Restaurant Review: Mardi Gras Fun at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tantalizing seafood and a fun, festive atmosphere are just the beginning at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill in New Orleans, LA. Whether you find yourself in the French Quarter of the Big Easy during the Mardi Gras festivities or any other time during the year, the Red Fish Grill is a must-see restaurant no matter how you spin it.

Bright, bold colors bedeck the walls of this casual seafood eatery and eclectic décor featuring fish and sea life themed works of art hang along the walls above the bar and all around the restaurant. Choices of seating accommodate a cozy table for two to a large group of friends vacationing together and everyone in between.

Tasty libations on the beverage menu get your meal started off on a fun and social note, with such great concoctions as specialty lemonades, Mojitos, and more. The bar begins serving at 11 a.m., just in time for the perfect lunch at a casual seafood restaurant on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. With lunch entrees at just $7 – $12, you can really enjoy your experience to the fullest, also sampling the savory soups, salads, and appetizers on the menu. (Dinner entrees at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill range from $13 to $22, a great price for delicious New Orleans seafood!)   Whether you are in the mood for a classic New Orleans bite like the crusty, breaded Shrimp Po Boy or a more involved, yet just as cultural meal, such as the jambalaya (Pasta jambalaya here, with delightful bowtie pasta during our Mardi Gras luncheon), you’re sure to enjoy what the Red Fish Grill has to offer. If you visit the Red Fish Grill during the Carnival season, be prepared that the menu may be scaled back to accommodate the larger than normal crowds the city of New Orleans experiences during this time. Not to worry – the amended menu still offers something for everyone, from fish to sandwiches, salads, and more. Our group visited the Red Fish Grill on our friend’s recommendation. A Louisiana native, Brandy knew the restaurant received much acclaim in Louisiana as being a great seafood restaurant, but also that it had received an award for being the Best Seafood Restaurant four years in a row. The tempting Mardi Gras menu, while condensed from the standard lunch menu at Red Fish, still posed a number of perplexing decisions, with many enticing entrees available for lunch, not to mention soups, salads, and appetizers. I opted for a Louisiana treat of a soup of the day and sandwich, consisting of a delicious crab soup, which I will forever dream of as being the best I’ve ever had, and a Shrimp Po Boy, featuring golden battered, crispy shrimp on a crusty Leidenheimer po-boy loaf. I ordered my meal on recommendation by our Louisiana pals as being one classic New Orleans dish you couldn’t pass up on your vacation, and I was not disappointed. (I’m also quite sure the strong bread component of my meal helped me through the rest of our day of parades and traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.) My husband went for the full Monte in ordering the Jambalaya (with pasta instead of rice: cleverly dubbed “pastalaya”), which boasted “sautéed Gulf shrimp, roasted chicken, and Creole Country andouille sausage tossed in a rich tomato natural reduction sauce with spirali, Creole seasonings and topped with Parmesan cheese.” Thanks to a great first taste, jambalaya fast became his meal of choice for the remainder of our visit to the Big Easy. Although I must admit, he tried jambalaya in two or three other restaurants during our stay, none of which even compared to the dish he enjoyed at the Red Fish Grill. If I am ever fortunate enough to find myself in New Orleans again – whether on business or pleasure – I fully plan to visit Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill again, perhaps for dinner next time. From superb food to excellent service and a great atmosphere to share with your sweetheart or a group of friends, family, or colleagues, this restaurant will forever remain one of my favorite casual seafood dining experiences. I highly recommend visiting the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans if you ever find yourself in town.

About the Restaurant: The Red Fish Grill is located at 115 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130. For more information, call (504) 598-1200 or visit the Red Fish Grill online at www.Red Fishgrill.com.

Choosing the Best Nail Color and Nail Shape Based on Your Hands and Fingers: Q&A with Roxanne Valinoti

Depending on the shape of your hand and fingers, you may find that certain colors of nail polish and certain nail shapes look better on you than others. The best nail shape based on hands and fingers...For a really great look, you can customize your manicures based on what nail shape looks best based on the shape of your hands and fingers. Once you find out the nail shape for your fingers, you can easily file your nails to have a rounded edge or a square edge, or let them grow longer, or trim them to be shorter.

You can also have fun with matching up the right nail shape with your fingers and hand shape when using fake nails. A number of beauty companies offer lovely fake nails kits with pre-painted nails, a French manicure style, or plain, unpainted fake nails. If you decide to use the false nail kits with your manicure, simply look for a fake nails kit that contains the nail shape that works best for your hands.

In case you need help choosing the best nail color and the right nail shape based on your hands and fingers, consider these tips from CND Ambassador and nail expert, Roxanne Valinoti.


