Sunless Self-Tanning Product Review Guide: Solérra Sunless Tanning

With the fast pace that so many women keep today, it is difficult to keep up with the needs of our skin. Not only do we need to remember to moisturize it and pamper it to a brilliant sheen of healthy glow, but we also need to protect it from the ravages of the sun. Plus, there are those of us who for whatever reason want that look of freshly-tanned bronze beauty.

Fortunately, Solérra offers a brilliant array of wonderful products that amazes and dazzles with its results. Just look at these reviews to discover for yourself why you should indulge in a bit of decadent pleasure while achieving that nicely tanned look.

Solérra Sunless Tanning Science for a Better, Longer-Lasting Sunless Tan
Solérra Sunless Tanning Science products offer a revolutionary method for getting a tan without experiencing the ravaging effects of the sun or harsh treatments. Designed to keep a woman looking beautiful with the perfect blend of sophistication, fun, and luxury, Solérra Sunless Tanning Science products are manufactured with high quality ingredients and a unique Invisicare technology that is safe for both the face and the body. Plus, each one of its products has a light, fresh fragrance that is pleasant yet doesn’t overpower other fragrances that you might want to enjoy.

This treatment option allows women or men to get that suntan look all over without resorting to harsh chemicals, silicones, gels, alcohol, waxes, or any other product intended to create a tan without exposure to the sun. In fact, I’d have to say that I love companies that provide all of the products that I could possibly need for any beauty treatment I want. In the first place, it lets me know that I can expect the same quality from each container that I open. This really makes the experience enjoyable from the very first moment.

Whip It Up With Solérra Sunless Tanning Science Xfoliá Berry Fruit Whip
Solérra Sunless Tanning Science Xfoliá berry fruit whip is an excellent pre-tan body smoother that offers the best ingredients for a gentle exfoliator. Attractively packaged in a golden yellow standable tube with black and magenta-colored lettering, this body smoother offers an opportunity to enjoy a fruity-scented creamy concoction that is designed to cleanse the skin while preparing it for its next round of treatment.

I love the scent and the fact that this body smoothie comes out of the tube smelling and looking almost good enough to eat. Of course, I didn’t eat it at all, though the delicious aroma wafting up from it as it slinked out of the tube tempted me. Another nice facet to this product is that I had plenty of it to use since the package contains 5.5 fluid ounces.

One of the many beneficial facets of Solérra Sunless Tanning Science Xfoliá is that it has been carefully formulated to provide a polished look to a woman’s skin. I’d say that it meets its mark since my skin looked simply glowing with a radiant glistening appearance that was such an improvement from the way it looked before I used it. Solérra’s Sunless Tanning Science xfoliá hydrating moisturizers help to keep the skin soft and supple, while promoting the lasting effects of the sunless tan achieved through the Solérra Sunless Tanning Science sunless silk Advanced Formula Sunless Tanning Lotion. In fact, I immediately noticed how smooth and silky my skin felt after using Solérra Sunless Tanning Science Xfoliá berry fruit whip in the shower.

Since it is designed to condition a woman’s skin to provide the best results with sunless tanning treatments, it is an excellent option for use with Solérra Sunless Tanning Science sunless silk Advanced Formula Sunless Tanning Lotion. In fact, it was fun to use from start to finish.

Hassle Free Dressing

Trying on your outfits and putting on your makeup should not be a ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ event every single day or night.  You should not have to try on three different skirt and blouse combinations before you come to terms with what you are going to wear.  Nor should you have to pull out three different shades of lipstick before you get the right shade.

Life has enough twists and turns in it without adding our own.  Perhaps the difficulty comes from having to actually think about what it is that we are going to wear, how others will view us in the outfit, how we will feel wearing it, and exactly what the outfit says about us.  As a young child, all we probably thought about was whether the shirt was the right color i.e. the color we liked.

Here are a few handy tips for creating a hassle free dressing engagement:

•    Lay your clothes out the previous evening.  If your choice does not look good, you’ll know ahead of time.

•    Rotate your clothes that are in the closet from right to left.  That is, once you have worn an outfit, and it has been laundered, place it to the far right side of your closet.  This will help you to keep track of what you have already worn.

•    Remove clothing that is too small or too large for you.

•    Have several articles of clothing on hand that allow you to layer.  In this way, rather than waste time trying to decide if something will be too warm, or not warm enough, you can simply layer an outfit that allows you to shed extra weight or add it on top.

•    Keep your wardrobe versatile.  Purchase several separates that you can mix and match.  Have a few blazers, lightweight jackets, and sweaters on hand.

