Skin Care Tips – Experience Finer Beauty with the Mannatech™ Optimal Collection

Having healthy skin is an important component of any woman’s wellness plan, and the products that she chooses to use should help her to achieve that goal. Maintaining a youthful look starts with clean skin that is moisturized and replenished. While there are any number of options available for women to use to soften, rejuvenate, and hydrate their skin, not all of them are worth their weight in gold. Personally, I discovered the Mannatech™ Optimal Collection to offer the perfect combination of skin-cleansing ability and pampering pleasure.

Believe it or not, the Mannatech™ Optimal Collection is the real deal – that is, as long as you follow the directions and use the products each day. After all, we aren’t young enough or foolish enough to believe that any of these skin products offer magical abilities to give us what people only dream the fountain of youth can provide. However, these products come relatively close to that – moisturizing dry skin, softening damaged skin, and minimizing fine lines and pores.

I admit that I have not been the most vigilant when it comes to using facial creams to maintain my skin’s natural softness or beauty. As a result, my face has started to show some wear-and-tear from old man winter who hasn’t been to kind to me with his harsh boldness and gruff ways as well as from the harshness of the sun. Dried out skin on a woman past her prime (or maybe not, as I’ll never tell) isn’t the prettiest of sights to see.

I had my doubts about these products as I have always leaned toward the glass-is-half-empty theory of life. I might soon be changing sides in regard to that idea though, because the Mannatech™ Optimal Collection has been much kinder to me in a speedier timeframe than facial products I have used in the past.

A touch of luxury is nice every once in a while and honestly, fancy facial scrubs, lotions, creams, and oils that actually do what they purport to do is a luxury that every woman should be able to afford. The Mannatech™ Optimal Collection utilizes a seven-step process that cleans, moisturizes, and refines your neck and facial skin to a softer, more beautiful appearance. I am so pleased with my results that I plan to continue using this product for quite a while. Here’s a run through of the products and the line up for using them.

The first step of this skincare process involves two products. First, you use the Optimal Face Cleansing Oil to remove makeup and any dirt. It’s gentle and silky. Next, use the Optimal Face Cleansing Cream to gently remove any remaining dirt or facial oil. I really like the silky feel and gentleness of both of these products.

Next, it is time to soften. The Optimal Skin Lotion comes in an adorable pump bottle and I feel as though I am pampering my face with its silky, rejuvenating formula. The next step involves the use of a special Skin Serum that is designed to help revitalize dry skin through its marine collagen ingredient. The combination of these two products made a visible difference in the suppleness of my skin without making it oily or sticky like some of the less expensive products on the market.

A lightweight moisturizer offers the benefit of providing a touch of hydration while protecting the skin against damage due to makeup or grime. The Optimal Skin Cream is perfect for this. One of my favorite products is the Optimal Eye Cream, which helped to minimize the fine wrinkles starting to form around my eyes.

Optimal After Shave Milk can be used by men, but I recommend saving it all for yourself. It’s great for nourishing your skin even if you haven’t shaved your legs. It is a delicate, luxurious concoction. This is the only product of the seven that isn’t designed expressly for the neck and face.

I found that using these products even only once a day made a huge difference to the condition of my skin, but twice a day did create a bigger improvement. I noticed a change after only the first three days, but my skin was a bit dry and damaged to begin with. By the end of the week my facial skin felt silky and smooth to the touch and fine lines began to fade a bit.

Products provided free to writer for reviewI received all seven of these products free for the purpose of reviewing them and I hope you discover the same great results if you decide to try them out. I recommend these products even if your skin is in good condition already since your face and neck deserve to be pampered.

Making a Difference Beautifully – Ava Anderson Non-Toxic

Everyone wants to be healthy and keep their families safe. There is a movement toward breaking away from harmful chemicals and enforcing higher product safety standards. It’s not easy, especially when many of these chemicals are hidden in everyday products. They are found in shampoo, deodorant, household cleaners, and even make-up. Many of them are toxic or cancer causing agents. The chemicals are legally labeled, but not always disclosed. They are often hidden under a variety of benign titles such as ‘fragrance.’ Even products advertized as ‘pure’, ‘organic’, or ‘natural’ can contain toxic ingredients.

A very impressive young lady is making a difference. Eliminating toxic products from her and her family’s lives was the first step. Spreading the word and sharing the information was the next. Finally, developing alternative products to provide solutions, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic was born.