Q.-  Life Love Beauty: Does the length or shape of the fingers impact which nail shapes look best? If finger shape can help determine the right nail shape for someone, please explain.


Tips on choosing the best nail shape and color for your hands and fingers...A. – Roxanne Valinoti:
Who doesn’t want their fingers to look longer and leaner? A great nail shape that can take 10 lbs off your hands is a softer oval or almond shape. It gives the illusion of length, which is great for shorter fingers. This elegant, modern, feminine shape looks great on any woman. If you have shorter nails, you can still get this illusion by slightly rounding the corners of a short square nail.

Q.-  Life Love Beauty: What about color? Does finger shape or finger size impact which colors look best on nails?

A. – Roxanne Valinoti:
When it comes to color, there are no rules. Nails can be a great fashion accessory to complement any style. This season (winter 2008 – 2009), nudes are more opaque, which can have a lengthening effect on shorter nails. Look for one that matches or complements your skin tone.

Deep, rich burgundies or browns are chic on a medium length nail and metallic shades look great on any nail length or nail shape. Try adding a few drops of black to your metallic polish to give it a vintage, patina look.

Q.-  Life Love Beauty: How does a woman determine which nail shape or nail polish color will look best on her own hands? Any tips?

A. – Roxanne Valinoti: Decide what your style is: Who are you? What are your beauty goals? Then go for it!

Choose the best nail shape for you with these tips on matching your finger and hand shape to your nail shape.Sexy – try longer almond nails in a deep rich red or burgundy, like CND’s Masquerade.

Classic – stick to neutral shades like CND’s Cocoa, or other creamy beiges.

Sophisticated – a chic rich dark brown with high shine, like CND’s Fedora, on a shorter to medium length nail looks great… even on toes.

About the Expert:
Roxanne Valinoti is a CND (Creative Nail Design) Ambassador and nail expert. CND provides the salon and spa professional with products, services, education and support for the high quality nail services. For more information on CND (Creative Nail Design), visit online at http://www.cnd.com/Consumer.aspx.

Photos courtesy of CND (Creative Nail Design).

Summer Giveaway – “Cardioke” Fun Workout DVD

For a fun, new workout that gets you in shape while exercising your lungs to your favorite songs, check out Cardioke! Life Love Beauty has been lucky enough to partner with Billy Blanks Jr’s hot workout – Cardioke for this fun and healthy giveaway prize.

Win a copy of Billy Blanks Jr's workout DVD

“With Billy’s long history in singing, dancing, and fitness, it was only natural that these worlds would eventually unite. Billy and his wife, Sharon, saw a need for a fitness program that was effective but actually fun! Understanding that 70% of weight loss comes through proper breathing, the Blanks took breathing techniques, cardio dance, and body sculpting and combined them with Karaoke to create a high-energy, stamina-building, total body, effective fitness program for all ages, shapes, and lifestyles.”

Read on for instructions on how to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Billy Blanks Jr’s Cardioke workout.

Prize: One lucky reader will win a DVD copy of Billy Blanks Jr’s Cardioke.

Some songs included are: “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls, “Dancing in the Street,” “It’s Your Thing,” “The Cup of Life,” by Ricky Martin, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Proud Mary” and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.

 

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: Contest begins July 19, 2009 and ends July 30, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Rules: Please note: You MUST follow the rules in entirety and meet the minimum word count to be eligible for a chance to win this contest. Please read these instructions carefully and follow accordingly.

1. Answer this question with your best tip of 25 words or more:

– What helps you stay motivated when you work out? What do you do during, before, or after you exercise in order to stick to the task and stay motivated?

2. OPTIONAL: For two bonus chances to win, Follow Life Love Beauty on Twitter — OR — Become a fan of Life Love Beauty on Facebook. THEN post a tweet on Twitter or a Facebook status update and link to any article on Life Love Beauty that you like. (Doing both Twitter and Facebook gets you two additional chances to win. Doing one or the other gets you one bonus chance to win.).

3. REQUIRED: Compose an e-mail message to [email protected], and include the following:
* Subject line: Summer Giveaway – Cardioke
* Your full name and birth date, including the year
* Your full mailing address (house #, street, apt. #, city, state, zip)
* Your tip of 25 words or more (and Your facebook or twitter URL if you did the bonus portion)

Win a copy of Billy Blanks Jr's workout DVD

Note: When you enter, you will automatically be subscribed to the Life Love Beauty Monthly Newsletter. (If you are already a subscriber, you won’t need to subscribe again.) You can opt out at any time.