•    Keep part of your wardrobe basic.  Neutral and basic colors lend themselves to easy use and flexibility.  They go with anything.

•    Remember to purchase your lingerie in colors that will not show through your outfits.  In fact, a variety of colors is probably your best bet.

•    Don’t forget to acquire accessories with versatility, durability, and style.

•    Assemble a selection of footwear that is durable, stylish, and versatile.

•    Be aware of the colors that you wear well and keep them on hand.  This rule of thumb is for both clothing and make-up.

A good wardrobe is like a good pantry—well stocked.  Just like a well stocked pantry has a few staples: sugar, salt, and coffee, a well-stocked wardrobe has a few staples: basics, reversibles, and a few versatile articles of clothing.

So, keep your head out of fairytale land, be happy with what you have, and mix it up!

“Best of Beauty” Spring and Summer 2009: Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, and Bath Essences

For a glimpse of some of the spring and summer’s hottest bath goodies, check out this guide to bath salts, bubble bath, and bath essences. You can find a fine selection of relaxing products to pamper yourself. Drift away from the stress of the day and relax and enjoy your peace of mind with these delightful bath goodies.

AHAVA Revival Bath Salts in Mandarin-Cedarwood

Sean John “Unforgivable” Bubble Bath for Women

Designed with the pampering of women in mind, Sean John “Unforgivable” Bubble Bath for Women is an excellent bath product that offers both luxury and style. This delightfully bubbly concoction comes in a classy container designed like an elegant bottle of champagne. It is the finest of bubble bath products for the finest of creatures, woman. From its black and gold label to its cork-like top, “Unforgivable” hints at romance and enjoyable pleasures much like the real thing.

As the aromatic scent of Sean John “Unforgivable” Bubble Bath for Women wafted up from the depths of a lightly steaming bath to envelop me in an alluring aura of relaxation and contentment, I was instantly pleased.

The crisp sound when uncapping the bottle offered an instantaneous tingling of my senses as it foretold even greater experiences to come. My expectations were exceeded as I discovered that I did indeed like this particular brand of bubble bath. It appears Sean John Fragrances had done their homework correctly and concocted a sinfully delicious product for pleasuring the olfactory senses along with the bodily ones.

Immersed in sensual gratification, I am instantly reminded of the pleasures that being a woman involves each time I use this product. The delightfully cool scented blend of Lavender, Grapefruit, Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Juniper, Clary Sage, and Moroccan Tangerine is perfect, tingly, charming, and enrapturing all at once.

If you try this product, you might discover that it wraps you in a mood of sexiness that unleashes your inner vixen. Try it today and treat yourself to a refreshing, invigorating, and relaxing bath.

SOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing Bath Essences

SOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing bath essencesSOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing bath essences offer a delightful experience of scented bliss in a warm bath environment. Packaged in an attractive box styled in a fading pattern of delicate green with a bold white line featuring the recognizable name of “Sothys” in gold, these delightfully effervescent bath pebbles are a true luxury.

I always enjoy products made in France simply because that’s where they are made. The truth of the matter is that I also really do love the tingling sensation that I get with these energizing bath essences that come in a crisp, clean shade of green.

Some might say that it’s the simple pleasure of taking a hot bath and relaxing that makes me believe these bath pebbles are superior. While it might be true that a bath by any other name is still a bath and will still provide a wonderful rejuvenating experience, I must insist upon the fact that by far, SOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing bath essences is superior to all other products that I have personally tried to date.

If you are wondering just how many products that could be, I’ll let you in on a little secret- the answer to that question is “hundreds.” Whether the bath is one laced with fragrant oils or sizzling with aromatic salts or simply topped with a frothing display of bubbles, I have been in many and have come out with a wide array of instantaneous results.

Today, I treated myself to a mid-morning luxury. I indulged in a bath fragrantly transformed with SOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing bath essences. As I opened one of the individually wrapped tablets, I was instantly struck with the high quality perfumed aroma. Instead of being struck with a cheap fragrance that is so common with certain bath products, my nose met with a strong wisp of a very distinctive scent. I was intrigued, pleased, and delighted all at once. My nose told me that I was about to be pleasantly surprised with the end result and it was correct.

Not only was the bath relaxing, but it was rejuvenating to a point of ebullient energy. I felt like a new woman and smelled pretty too! Okay, enough with the cutesy stuff. I highly recommend this particular bath product to each and every woman or girl reading this. It offers a delightful blend of ingredients including eucalyptus, cardamom, neroli, nutmeg, and thyme.