Ava’s mission began with a report she saw from the Environmental Working Group, the EWG, detailing levels of hazardous chemicals found in the blood stream of teenagers. These chemicals are most commonly found in cosmetics and skin care products. Generally thought to be safe, ‘trace’ or ‘biologically insignificant’ amounts can build up in the blood stream over time. With such a recent, dramatic rise in life changing disorders from cancers to learning disabilities, these levels are coming under fierce scrutiny.

On her Web site,, Ava has news articles, recommended reading, and links to resources from the EWG. The site also hosts a list of every day products from cosmetics to cleaners rated from 0-10 in toxicity so consumers can check the toxicity of products they use in their own homes. One of the highest objectives Ava has is to share information so that everyone has the knowledge to protect themselves and their loved ones.

With the support of her family, and a manufacturer with proper research facilities, Ava developed the first full line of completely non-toxic skin care products and cosmetics, appropriately named, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. Ava promises 100% transparency, which means no hidden ingredients; everything is listed. Her products also have no ‘fragrance.’ They have a light citrus scent explained by the use of oils in the products. Given the opportunity to try her skin care line, I am as impressed with the products as I am with the young lady. That is saying a lot coming from a cosmetic skeptic with dry, sensitive skin.

Her products are simply packaged in pink and white, clearly labeled, and even promote her Web site. The Eye Make-up Pads were very effective, yet gentle. They removed eye liner, eye shadow, and waterproof mascara completely and without irritation. I was surprised by the large size of the grit in the Exfoliator, but once again, it did the job without scratching. I recommend using that only once or twice a week, not every day. The Cleanser foamed up nicely and removed my everyday makeup. It did not leave the usual tight skin feeling most cleansers do. I am completely in love with the Lip Scrub, from the tingle to sugar exfoliate. I found that using it before bed had the best results. It softens the dry winter lips and just feels amazing. Follow it up with the no-sting Toner and the non-greasy, quick absorbing Moisturizer and you will feel truly pampered.

Believing in something is important. Taking action to put your beliefs into motion is commendable. Making a difference to help others is more than words can convey. I look forward to following her career, sharing her message, and looking for her new products coming in 2010.

Degree Women Natureffects to Offer Exciting New Products for Spring with a Sensory Experience in Every Use

Did you know that 88% of women agree that inviting nature into their homes decreases their stress levels and makes them feel happier as a whole? A recent survey by Degree Women discovered that more than half of the women participating in the survey kept plants in their homes.

I can truly attest to the benefits of houseplants, flowers, and even starting plants and flowers from seed. There is something soothing, calming, and even exciting, about Mother Nature’s wonders growing and thriving in your own home. Degree Women’s new Natureffects product line embraces this love of nature and invites you to enjoy it in your own beauty and personal hygiene routines.

In honor of their upcoming Degree Women Natureffects collection, Degree has included Life Love Beauty in the exciting introduction of their fabulous new nature-inspired products. The Natureffects collection by Degree Women aims to give women a healthy dose of “Outdoorphins” – in other words, Degree wants to inspire and encourage us all to join forces with nature.

The new Degree Women Natureffects collection features unique and invigorating natural aromas, like tea tree, honeysuckle, orange flower, and olive leaf. In a recent press delivery from Degree Women, I received a delicious cake with a very light hint of citrus – a nice herald of the delightful Natureffects products to come. The cake was beautifully packaged and definitely sparked my curiosity as far as what else is to come from Degree Women this year. The light citrus taste was just enough to delight my senses without being overpowering; I know from experience that Degree products operate the same way.

Degree Women also sent me a lovely pair of sunglasses by Tory Burch, reminding me of my sense of sight in daily life. The shades protect the eyes from the sun, but they’re also stylish and trendy. They came with a beautiful gold case and soft pouch for storage when not in use, and they are a nice and luxurious accessory to help me welcome the spring. Thank you, Degree Women! I’m excited to welcome the spring with you – c’mon warmer weather, no more snow, and blooming flowers!

Something I can say about Degree products unlike just about everything else I’ve tried – even with the keenest sense of sight, you aren’t going to find any white, cakey, chalky, or powdery residue when you use Degree deodorants and anti-perspirants. Very much on the contrary, Degree deodorants leave your underarms protected from wetness and odor without any trace of white – truly a godsend for the little black dress, prom gown, and wedding gown, just to name a few. Would you trust just any deodorant on such a special occasion? No, of course not – and now that you know how well Degree protects you while still invigorating your senses, you have no reason to wait any longer. Make the switch to a deodorant that works for you and delights your senses at the same time.