How to win:
•    One winner will be selected from all entrants at random.
•    No purchase necessary. You have not yet won.
•    Winner will be contacted via e-mail, and the winner will be added to the list of winners posted on LifeLoveBeauty.com following verification.

Good luck!

Top 10 Cheap and Easy Things to Do Outside with Your Friends, Family, or Sweetheart Every Summer

When the summer rolls around, you can bet on a number of bright, warm, sunny days and the need for sunscreen and cool beverages. You can find plenty of fun things to do outside on a summer day, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Whether you want to hang out with your friends, spend time with your family, or chill out with your significant other, you can enjoy any of these summertime outdoor activities. These activities are almost all kid friendly summer activities as well, so you can get your whole family involved.

1.    Go swimming.

2.    Enjoy freshly made cotton candy.

3.    Find shapes in the clouds, gaze at the stars, or watch a meteor shower.

4.    Go on a picnic or eat outside at a picnic table.

5.    Grill your dinner or go to a barbeque.

6.    Go for a walk in the park.

7.    Have a catch in your backyard.

8.    Play a yard sport like croquet, bocce ball, or wiffle ball.

9.    Play a round of miniature golf.

10.    Go to an outdoor concert or festival.

If you’re looking for a summertime activity to do on the cheap, any of these suggestions should do. You can enjoy about half of these activities completely free while the other half cost only a little bit of money.

For a fun and healthy summer, get together with your friends or loved ones and celebrate the warm weather and fresh air by spending some time outside. Try out these outdoor activities or think of your own cheap and fun things to do in the summer.

Resort and Cruise Hair Styling and Hair Care Tips

Getting your hair to look great on vacation can be a snap or it can take lots of time and patience, depending on how lucky – or how experienced – you are.  With a few simple tips, you can avoid pulling your hair back into a ponytail for your entire vacation. Give your vacation photos some depth and variety by trying the following tips for hair styling and hair care on your resort or cruise vacation.

Suki Duggan, owner of Manhattan’s legendary Donsuki Townhouse Salon (62nd and Madison), shares her favorite tips for getting great hair at the resort or on a cruise ship. Duggan offers advice on how to protect your hair, how to prevent frizz and flyaways, and how to avoid hair nightmares when you spend your time in hot, humid weather on your cruise or resort vacation.

Resort Hair Tip 1: Lay off the hot styling tools.
“If you normally use hot hair tools (blow dryers, hot irons, electric curlers) every day, give your hair a break and let it air dry,” Duggan says.

Resort Hair Tip 2: Deep condition your hair.
“Give it extra conditioning with the Donsuki Seaweed Hair Masque, a holistic treatment that uses nutrient-rich seaweed extracts to fortify the hair and scalp,” Duggan suggests. (Price: $32 Retail: Please call 212-826-3397 to place an order.)

Resort Hair Tip 3: Protect your hair from damaging UV rays.
“The sun’s UV rays are just as damaging to our hair as they are to our skin,” Duggan says. “Not only does the sun make our hair dry and weak, it also can make color-treated hair appear brassy.”

Resort Hair Tip 4: Wear a UPF protective hat or invest in a hair care product with SPF.
Wallaroo Hat Company features a line of fashionable hats for the entire family with a UPF of 50+ that can protect against 97.5% of the sun’s rays. www.WallarooHats.com

About the Expert:

Suki Duggan is owner of Manhattan’s legendary Donsuki Townhouse Salon (62nd and Madison). For more information, please visit http://www.donsukisalon.com.

22 Adult Party Themes and Ideas for Parties, Birthdays, and Social Events for Grown-ups

Just because you aren’t in college anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still party like you’re a coed! From a tasteful wine and cheese party to reliving the keggers of your youth, consider these 22 adult party themes and ideas for grown-up gatherings. You can take it to the extreme or keep things classy and casual.

Read on for different party ideas for adults, perfect for birthday parties, social gatherings, and more.

Classy Adult Party Theme Ideas
–    Casino Party
–    Murder Mystery Party
–    Wine and Cheese Party
–    Christmas in July
–    Garden Party – Set up a nice garden grove area and serve iced tea and sandwiches or other light fare.