SOTHYS Aroma-Sothys Energizing bath essences are sold in an attractive green and white box containing ten effervescent pebbles weighing a generous 0.88 ounces each.

AHAVA Revival Bath Salts in Mandarin-Cedarwood

AHAVA Revival Bath Salts are featured in a delicate combination of mandarin and cedarwood fragrances. Packaged in an attractive lime-green/clear container holding 17.5 ounces of scented white crystals, AHAVA’s revival bath salts are the perfect solution to chase away those feelings of tiredness or achy muscles.

Culled from the Dead Seas and carefully scented to provide an instantaneous uplifting effect, this product is a new favorite of mine. I love the way that its fresh fragrance zings my nostrils as I take a whiff from the open container.

AHAVA Revival Bath Salts in Mandarin-CedarwoodNext, I loved luxuriating in its delightfully scented fragrance as it wafted up from the warm waters as I lowered myself in for a nice relaxing soak. With a delicate touch of mandarin and the zing of cedarwood, AHAVA has the perfect combination to relax and revitalize.

The mineral rich salts provide the added bonus of softening my skin as I soak in a bath laced with their invigorating presence. Plus, as my skin softens, its moisture balance is renewed to a better level.

I could feel the tension in my muscles ease as I relaxed in my warm bath, which is great since I have one of those uptight personalities that rarely lets me relax. You know the type- always multi-tasking or having trouble falling asleep thinking about all the tasks left to be done.

I can recommend that if you try AHAVA Revival Bath Salts Mandarin-Cedarwood, you won’t be disappointed.

AHAVA Body Sorbet Caress in Mandarin-Cedarwood

AHAVA Body Sorbet CaressAHAVA Body Sorbet Caress is featured in a mandarin-cedarwood fragrance combination. This body cream-gel is the perfect finishing touch for your skin after a nice long soak in a warm bath laced with AHAVA Revival Bath Salts also fragranced with a mandarin-cedarwood scent. One of the facets to this product that I particularly like is that it is mellow and somewhere in between a thick body cream and a light get. It’s like having the best of both worlds without missing out on any of the benefits.

Since AHAVA uses Dead Sea minerals, chamomile extract, and Aloe Vera leaf juice, this is a healthy product for my skin. It’s rich in both Vitamins E and B5 so it provides an immediate moisturizing effect. It is soothing to the touch and smoothing to the skin. Plus, its ingredients help to fight against free radicals. What more could a gal ask for?

It is definitely not overpowering like oh so many other lotions and body creams. Plus, it doesn’t leave an oily residue that makes me have to resist the urge to wash my hands immediately after applying it. It’s just something nice to use when stepping out of the shower or bath. Plus, its delicate nature makes it perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Attractively packaged in an eye-catching lime-green/clear container holding 12.3 fluid ounces of freshly-scented body cream, AHAVA’s Body Sorbet Caress offers a refreshing, natural scent. Subtle, clean, and neutral in fragrance, it offers a truly nice bouquet that offers an option for men to use this product as well.

I can recommend that if you try AHAVA Body Sorbet Caress in Mandarin-Cedarwood, you won’t be disappointed. It practically melts into my skin when I use it. Find out for yourself and get some today!

Book Review – “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert

A novel with an interesting tale to tell, “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert is a book for those who enjoy reading as much for the style as for the tale. altDespite this fact, this is not a story for those who enjoy an easy-to-read novel that one cannot bear to put down. Far from the light and breezy style of a Harlequin romance novel, “Stern Men” offers a sedate story that winds through several generations of the heroine’s family. If one can hang in there for the finish, it is worth the wait.

Although I did indeed find myself laughing out loud at times, I also found myself wishing that these moments were more frequent. Perhaps I’ve changed in my likes and dislikes as far as reading goes because this is exactly the type of novel that I used to enjoy thoroughly and completely. Unfortunately, I cannot say this is true anymore. If you want to read a book of substance, then this is a book that you should pick up. If you want a quick read, visit the corner store.

Set off the coast of Maine, the novel traverses the lives of strong women who must undergo discrimination, recrimination, and the lot that befalls them simply because of birth. The tale takes one along the lives of women who suffer much while trying to find a few moments of happiness. It involves the lives of people who live separately on two remote islands. Despite the separate nature of these lives, they become intertwined in a not-so-happy manner.

