.    Circus baby theme
54.    Indian theme
55.    Techno baby
56.    Honeybee theme
57.    Candy Land themed baby shower
58.    Willie Wonka theme
59.    Monogram theme
60.    Sunshine theme
61.    Generic Baby Bump theme
62.    Baby Coach theme
63.    Diaper Pin theme
64.    Umbrella + Shower theme
65.    Wishing Well theme
66.    Little Footprints theme

Baby Shower Themes for Girls, Boys, and Twins…

Hair Trends 2011 – Haircuts, Styles, and Color

Hair is a beautiful aspect of every woman and it is an important element that adds to her physical beauty. The length is not very important as long as the hair is strong, shiny, and healthy. It is generally acceptable to move forward with the current trends. Remember that choosing your hairstyle is as important as choosing your stunning shoes, unique outfit, and your makeup.

Hair Trends 2011
Some of the short hairstyles described as the ultimate 2011 trends are the layered short bob and the longer version of a bob. The short layered bob is for those women who are willing to experiment a radical hair change. These two hairstyles are practical and suited for all face shapes and are perfect for various occasions. Once you have chosen the 2011 trends for hair that you like best, you should speak to your stylist about your hairstyle preferences.

Hair coloring is a trend that is always evolving. There is now a variety of hair color trends for 2011 that give you an exceptionally natural look. Once you have decided to color your hair, you will need to choose a color that best suits you. You should choose a hair color that matches your complexion and eye color. Those who have dark hair can go for mahogany, hazelnut, caramel, or warm toffee colors in their hair. The redheads will look perfect in mahogany tones as well as auburn and copper red. Gold and copper are also among the hair color 2011 trends. Discover the numerous 2011 colors that go well with your personality and your appearance.

2011 haircuts are cut in such a way that they highlight your facial features and structure. The 2011 haircuts require minimal maintenance so they are a perfect choice for the busy woman. This is great for women who want to blowdry their hair and dash out the door. You can either chose the dimensional shag, versatile cut, Heather Locklear, or even the Hillary cut. Look for a haircut that suits your specific age group as well as your personality.

2011 Hair Color Trends
If you are new to hair coloring you can now experiment with the 2011 hair color trends that will give you a natural look. 2011 hair color trends are now public and you should update your look if desired. The colors are either pastel blondes that come in clean icy tones, cool browns, or even brilliant reds. The trend is now a little away from brown but if it is your personal choice, go ahead.

The 2011 trends are now double sided coloring where underneath you can go for a darker color and a lighter shade for most of the hair and over the top. The darker color should frame your face.  For the year 2011 you can try color combinations. There is much more you can do with color in your hair. Browse through the Internet for suggestions and photos so your stylist will know exactly what you want to achieve in your new look.

More 2011 Hair Trends for Women
There is a wide variety of amazing new 2011 hair trends for women as well as improved versions of the already existing hairstyles. There are now more products, tools, equipment, and modern gadgets to make amazing hairstyles. The different 2011 hair trends will require time and patience from the woman. Some 2011 hairstyles that can be done easy and fast are the popular curly hairstyles. Some 2011 curly hair color trends include a curly updo or a wavy look.

It does not matter whether your hair is curly or straight. Curly hair pulled up will definitely give you a romantic touch. There are also the wavy hairstyles that can either be done with fringes or without. The short hairstyles are also in again. The longer bob is the top 2011 trend for hair because it looks sexier and more romantic than the very short one.

There is a wide variety of 2011 hair trends to enhance your beauty and personality. The following are some of the hair trends that will give you an elegant and glamorous look in the year 2011. You can go for the 1940s long waved hairstyle, buns, bouffant and pompadour for teenagers. The plaited and braided hairstyle with also give you an elegant and comfy look whether you are a working woman or not. Soft waves in a low bun can be especially romantic and easily move from casual to formal or elegant. Ballerina buns are still highly popular for 2011 hairstyles – keep them in mind as your go-to hairstyle for summer and fall weddings. Top knots give you a youthful and playful look. There is much more in hair trends to suit and accentuate your femininity and style.