Wild and Crazy Adult Party Theme Ideas – aka: Drinking Party Themes
–    Guest Bartender Party
–    Keg Party
–    Beer Olympics

Food Centric Adult Party Themes
–    Deep-Fry Party – As long as you have a deep-fryer and cooking oil, you are set. Ask each guest to bring something you can deep fry – Oreos, pickles, potatoes, chicken – you name it.
–    Clam Bake
–    Crab Boil
–    Shrimp Boil
–    Cultural Party – Pick one theme for your food and do a potluck, or tell your guests that all countries and ethnic or cultural food is fair game. Have each guest bring something that fits the theme.
–    Potluck

Music Related Party Themes
–    Reggae Party
–    Island Party / Luau
–    Punk Rock Party

Adult Costume Party Ideas – Great for Adult Halloween Parties!
–    Costume Party
–    Dead Celebrities Party – Guests dress up like their favorite late celebrity.
–    Look-alike Party

Retro and Throwback Adult Party Ideas
–    Blast from the Past Party – Give guests a range of decades and let them pick their favorite.
–    Decade Party – Pick a decade – like the 1980s – and ask guests to dress like the time.

No matter what you decide, we hope you have a great time. Remember, if you partake in alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver and please drink responsibly.

Roles for Dogs in Your Wedding – From Guest to Ring Bearer

Have today’s weddings gone to the dogs? Maybe to some extent…. If you and your four-legged, furry friend are as inseparable as can be, finding a role for your dog in your upcoming wedding may not be a crazy idea at all. After all, dogs are an integral part of our lives and a cherished member of the family. Dogs are there through thick and thin, by your side for most of life’s curveballs, ups and downs.

In modern weddings, couples are opting for more contemporary, sometimes even out-of-the-ordinary options, such as hosting destination weddings instead of traditional ceremonies, wearing more than one wedding gown, and even wearing contrasting, colored wedding shoes under the wedding dress. Alongside trashing a wedding dress for some really edgy wedding photography, does inviting your family pet to the wedding really seem that outlandish?

If you have a wild and crazy canine, you might find it difficult to fit your furry friend into your wedding day plans. You don’t want to get one of your friends or relatives tied up on doggy-sitting detail, so in this case, inviting your pooch pal to the wedding may not be the best move. However, if your dog is well behaved and good in a crowd, you should have much better luck getting your pet dog involved in your wedding day festivities.

Dogs as the Ring Bearer
Dogs very often fit the job description of the ring bearer in a wedding setting. As long as the dog is able to obey basic commands, like “Come,” you should be in business. If your pet responds to gestures and body language, your puppy dog is even better suited to participate in your wedding.

“My pup was the ring bearer,” says Marisa Perry of New York City. “He was fabulous and we could not get married without him there. My husband had his custom suit maker make him a special pouch for his rings, which he wore around his neck.”

“My fiancé and I have a dog named Scooby Doo; he is a shepherd collie mix and will be turning 10 years old in a couple of weeks,” says soon-to-be bride Colleen Wright. “He is a very important part or our lives, so we thought what better way to make our wedding a family affair than to have him as the ring bearer (but of course he will not be really brining the rings down… out of fear they would get lost). He is a very mild mannered, calm dog, but he does not like to be on a leash, so against [our instincts] we are going to have him run down the aisle when my fiancé, Jay, calls him (we are hoping this does not end up in disaster).”

Wright says Scooby Doo will be wearing a black bow tie for the occasion.

“We decided against a doggy tuxedo or harness covered in flowers because he will most likely just try to get it off and ruin it,” she adds. “We are very happy to be able to include him, but it was not easy to get the hotel to agree. We are getting married at an upscale golf resort in Rochester, NY. The venue does not allow pets on an everyday basis. So we were told, after much prodding, that we would be allowed to bring Scooby but he had to be snuck into the hotel (thus, we are going to wrap him in a towel and carry him upstairs – he is a medium sized dog, not real small, so this should be interesting). Then he is supposed to be in a crate the whole time he is in the room (which he will not do well in) and we have to pay a $100 fee for the hotel to clean the room upon departure.”

“I am not too worried about him being in the wedding,” Wright says. “He is a very good dog and listens very well to my fiancé. All and all I think it will be a nice addition, and very special. Plus, his short moment in our wedding will be documented in our wedding pictures for years to come.”

Despite the hassles and hoops to jump through, the ability to include their beloved pooch in the wedding is well worth the cost and potential drama. Having their dog as the ring bearer in the wedding will be a priceless memory for a lifetime to come!

Other Roles for Dogs at a Wedding
While it may be perfectly acceptable in some cases for the bride’s or groom’s (or the couple’s) dog to participate in the wedding, a guest’s dog should not be in attendance… unless of course it’s an extreme circumstance or medical reason, and the bride and groom are privy to the situation, and they are OK with it. One such example is the role of the Seeing Eye dog.

“When my late husband and I were married in 1986, our minister was not sighted, so she had her Seeing Eye dog with her,” says Mary Westheimer. “The ceremony was short and sweet, and its highlight was when the minister stepped on her dog’s tail and he yelped. Talk about unique!”