The heroine of “Stern Men” has a mind of her own and finds a way to combat the idiosyncrasies of island living. Embracing her heritage and doping with the provincial minds of men set in their ways, she breaks out of the mold and uses her wits and intelligence to forge a life for herself on the islands that have been so dominated by men all of these years.

One of the facets to this book that I did thoroughly enjoy are the little tidbits of lobster lore at the beginning of each chapter that were culled from various sources including “The Lobster Fishery of Maine,” “The American Lobster: A Study of Its Habits and Development,” and “Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Lore.” Each of these tidbits is interesting and educational at the same time.

For readers who can smell the salt of the sea almost upon command or taste the flesh of expertly cooked lobster at will, “Stern Men” is the read they are looking to enjoy. In fact, for readers who enjoy seeing women get the best of men, this is a story that is sure to please.

Editor’s Note: You can order “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert online at as a paperback at a bargain price.

Best of Beauty – Spring and Summer 2009 Guide: Body Wash and Lotions

If you’re seeking the hottest new skincare products for spring and summer this year (2009), you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoped out the latest skincare goodies and bring to you the following gems for soft, fresh, clean, and sexy skin this spring and summer.

Johnson’s Body Care

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of using quite a few Johnson’s products from baby care to personal care products. Recently, I had the chance to enjoy two brand new collections of body care products designed specifically for adult women: Johnson’s Body Care 24 Hour Moisturizing Line and Johnson’s Body Care Forever Fresh Refreshing Line. I thoroughly “loved” each one to the point that I definitely will be purchasing replacements when the time arrives unless a few more samples arrive mysteriously upon my doorstep.

Continue reading Best of Beauty – Spring and Summer 2009 Guide: Body Wash and Lotions

Healthy School Lunch Guide – Lunches that Kids and Even Adults Will Enjoy

Creating healthy school lunches that children will actually enjoy and eat to the last tiny morsel is not as easy a task as one might think. It’s often difficult to find healthy items to purchase when shopping for school lunches. Check out these healthy school lunch ideas! (Photo by Susan M. Keenan)Plus, it’s difficult to get your kids to want to eat these food choices when everyone else around them has French fries, candy, chips, and cookies.

Try and think about how difficult it is to discipline yourself to continue eating the green salad and crisp apple that you packed for your own healthy lunch while all of your coworkers are sitting there munching their fast food meals that smell so good and pre-wrapped goodies that look so good. There’s good news though because despite the initial difficulty one might experience when looking for healthy school lunch choices, it is more than possible to find healthy options that everyone in the family will enjoy. Read on to discover several healthy food options that will have your kids helping you to pack their lunch boxes each day.

Back to Nature Snack Blends

Back to Nature offers several delicious varieties of their 100% natural nutty snack mix. My family has tried three of these so far and to be perfectly honest with you, I cannot wait until I try all of them. These snacks are so good that trying not to hog them all for myself instead of sharing with the kids is a difficult task. That’s great news for you though because these are healthy foods that offer lots of nutrition without the “bad” ingredients that prepackaged foods often include.

The three varieties that my family tried include the Back to Nature Bar Harbor Blend, Pistachio, Cashews & Almond Mix, and the Nantucket Blend. Each of these treats is sold in a generous 10 ounce package that provides more than enough for several children to enjoy with a bit leftover for the adults in the household as well. It is recommended, and I heartedly agree, that this snack be given only to children 6 years of age and older.

The Back to Nature Snack blends are easy to package for school lunches since you can place small portions in snack-size Ziploc baggies or small containers. Plus, the sweetness of the dried fruit eliminates the clamoring for candy while the crunchy goodness of the nuts eliminates the clamoring for salty chips.

Back to Nature “Bar Harbor Blend”

Bar Harbor Blend by Back to Nature (Photo by Susan M. Keenan)This delightful mix of cranberries, dark chocolate covered almonds, and vanilla almonds is one of my personal favorites. In fact, this is one of everyone’s favorites in my family simply because it has just the right blend of crunchy goodness, chewy texture, and delicious flavoring. Anticipation fuels the kids through their morning when they know that this Back to Nature offering is sitting in their lunch pail or bag.

The crunchiness of the almonds satisfies the need most humans have to chew and chomp on food that tastes good while the sweetness of the cranberries offers the counterbalance of chewy goodness. It’s a tough choice to pick a favorite from this selection of nuts and fruit from Back to Nature since each one of them tastes out of this world!