One thing I always love about Degree deodorants and anti-perspirants for women is the sweet and pleasant lingering fragrance that lasts all day long. Some of my favorite fragrances are the products in the Little Black Dress collection, especially the Pure Rain fragrance. I can’t tell you how excited I am to learn more about the exciting new products coming from Degree this year. There’s so much more I’d like to say, but I am going to save it for my next post. Thanks again, Degree!

For more information about Degree Women products, please see You can also check out the Degree Women on Twitter – @DegreeWomen, or on Facebook, too!

Brighter, Fresher Teeth on the Go with the Colgate Wisp™

Let me start off by saying that I love the idea of this tiny disposable mini-toothbrush simply because it is so adorably cute. Plus, the Colgate Wisp™ does have quite a few favorable traits. It is small, easy to carry, and easy to use.

The Wisp is perfect for people of all ages, but it is particularly nice for women who want to look their best, feel their best, and kiss their best. This tiny little brush offers a clean taste with a little pick-me-up of minty freshness. I liked its taste and the fact that I could tuck it away into my tiniest of purses when going out-on-the-town for the night. In fact, this mini-toothbrush is so small that you can put it into a back pocket without any trouble at all.

Designed with a breath freshening bead that gives a fresh mouth taste without the need to use water to rinse, the Colgate Wisp is perfect for those of us who are constantly on the go. Skeptical at first, I quickly discovered that this handy little brush is worth its weight in gold. Not only did it freshen my breath and mouth with a strong burst of Cinnamint, but it also made my teeth feel clean.

As the makers of this tiny beauty tool suggest, it does provide a kissably clean smile. If you don’t believe me, try the Colgate Wisp™ for yourself and find out just how great it is. You have three wonderful choices for freshening flavors including Cinnamint, Peppermint, and Spearmint. I received a generous sample of the Cinnamint Colgate Wisp™ for the purposes of this review and I have to admit that I really do love it.

So, if you want to be prepared when you are out and about, tuck a two-pack of the Colgate Wisp™ into your purse and you can take a moment to discreetly clean and freshen your teeth anytime and anywhere. The packaging utilizes a slimshell design with an easy pull tab on the foil back. The mini-toothbrush is designed with a soft pick that is great for removing food after a meal or the plaque that tends to develop in between the gum line throughout a long day.

It might be a good idea to have one or more Colgate Wisps in your purse for the next time you get stuck in an airport, go hiking or camping, or take a long journey to visit a friend or attend a party. Colgate Wisp™ is sold in a generous 16-pack size for about $8.00 or a convenient 4-pack size that retails for $2.39.

Product provided free to writer for reviewFor more information or for a coupon for 50 cents off on Colgate Wisp™, visit

How to Get the Top Knot – Empire and Baroque Chignon Hairstyles (Trends for 2010)

As one of the breaking hairstyle trends for 2010, the top knot or chignon is growing fast in popularity. This somewhat celebrity hairstyle has been noticed on the likes of Victoria Beckham as well as at the Venexiana and Woman’s Mafia Fall fashion shows. While a little bit on the wild side, the top knot or chignon can be a fun and adventurous hairstyle to try in 2010.

Well-known celebrity stylist Philip Pelusi and creative director Jeffrey Reitz designed a selection of top knot hairstyles to show off at the Fall and Winter 2010 Fashion Week events. Venexiana’s show welcomed a top knot hairstyle known as the “Empire Chignon” while the Women’s Mafia Fashion Show at Tela Design Studios saw the “Baroque Chignon” come to life.

The Empire Chignon is a twist on the classic chignon with leaps and bounds of height added to the style. This look at Venexiana matched Kati Stern’s design esthetic, hot couture and high-fashion. To synch up with the fashion design flavors of Jonathan Kayne of Project Runway, Ardistia, and Shantele, the Philip Pelusi team came up with the Baroque design as a way to address the versatility of all three collections.

You can easily create the Baroque Chignon look at home for your own hair. To create a top knot Baroque chignon hairstyle, follow these steps:

1.    First spray your hair with P2 Refresh Hair to give your hair some added texture.
2.    Divide your hair into two ponytails: one at the perimeter and one at the crown.
3.    Pull the perimeter ponytail into a high nape.
4.    Spray your hair again with P2 Refresh Hair.
5.    Pull a hair net over the ponytail and fashion it into “petals.”

This look can easily be achieved at home and it can be a great look for a more daring evening or event. You might also consider working this fun hairstyle fashion trend into your routine when dressing up for special events. Even if you aren’t full comfortable with the entire hairstyle and its height, you can tone it down for a more understated look.