Finally, the couple’s dog may simply attend the wedding as a guest. Outdoor weddings may be great for doggie guests, but a concern could be the dog getting loose and running off during the wedding ceremony or the reception. Of course, there are typically always pros and cons to every situation, so if you’d like to invite or involve your dog in your wedding day, weigh the pros and cons to ensure you are fully comfortable with the decision and aware of any potential outcomes or consequences.

Common Skincare Ingredients to Avoid Based on Your Complexion and Skin Type

When it comes to preventing the onset of aging, keeping your skin healthy is paramount. For healthy skin, you probably already know various tips on how often to cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and moisturize your skin, and chances are you might already be taking the right steps to protect your skin from exposure to the sun and its UV rays. But when it comes down to your skincare products and makeup collection, do you have the first clue about what skincare ingredients are safe and which ones you should avoid like the plague?

In this article, Dr. David Bank, Founder and Director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, offers a helpful overview of which skincare ingredients you should avoid based on your complexion and skin type. Bank also offers general recommendations on skincare ingredients to avoid for people of all complexions and skin types.

Bank notes that different common skincare ingredients may cause a variety of side effects based on your skin type. Women and men both can benefit from learning about which skincare ingredients we should all avoid. Read on for Dr. Bank’s tips on skincare ingredients to avoid when you have sensitive skin, oily skin, dry skin, and also ingredients to avoid no matter what skin type you have.

SKINCARE INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN
If you have sensitive skin and a delicate complexion, Bank shares the following tips on which skincare ingredients to avoid:

Lanolin: “Although a natural wax found in sheep’s wool, even after being refined for cosmetic use some small traces of impurities and toxins such as pesticides may still remain,” Bank says. “Once absorbed in to the body it can cause allergic reactions such as redness, rashes or hives on the skin.”

Fragrance: “Used to improve the smell of products, fragrances are often a mix of hundreds of ingredients,” Bank explains. “While most people can usually tolerate natural essential oil fragrances, synthetic fragrances can cause severe reactions from swelling to itchiness because many labels won’t list the numerous chemicals included in the fragrance.”

Quaternium-15: “A preservative known as a formaldehyde-releasing agent, it’s commonly found in lotions and cleansers and tends to cause the most dermatological reactions,” Bank says. “Symptoms of reactions include itching and severe blistering.”

SKINCARE INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN
Those of us with oily skin may find it difficult to locate the right products to help reduce the oil output on our skin. If you have an oily skin type, treat your complexion right by avoiding the following skincare product ingredient, as Dr. Bank suggests.

Mineral Oil: “A derivative of petroleum oil used to lock in moisture may be fine for someone not prone to break-outs, but if you’re acne-prone or have oily skin stay away from this treatment,” Bank says. “This substance is hard to absorb, remaining on the skin clogging pores.”

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid if You Have Dry Skin
Dry skin poses its own set of challenges when searching for products to enhance your complexion. If you have dry skin, avoid the following skincare product ingredients for best results in your dry skin.

Petrolatum and Paraffin Gel (petroleum jelly):
“Commonly found in cosmetics such as lip products, petrolatum creates a barrier ideally used to lock in moisture,” Bank explains. “It’s helpful when there’s moisture to trap, but when used on bone dry skin you actually prevent moisture from entering, causing further dryness.”

Alcohol: “Found commonly in facial toners, this ingredient can have severe drying effects on the dermis, which can cause irritation and swelling on those with dry skin,” Bank notes. “Inflamed skin can also lead to break outs because the pores become clogged.”

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid for All Skin Types
No matter what skin type you have, your complexion can benefit by avoiding the following skincare ingredients, according to Banks.

Octocrylene:
“Found in some sunscreens to help absorb UVA and UVB rays, this organic compound can penetrate the skin and act as a photosensitizer which can cause free radical damage,” Banks says.

Sunscreen chemicals:
“Some people may also be allergic to chemical sun screening agents,” Banks mentions. “For those people, look for chemical-free sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to provide broad spectrum protection.”

About the Expert:
Dr. David Bank is Founder and Director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age.

Top 10 Summer or Warm Weather Adventure Date Ideas

Summertime offers the perfect excuse to try exciting new things and explore new adventures while enjoying the warm weather. Summer adventure dates can be lots of fun for couples or for double dates and group dates. Depending on your preference, you can plan a summer or warm weather adventure date with your significant other and your closest friends for an unforgettable and exciting summer activity.

If you and your sweetheart or new love interest (or group of friends) are seeking an unforgettable summer adventure date, you can first narrow down your options by deciding if you want to stay dry or get wet. Determining if you want to plan a water adventure date or an adventurous date on land can make a big difference in the planning of your date.