Pistachio, Cashews, & Almond Mix by Back to Nature (Photo by Susan M. Keenan)Back to Nature “Pistachio, Cashews & Almond Mix”

Delicately roasted with sea salt, this nut mix is perfect for little fingers and hungry appetites. Offering a big taste without the added oils and salts that so many snack mixes come with, the Pistachio, Cashews & Almond mix provides a perfect treat without the undesirable residue provided by so many other nutty snacks. In fact, this is a perfect snack for children after they have finished eating their main lunch course. There’s no need to worry about oily fingers creating difficulty packing up their lunch items for the next day. One tip that I have to offer is that you should only give the Pistachio, Cashews & Almond Mix to a child who enjoys pistachios because this flavor permeates the cashews and almonds totally.

Back to Nature “Nantucket Blend”

This is the perfect blend for those who cannot make up their mind between a fruity snack and a nutty one. The 10-ounce package is jammed pack full of pistachios, almonds, dried cherries, raisins, and dried cranberries. More likely than not, your kids will enjoy every handful of this tasty treat that is 100% natural and contains no harmful additives. The nuts in particular do pose a choking hazard in children younger than this. The presence of the pistachios does not seem to have an effect on the dried fruit in the Nantucket Blend however. This particular blend offers a greater portion of dried fruit, so it is an excellent choice to add into the lunches of picky eaters who typically avoid fruit and veggies.

Back to Nature Snack Cracker Blends

Try Back to Nature crackers for a healthy lunchtime snack. (Photo by Susan M. Keenan)While these crackers are flavorful enough to stand alone on their own, combining them with a small container of your child’s favorite dip is an excellent idea. Not only does this simple touch increase the pleasure of a healthy and tasteful lunch, but also, it gives you the chance to switch it up several times throughout the week.

One of the benefits of this healthy snack is the fact that it comes without trans fat or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. What could be more natural than a cracker made with flavor that comes from Mother Nature herself? These Back to Nature cracker blends are sold in 6.5-ounce boxes that are easy to store and just as easy to tuck away into a briefcase for a mid-afternoon snack for yourself.

Sesame Tarragon Crackers

A crisp six-sided cracker, the Sesame Tarragon cracker offers a satisfying, hearty flavor that undoubtedly includes both sesame and tarragon. The flavors are distinctive enough to stand out while blending together in a satisfying culinary taste temptation. For those children who want something more than just a cracker, adding small squares sliced cheese in the lunchbox will give those little fingers something to do as they put together their own mini-sandwiches. I found that any one of the Back to Nature cracker blends could easily be substituted for the less healthy snacks of potato chips or salty pretzels.

Sunflower Basil Crackers

You get a hint of the lightness of this cracker blend from the soft yellow coloring of the 100% recycled paperboard box. Offering a unique blend of sunflower kernels with fragrant basil, this savory cracker gives a satisfying crunch with a taste that simply melts on the tongue. Children love this flavor whether they are eating it solo or with a bit of cheese. In fact, this cracker is great for in between meals in add
ition to lunches. It’s light enough to satisfy transient hunger pangs without completely ruining dinner. This flavor is great for younger kids who have discerning taste buds that prefer simple tastes to strong ones.

Poppy Thyme Crackers

Packed full of flavor, this cracker not only feeds the tummy, it also feeds the spirit. From the moment this cracker hits the tongue, you get a sensation of just how healthy it truly is. There’s no heaviness filled with salt and artificial flavorings at all. Instead, the cracker tastes fresh and filled with natural flavor. Kids like its speckled appearance thanks to the tiny poppy seeds that contribute to the great taste. This particular flavor stands alone well but it can also be paired up with a bit of cheese or even a tiny scoop of flavored dip. It’s satisfying while being healthy and nutritious.

Back to Nature Cookies

Try Back to Nature cookies for a healthy lunchtime snack. (Photo by Susan M. Keenan)Back to Nature Cookies are available in three tasty varieties including Fudge Mint, Fudge Striped, and Vanilla Wafers. The packaging is attractive giving this product a good edge against other popular brands of cookies that are just as attractively packaged. The package size ranges from 6.4 ounces to 8.5 ounces depending on the variety that you select. Since no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors are used in Back to Nature Cookies, these are an excellent and healthy option to most preprocessed cookies on the market today. Plus, there are no hydrogenated oils or fructose corn syrup in them either. It’s almost as though mom herself baked these cookies.

So far, my family has only had the opportunity to try the Fudge Mint flavor. Pleasing in taste and satisfying to hunger pangs are two of the phrases that come to mind for this tasty treat. These are great additions to any healthy school lunch since they offer that added taste of wetness that most of us crave once we’ve eaten the main food sources in our lunches. It’s nice also that these cookies are individually partitioned in the package so they don’t stick together.