Independence Day Goodies – Crafty Articles in Honor of the 4th of July

Fun fourth of july articles to read and enjoyThe 4th of July is a favorite holiday for many folks, not purely for the remembrance of our freedom and independence, but also because it’s a great holiday to celebrate with family and friends. No matter if you prefer to throw a party, go to someone’s Fourth of July barbeque, or head down to the shore for the weekend, there are certainly a lot of ways you can enjoy your holiday weekend. These 4th of July themed articles should give you a few fun ideas to celebrate Independence Day in style.

4th of July Recipes and Food Ideas – If you are going to host a 4th of July party, these 4th of July recipes and food ideas are sure to please. You can also consider them if you need a dish to bring with you to an Independence Day potluck. Think creatively and consider foods that are red, white, and blue, or stick with the barbeque theme. Enjoy!

Patriotic Nail Designs for 4th of July – Hand-painted holiday nail designs can be a lot of fun whether you wear them yourself or paint your little girl’s nails. From fireworks to flags, you can dress up your nails for your next summer barbeque or beach trip. Consider these fun and fashionable patriotic nail art designs especially for the 4th of July / Independence Day!

Fourth of July / Independence Day Messages, Cards, Greetings, Letters, and Comments for Family, Friends, and Loved Ones – No matter what you decide to do for the Fourth of July holiday, you should take a moment to wish your loved ones a special day. Let your grandparents, parents, and significant other know you are thinking about them, whether in person with a hug and a kiss or across the miles with a phone call, email, text message, or an old fashioned letter or greeting card via snail mail.

These ideas should help you start off your patriotic weekend with a bang. Stay tuned for our latest and greatest upcoming article for Independence Day – 4th of July Cocktails and Mixed Drinks!

Am I King? (Review of “I Am King” Cologne)

Well, that all depends on how you look at it.

Current life cycles for a new cologne or perfume have been reduced from decades to maybe a couple years (by contrast, Coco’s Chanel No. 5 was introduced in 1921 and still tops $100 million in sales annually). With our insatiable ADD buying culture, we are constantly looking for the latest and greatest – considering new products obsolete even before they hit the market. So from that perspective, the fact that Diddy’s “I Am King” will even have a 3rd birthday to celebrate this November is in and of itself an accomplishment.

Packaging is elegant; a simple, clear glass bottle tinged pale lilac topped by a glassy mirrored cap gets the job done neatly. The understated branding in the bottom corner doesn’t scream vanity. Nice.

However, when you grab the top you notice two things right away: Firstly, you’ve stuck your grubby hands all over the once pristine cap, leaving smudgy finger prints behind. And secondly, the top is much lighter than it looks. You realize that it isn’t (probably wisely) actually made of mirrors, but cheap, shiny plastic. The whole experience is somewhat…disenchanting.

But hey, this is all about the scent, right?

“Top notes” (the very first thing you smell while the cologne is still wet) are all citrus fruits. Tangerine and Orange walk into your house uninvited, but that’s OK because they don’t stay long. While they take leave, you realize a darker more complicated somebody has been sitting in the corner the whole time. The “body” (what comes out when the top notes depart) draws out wood tones including cedar, sandalwood, and oakmoss, as well as sea water, lemon and cranberry. It’s like a warm summer’s night on the Riviera in a classic wooden speedboat. And there are a lot worse ways to spend your time.

The undertones settle down in a few hours to an enjoyable yet subtle spice and that’s exactly where they stay all day or all night. To test the longevity I sprayed directly onto my skin and then went for a five mile run. Sweating out three pounds of water weight later (no exaggeration) the scent was still hanging on, though in reality there wasn’t much left.

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like any scents by Puff Diddly, or P Daddy, or whatever it is that he calls himself right now. I figured the cologne would be like his recent music; juvenile, uninspiring, and increasingly irrelevant. But actually, I quite like I Am King. Is it the best cologne out there? No. It’s not even the best cologne I’ve personally owned. But is it King of the moment? Sure, why not.