Begin planning your summer or warm weather adventure date by first thinking of all the adventurous date ideas you can try. Here are our top 10 summer or warm weather adventure date ideas for you to try:

1.    Whitewater rafting or tubing – Few warm weather outdoor activities happen to be as exhilarating as whitewater rafting, where you and your group are at the mercy of the rapids in your chosen river. If whitewater rafting is a bit too adventurous of a date for you, consider tubing down a river instead. Check with the park office or other authority in charge of the river before planning this date, just to make sure your desired river is safe for tubing. The Delaware River in Pennsylvania is one such river that is great for tubing!

2.    Scuba diving or snorkeling
– While scuba diving and snorkeling typically require you to be along the coast or on a tropical island or coastal vacation, you can surely build in a snorkeling or diving trip into an existing trip to an appropriate location. Diving and snorkeling truly embody a fun sense of adventure and excitement for your adventurous warm weather or summertime date.

3.    Overnight fishing trip
– If you and your significant other enjoy fishing in general, why not kick things up a notch and go out on a deep sea fishing adventure on an overnight angling excursion. Bluefish are a classic catch for these overnight fishing treks and hooking into a bluefish holds an excitement all its own. If you are feeling extra adventurous on your date, place a wager as to who will catch the biggest fish or the most fish on the overnight fishing trip.

4.    Parasailing – Parasailing may be a fun and relaxing yet exhilarating date adventure, as long as you aren’t afraid of heights or water. You can take turns going single parasailing and take pictures of each other in the air, or for a more romantic date adventure, find a location like Key West that offers tandem parasailing!

5.    Surfing or windsurfing
– If your athletic urges are going strong, consider surfing or windsurfing as an exciting adventure date. If you and/or your partner aren’t familiar with the ways of surfing or windsurfing, look for a workshop or an instructor that can give you all the guidance you need to get started. If you can’t find a class or don’t want to bother with lessons, opt for the easier, yet still exciting water adventure – and grab a boogie board!

6.    Sailing – Sailing on the open sea or in a serene lake makes for a truly romantic adventure date that is still exciting and enjoyable on many levels. Whether you sail a Sunfish sailboat or a catamaran, your warm weather date adventure will be a memorable one. Bring a picnic lunch and don’t be surprised if your date tosses you in the water for a refreshing dip!

7.    Kayaking – For a bit of an active date adventure, try kayaking in a lake or stream. You can try sea kayaking, too, but this might be best left for the more experienced kayakers. Kayaking together with your date gives you both a workout as well as an exciting tour of the nature around you.

8.    Waterskiing or wakeboarding – Put your leg muscles and your balance to the test with a fun date of waterskiing or wakeboarding. If you have access to a lake and a ski boat, let the games begin. Enjoy an exciting and adventurous date on the water on a nice, sunny summer day.

9.    Hiking – Perhaps water sports aren’t your thing. If this is the case, consider going on an adventurous hike with your sweetheart. Choose a trail that offers breath-taking views, a challenging climb, or a picnic spot at the pinnacle. You can bring a picnic lunch in a backpack along with some water, bug spray, and other necessities.

10.    Controlled thrills – Visit an amusement park, carnival, or boardwalk with rides and games and all the junk food you can imagine. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel or the roller coasters. Challenge your significant other to a competition at one of the game booths and don’t forget to enjoy some funnel cake.

Whatever you decide to do for your exciting adventure date with your sweetheart in the warm summer weather, make sure you take a few pictures to document and remember the experience. An adventure date typically arouses thrills and chills, so be prepared for anything at all. Take caution on any potentially dangerous situations, and most importantly, have a great time!

Naz Kupelian’s Celebrity Hairstyles for Hair of Different Thickness and Texture

No matter if you have thin hair or thick hair or hair that has a texture and thickness somewhere in between, you can find your hair’s strengths and maximize on its potential. Celebrity Hairstylist Naz Kupelian shares the following tips for women to achieve celebrity hairstyles with hair that is fine to medium in texture as well as hair that is medium to thick in texture.

Consider the following celebrity hairstyle tips for hair of different thickness and texture to find the tips that will work best for your hair. Using the step-by-step tips below, you can create a sexy celebrity style ponytail, a romantic head of celebrity style barrel curls, or a slightly messy, half-up / half-down celebrity hairstyle.

A Sexy, Celebrity Style Ponytail: [fine to medium hair]
To create a sexy, celebrity style ponytail with hair that is of fine to medium texture and thickness, follow these steps:

1.     Blow dry hair completely using a product such as RUSK’s “Gleam,” a lusterizing crème and anti-frizz) product that detangles the hair and leaves it frizz-free, smooth and soft looking. Naz also recommends a product from his own line called “Silk Nectar” – a transformative and redefining serum.
2.    Place hair in a ponytail at the back of the crown of the head.