More Healthy School Lunch Snacks, like Granola, Sandwich Thins, Bars, and more…

The Allure of White as a Color Choice in Fashion

White or black? Which is the color of chic? Perhaps it all depends on the wearing – who, what, when, and where. Maybe it depends on whose fashion rulebook you are using.

Whatever it is, sporting white can make a big statement. Wearing white is no longer seen as boring. Rather, it is sexy, demure, or sophisticated depending on the where and how. You can personalize an outfit of white to give it a personality that will stick out in anyone’s memory.

If you decide to wear something with volume, try to pair it with a slimmer item to avoid the totally sloppy look. After all, once you get the attention that you are craving, you want to be able to maintain it- e.g. a fitted jacket or top and sleek boots –especially, to the knee style boots, with a full skirt.

A slightly oversized bag makes more sense than a large satchel that’s big enough to hold half a dinner set of dishes. If it’s easy to clean, so much the better. White accessories, while blending in, can add a sparkle and shimmer that can liven up an outfit. Embellishments from beads and tassels to ribbons and lace can add an exciting dimension to the already perfect outfit.

Instead of worrying about white becoming dirty quickly, purchase something that’s easy to clean such as cotton or stretch cotton. Or simply be bold and wear your whites with zest and the confidence that at the moment, the outfit looks fabulous. After all, we love to add to our wardrobe constantly, and chances are, you will only have to replace part of an ensemble if the worst does happen.

Wearing white promotes a look that captivates the sightseer of fashion. It almost mesmerizes to the point of distraction. The fact, that many celebrities now choose to wear white all year long, adds to the glamour of the color.

Steer away from the typical “hot” colors of red and black for your lingerie. The color white can inspire your mate and give you an almost untouchable look that will send him burning with desire straight into your arms.

The crisp and clean look of white can give an appearance of newness, of innocence, of simplicity. Soft, sheer, and frilly can add a touch of romance. Puffy sleeves, bits of ribbon, and trimmings of lace can lend themselves to the feminine side of your nature.

Fitted jackets and blouses add a sense of professionalism.

Whatever you wear, make it white, and make it yours!

©2005 Susan M. Keenan

The Do’s and Don’ts of Stain Removal

Two things are at a premium for everyone these days- time and money. No one wants to spend more of either one of them on something that they don’t need or want to be doing.Stain removal tips (Photo courtesy of

Doing laundry, on the one hand, is a necessary evil. Yet, on the other hand, it provides the opportunity for pleasant experiences. Our clothing is a gateway to memorable occasions. How we look precludes compliments and admiring gazes.

Doing our laundry correctly ensures that our outfits are pristine in appearance and therefore, worthy of every compliment we receive. Stains that have not been properly treated mar the appearance of an outfit. Therefore, it is extremely important to treat stain removal seriously.

Below are a few vitally important tips to stain removal:
– Take action immediately.
– Blot or soak up any excess substance from the garment quickly.
– Read the care label of your garment for instructions on cleaning it.
– Use the specific directions as closely as possible for removing the stain.
– Follow the specific instructions on any cleaning agents that you use.
– Identify the stain’s origination if possible, and use stain specific tips for its removal.
– Always work from the outside of the stain towards the center of it.

– If the stain is stubborn, massage it as gently as possible to aid in its removal.
– If possible, test a piece of the fabric in an inconspicuous place before applying any cleaning solution.
– If you can not possibly treat the stain right away, use a pre-treating stain stick.
– If possible, line dry the clothing after rinsing it thoroughly. Then, if the stain is gone, re-wash the garment per the label’s instructions.

Wash your clothes effectively! (Photo courtesy of Clara Natoli)

Here are a few equally vital tips on what not to do:
– Never wait until the next day to begin treatment of the stain.
– Do not rub the stain as this spreads the stain, and creates a larger area of the fabric to treat.
– Never use hot water on a stain because this will set the stain.
– Avoid mixing cleaning solutions to treat a stain. Some combinations are toxic.
– Do not use bare hands to apply solvents or bleach.

– Avoid inhaling the fumes from any cleaning agents that you use.
– Do not place the garment in the dryer if you think the stain has not been completely removed.
– Do not attempt to remove the stain yourself if the garment label indicates dry clean only.

Following these quick and easy rules will keep your wardrobe looking good and you looking even better!