Sexy Celebrity Style Barrel Curls [medium to thick hair]
To create sexy celebrity style barrel curls using a large barrel curling iron on hair that is of medium to thick texture, follow these steps:

1.    Blow dry hair with a product that has resin in it such as a mousse for volume and control. Products will cream will weigh down the hair. Naz recommends “La Crème Mousse” in his own line “Naz Kupelian”.

2.    Once the hair is completely dry, make curls using a large barrel curling iron starting at your chin level down.

Slightly Messy, Sexy Half-Up Celeb Hairstyle [fine to medium hair]
To create a slightly messy, sexy half-up / half-down celebrity hairstyle with hair that is fine to medium in thickness and texture, follow these steps:

1.    Blow dry hair with a light mouse such as “La Crème Mousse”.

2.    Take pieces of hair from the side and pin them together below the crown of the head. The soft and un-kept look will be achieved by leaving a few pieces loosely in the front of the face.

About the Expert:
Naz Kupelian is an International Hair Artist and owner of Naz Kupelian Salon. For more information, visit Naz Kupelian Salon online at www.nazkupeliansalon.com.

How to Find the Right Hat for Your Face Shape

Some people look great in hats while other people just don’t look as good when wearing a hat. But did you know the issue may not be that some people aren’t meant to wear hats – on the contrary, some hats look better on different face shapes than others. Even if you think you don’t look that great in a hat, you might surprise yourself by trying on a different style hat than you’d usually grab off the rack.

Hats make the ultimate summer accessory – they offer a fashionable look with a wonderful protective purpose as well. Wearing a hat comes in handy for countless outdoor activities, such as gardening, fishing, playing baseball, relaxing on the beach, hiking, and so much more. Hats offer a great functionality of shielding your eyes from the sun and protecting your scalp and face as much as they offer a classic fashion statement.

Stephanie Carter, cofounder of Wallaroo Hats, shares her favorite hints to help you find the hat that is right for your face. Read on to discover which type of hat will look best on you based on your face shape, from round face shape to oval shape, heart shape, or narrow / petite face shape.

The Best Hat for a Round Face Shape
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Stephanie Carter, cofounder of Wallaroo Hats, suggests a squared crown with a medium sized brim hat for the round face shape.
ONE TO TRY – The Sonoma, by Wallaroo Hats

The Best Hat for an Oval Face Shape
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Stephanie Carter, cofounder of Wallaroo Hats, suggests a larger flexible brim that folds up or down for the oval face shape.
ONE TO TRY -The Catalina, by Wallaroo Hats

The Best Hat for a Heart Face Shape
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Stephanie Carter, cofounder of Wallaroo Hats, suggests hats with square and flat tops (think panama types) for the heart face shape.
ONE TO TRY – The Canberra, by Wallaroo Hats

The Best Hat for a Narrow or Petite Face Shape
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Stephanie Carter, cofounder of Wallaroo Hats, suggests a hat with a rounded crown and a shorter brim for the narrow or petite face shape.
ONE TO TRY – The Victoria Hat, by Wallaroo Hats

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Celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Brooke Shields, and Marcia Cross have been spotted wearing Wallaroo Hats, as well as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s daughter Violet Affleck, who was wearing Wallaroo Hat Company’s new Sophia hat in a park in Boston. The company offers hats for men, women, children, and infants.

About the Expert:
Stephanie Carter is cofounder of Wallaroo Hat Company. Wallaroo hats protect against roughly 98% of the sun’s rays and most Wallaroo hats have a built-in UPF sun protection of 50+. For more information, visit www.wallaroohats.com.

“Jon & Kate Plus 8” Divorce, 4th of July Gathering, Mark Long Road Ahead

Despite trying to make nice for the 4th of July holiday with the kids, Jon and Kate Gosselin – the stars of “Jon & Kate Plus 8” – have a long road ahead – involving divorce and raising eight children separately in a now broken home. News reports state that Jon and Kate Gosselin spent the 4th of July holiday together at their Pennsylvania home for the kids’ happiness.

Reports also state that Kate Gosselin filed for divorce on June 22, 2009. While no allegations have been confirmed on either side, various photographs have surfaced showing Jon Gosselin with a 23-year-old schoolteacher, so it’s plain to see that Kate Gosselin is going through some pretty heavy stuff right now.