©2005 Susan M. Keenan

Color Me Perfect: What Shades to Wear Based on Body Type

When we dress, we are trying to present an image that is pleasing to the eye. We want to receive those compliments that tell us that we look great, because then, and only then, will we believe that we do look great. This allows us to feel good about ourselves. Hence, the quest for the perfect outfit begins and continues forever.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons for having difficulty while selecting an outfit from our wardrobe would be the simple fact that the wardrobe is lacking in outfits that flatter our body shape. How many times have you played the “try on as many outfits as possible in 30 minutes” game while looking for the perfect outfit to wear, only to be left with the same decision and a mountain of clothes to put away? The actual problem is not that you have nothing to wear; it is that you have nothing in the closet that flatters your figure.

So for many of us, the decision about what to wear should begin at the origin of purchase.
Exactly how should you choose your outfits? Let’s start first by exploring how you currently go about selecting your clothing.

If you are like me, you are drawn first by the colors and patterns. Your thoughts are more along the lines of whether or not it will look good on you, without thinking about how will it accentuate your body shape so that it does look good on you. Color is an important feature, and how we display it is the most important aspect of that.

The goal should be to take the attention away from the aspect of our body that is the least pleasing to us and place it elsewhere. In order to accomplish this, we need to consider our body shape, decide which feature we wish to accent more, and discover how to accomplish that.

Here are some helpful tips:

• Those of you who are top heavy and have a full bust will want to draw the eye to the lower portion of your physique. Wear a bolder color from the waist down, and a softer color above.

• If you are thin everywhere, you will want to accentuate your figure by adding dimension. You can do this by choosing outfits that are loose and flowing, and by wearing horizontal patterns.

• If you are bottom heavy and have full hips, you will want to select clothing that draws the eye to the top of your body. You can accomplish this by wearing a splash of color or a bold print on the upper part of your figure, and a solid, darker color below the waist.

• If you have a fuller frame, you will want to stay away from bold patterns or prints. Draw the eye to the upper portion of your torso to create a focal point.

• Those of you who have the envied luck to have a perfect hourglass figure have the easiest path of all. Wear anything you want!

Hair Tips: Color Me Beautiful

Time for something new and appealing! One of the easiest and quickest changes to your personal appearance that you can make is a new hair color. Why not take advantage of a prominent feature and revitalize your hair with new coloring that provides a new and dashing look to set you apart from the rest of the crowd? A new shade of hair color can provide a bold and fresh look that has everyone doing a double take, and saying, “Who is that beautiful woman?”

Remember that in order to look beautiful, a little bit of effort is required. Otherwise, the beast will emerge. No one, or at least no one in the mainstream of things, wants to parade around with orange hair. Several strategies may help you with your selection of hair color. A natural look means a natural beauty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder; so be sure to do your homework before opening the bottle with the magical potion.

Know what color hair you truly have. Be aware of your own skin coloring as well. Select a shade that will compliment what you already have to offer and don’t dare travel down the path of greatest resistance- otherwise known as the totally contrasting horror story. Indeed, there is nothing that will turn a day into a bad hair day quicker than a totally unresearched and poorly chosen hair color.

Two shades darker or two shades lighter will create the desired effect without too much of a change. If you want to make a drastic change in your hair color, it is probably best to visit a professional rather than do it yourself.

If you are unsure about coloring your hair:
• Look for a temporary product that provides an easy wash out in order to sample what that color would be like.
• Test a small section of your hair and allow it to dry completely before deciding if that’s the right color.
• Pick up tips by talking to other women who have colored their hair.
• Try a few highlights instead.

Once you have decided what color would both compliment and add a new sense of flavor to your life, investigate which brand and color will achieve the desired results. Read the box directions. Remember that longer hair may require more than one box. Treated hair, such as permed, will process the color more quickly, as will hair that is closer to the scalp, so you do not want to leave it on too long. Keep contact brief unless you want everyone doing a double take and saying, “Who is that girl with green hair?”

Now that your hair is colored, here are some tips to keep it beautiful.
• Be sure and buy specifically formulated shampoo and conditioner that will help rather than harm your color treated hair.
• Remember that daily conditioning is not simply to make your hair more manageable, but also to revitalize the shine and beauty of your hair.
• Avoid chlorine by avoiding pools.
• Keep exposure to the sun to a minimum, since it can cause the coloring to become dull and less vibrant.

Nothing lasts forever, so enjoy what you have. Play a little and have fun.

Lip Savvy

When you greet people, your smile is probably the first thing that catches their attention.

Pucker up! (Photo courtesy of Dave, smile, especially one that reaches the eyes, can be engaging enough to beckon someone’s interest and winning enough to hold their attention.

Oftentimes, people place all the attention on beautiful, white teeth that shine out through your smile. While this is important, the health of your lips is also important.

If your lips are sore and cracked, a smile can be painful and therefore, less engaging.

When you talk, your lips move constantly and therefore dry, cracked lips can create a desire to remain silent.

Do you ever think about how much depends or rests on your lips? Your lips are your gateway to so many different avenues.

With them you can:
o Whisper sweet nothings into the ears of your loved one.
o Push away the boogieman as you sooth and comfort your little ones.
o Pray for peace for ALL of humanity.
o Extend love and kindness to the people you cherish.
o Offer encouragement, support, and guidance to those who need it.
o Provide thoughtfulness and generosity in a time of need.
o Invite the sandman to elicit sweet dreams while you slumber.
o Sing dulcet tunes to instill peace and harmony.

Winter can be a harsh companion, especially on our lips. Therefore, caring for our lips should be part of our daily routine. Many products are available to help prevent dry and cracked lips. First and foremost, avoid problems with daily care. Take the time to invest in a few products that will keep your lips smooth and delectable.

An ounce of prevention (once or twice a day) is worth a pound of cure (all day long).

Preventative measures can be as simple as:
o Applying a small coat of Vaseline or lip balm when using a dry lipstick.
o Using a bit of lip balm to moisturize as you sleep.
o Using a lip balm before going out into harsh weather, especially one with a good SPF factor to protect them from the sun’s rays.
o Drinking plenty of water to keep your lips hydrated and supple.
o Avoiding the use of lipsticks that can dry out your lips if they have become chapped.
o Resisting the urge to lick your lips (saliva does not moisturize).
o Resisting the urge to nibble at your lips.
o Using a toothbrush with soft bristles to remove flaky skin from your lips.

Remember that pain is unnecessary, lips that hurt can and should be avoided, and there are many products available to help us.

©2005 Susan M. Keenan

How to Plan the Best Mother’s Day for Your Mother – by Susan M. Keenan

SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 Player Giveaway Entry!Here Susan M. Keenan shares tips for How to Plan the Best Mother’s Day. Please read this story and rate it to help us determine a winner for our Mother’s Day SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 Player Giveaway! Editor’s Note: This contest has already concluded. Keep checking for new contests!

Planning the perfect mother’s day celebration is a simple task that requires only three facets: a bit of creativity, a touch of coordination, and a smattering of love. Once you combine all three of these ingredients, you will be on your way to the perfect way to honor the mother who holds a special place in your heart.

The most important concept to keep in mind is that this day is not about what you want or what you like. Instead, this day is about the opportunity to show your mother how important she is to you, how much you love her, and how much you respect her as a person. This doesn’t need to include a physical gift that your mother unwraps, but instead, it can involve time spent together enjoying each other’s company.

If your mother has more than one child, coordinate the plans to include everyone. This way, no one is left out and your mother can enjoy the company of each of her children and grandchildren. Instead of inviting everyone to your home or dropping in to visit your mother, why not select a place for everyone to gather that also includes one of your mother’s favorite activities, foods, events, or locations?

For example, if your mother is fond of gardens and all of the lovely accoutrements that go with them, arrange to take her to a garden show, public garden, or similar location that features a garden area as one of its special exhibits. Arrange to have brunch there, take a few photos as mementoes, and purchase a few flowers if they are available for sale. Other suggestions for locales that might create a memorable Mother’s Day afternoon include zoos, the circus, museums, antique marts, historical sites, and the theater.

Additionally, if your mother is up in years and getting out of her home has become difficult, arrange for an afternoon of shopping. Visit stores that your mother enjoys and purchase the items that she selects. In fact, you can arrange a few home repairs or decorating changes and hire someone to apply a few fresh coats of paint, wallpaper a room or two, or dig out one of those overgrown bushes in her front yard.

Instead of a Mother’s Day card, you can arrange for all of her children, spouses, and grandchildren to get together and have a portrait taken. Tell her that everyone’s smiling face is the signature on her card. Take this idea a step further and arrange to have a jigsaw puzzle, tee shirt, or mouse pad created from a photograph that includes each of your mother’s special people.

Of course, an old-fashioned picnic in her yard, the local park, or in her home is a wonderful idea that might bring back a few fond memories. Pack a lovely picnic basket full of surprises that she can discover as you help her to unpack it. Similarly, there’s no one quite like your mother, so why not show her a special time this Mother’s Day?