Author Ginger Emas, who penned the amusing and supportive “Back on Top: Fearless Dating After Divorce” (Globe Pequot Press, 2009), offers divorce survival advice for Kate Gosselin based on her own experiences.

“A break-up or divorce is never easy, and especially not for Kate, who has eight kids and a very public life,” Emas comments. “I applaud her. I’m rooting for her. And when she’s ready to date, I’ll be glad to babysit.”

Divorce Survival Tips for Kate Gosselin from Author Ginger Emas
Ginger Emas offers the following divorce survival tips for Kate’s split with Jon:

1.    Decide to have an amicable split from Jon, no matter what it takes. With eight kids, you’re going to need a supportive co-parent, especially when they hit puberty – all at once! It won’t always be easy, but you get to create your own divorce. Maybe you won’t bring your ex home for the holidays like I do, but strive for a friendship that allows you to raise the kids without yelling and arguing. After all, if you wanted to scream at each other, you would stay married.

2.    Do not say mean things about Jon in front of your kids. Ever. This is an opportunity to tap into your best self, your truest character. You will feel so incredibly good about yourself, at a time when it’s easy to get down on yourself. Be nice. Your kids are going to be feeling torn, confused, scared. They need to know that Mommy and Daddy love them, and the way kids feel that is to see that Mommy and Daddy are nice to each other. You won’t be able to change Jon’s behavior (you already know that), you can only change how you react to his behavior, and how you guide your children. That’s a big enough job!

3.    Take care of yourself. It’s not going to be easy with a houseful of adorable preschoolers, but you’re going to need some self-love here. Surround yourself with girlfriends you trust, who really care, and who can help you smile through some of the hard times. I know this isn’t the happily ever after you dreamed about on the day you got married. (Although I have talked with several women who told me they knew as soon as they walked down the aisle that their marriage was doomed; I certainly didn’t. I was thinking, “This is the best day of my life, this is the man of my dreams, I’m sure I can change him.”)  Kate, we all feel different things – we’re scared, we’re worried, we’re lonely. What you’re doing also takes courage — especially because you live so publicly. Just remember that you are making the choices that are right for you — and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. But you do owe it to yourself (and to your kids) to take care of yourself.  Breathe.

4.    Don’t even think about dating. I know this is odd advice coming from the woman who wrote the book on “fearless dating after divorce,” but all the experts agree: you won’t be ready for at least a year. That doesn’t mean you should sit home alone (who am I kidding? You’ll be lucky if you’re ever alone between now and the time your kids go to college) but do some things that you enjoy. When your children are with their dad or with relatives or a nanny, take Salsa dancing or fashion designer classes or something else you’ve always wanted to do, now listed under “Classes for the Newly Divorced.”

5.    When you do decide to date, don’t date on your kids’ time. One thing that helps keep me balanced is to remember that I am a mom first. This is why my son thinks he is the center of the universe. And for a little while longer, your kids are, too, Kate. As you start dating, consider your kids’ feelings first. That means keeping your dating life private, separate from your family life, until you are dating someone exclusively and have been seeing him for at least six months. (We can all do the math, this is at least 18 months from now!) It can be confusing and scary for kids to meet a revolving door of dates. Quick tips: Your children do not need to meet your dates; sleepovers should be kept to nights that your kids are not home, and only when you are in a serious relationship; don’t feel guilty about dating (or not dating), be supportive of your ex dating, and finally: love your kids, respect your kids, spend time with your kids. And while I tell most women to be wary of their neighbors, for you: beware of the paparazzi.

6.    Never, ever think you must date. No matter how many times you say “Not yet” when friends who think they are just being supportive ask if you are dating. Unless they offer you the name, age, photo, and financial and mental health records of an eligible bachelor, I think you have just as much right to ask them if they are still having sex with their spouse. If you are out there dating because you think that you should or that this is your one last chance or someone wants to offer you another reality show, dating really will be a disaster.

7.    Do not date looking for your next husband. Do not date for security. Do not date to meet some societal standard of couplehood. This keeps us in relationships with men we wouldn’t even sit next to on the subway. Relationships that could be harmful to our health and self-esteem. You will wind up dating a lot of “frogs” this way. Well, no matter what you do, you’ll probably wind up dating a lot of frogs. Just don’t marry them.

8.    And my all-inclusive advice: Don’t do anything too stupid.

–    The above tips and comments are courtesy of Ginger Emas.

About the Expert:
Ginger Emas is the author of “Back on Top: Fearless Dating After Divorce” (Globe Pequot Press, 2009). For more about Ginger and the book, visit online at: http://backontopthebook.com and on the social media site Ginger created for women finding the courage to date again, www.fearlessdatingafterdivorce.com.