About the Expert:

Philip Pelusi is the creator of the P2 hair care product line, which he specifically designed for treating aging hair. For more information, please see

A Thumbs Up Book Review: Leave Your Clothes on, but Prepare to Get Financially Naked

I love reading books – romance, finance, cooking, mystery, science fiction, gardening, and just whatever. I enjoy them even more when they are easy to read, offer great facts, or grab my attention. This particular book, Get Financially Naked by Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA, and Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA, did all of that.

While the book is designed to teach you “How to talk money with your honey,” it can definitely be helpful for singles too. Many couples fail to discuss money before they move in together or get married, so they don’t know what to expect. While it is best to do this prior to signing on the dotted line, talking about finances is even more important once you are married. Get Financially Naked is designed to empower women with the ability to take control of their financial life and get it together.

Several exercises are contained throughout the book, designed to provide insight into how people think about money. These mini-exercises are designed to be taken individually, making it possible to learn important personal truths about the way that you think about money, spend money, and save money, even if you don’t currently have your own honey.

The primary goal of Get Financially Naked is to teach you how to manage your financial life responsibly while achieving your financial dreams and goals. It offers techniques that can be used on an individual basis, while also providing pointers and lessons on how to talk about your finances with your significant other, married or not.

Even if you believe that you already have a firm grasp on your financial life, reading the book can open up a few new possibilities while also giving you some food for thought. One of the aspects that I especially like about the book is that it provides examples of other couples and how they approached certain types of financial scenarios. This is great for anyone who wants to start up a conversation about finances with a significant other, but simply doesn’t know where to start.

I like to approach a book such as this with the expectation that even if I only take away one new, valuable tool or thought, I have come away a winner. It is an easy read as well as being a book that you can put down for a few days and pick it up again without wondering what you were reading about last. Just the title alone is enough to get your guy to take a look through as well – honestly!

I did receive Get Financially Naked for the purposes of reviewing it, but to tell you the truth, I did request this type of book. Even if you aren’t quite sure that you need to improve your financial house of cards, consider picking this one up for an extra touch of motivation when it comes to realizing your financial dreams and getting in tune with your significant other as far as how to spend and save joint funds.

For Better Health, Energy, and Physique, Try these Nutritional Supplements

If you’re looking for (or are considering) an alternative to dietary supplemental vitamins, consider trying any of the following products. They are environmentally friendly and are organically tuned into the needs of their consumers.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying two liquid dietary supplements from Argo Labs as well as Oxylent premiere blend supplements. I have enjoyed not only the ease of “drinking” vitamins (rather than swallowing pills) but I’ve also enjoyed the benefits I’ve encountered in the process.

Naturally Noni 2X double strength was one of the first products I received from Agro Labs. At first taste, you’ll notice a very succulent, yet rich flavor of Noni Herbs (grown in Polynesia). I can’t even begin to describe the flavor to you, but I will say that I enjoyed the aftertaste as well as the initial trial run with this product. I’ve even noticed some of the effects from this herb taking place. I feel more at ease, I feel calmer and balanced; ready to tackle the day.

Naturally Noni is a sacred herb grown in the volcanic rich soil of Polynesia. Noni is known for its healing process for the body, mind, and soul (spirit). Naturally Noni 2X is available in 16oz and 32oz bottles and the recommended daily dosage is not to exceed three ounces.

I was also given the opportunity to try Naturally Pomegranate (made with organic Pomegranate). Just as Naturally Noni, it is in liquid form, but rather than working to toward enhancing your body, mind, and spirit, this product works towards maintaining and promoting optimal cardiovascular health.

Though I haven’t used Naturally Pomegranate for more than a week, I already feel better about using such a product. Maybe it’s because I know that I’m using a product that, in due time, will help promote better cardiovascular health (which is always a good thing). At this time, being new to using the Agro Labs products, I’m happy. I feel good both inside and out. I have not felt any ill effects nor have I felt an urge to quit using them.

If you are looking for an alternative to the normal daily vitamins and are looking for something that can promote more than what the daily vitamin has to offer, please consider reading more on Agro Labs’ products. They have many beneficial products to consider.

Naturally Noni, Naturally Pomegranate (as well as other Agro Labs Naturally products) can be purchased online by visiting, the Vitamin Factory, or by visiting

To add to the wonderful list of supplemental vitamins I received, I also received some nice and thirst quenching supplemental drinks along with a nice moisturizing lip balm from Vitalah that are sure to stay at the top of my vitamin lists.

Vitalah is unique in the sense that each drink (an array of flavors) is filled with high quality essential nutrients. Each drink creates a synergistic environment and you feel a boost of functionality at peak levels throughout the day.

Oxylent Lip Balm is definitely a product worth considering. I know that there are many lip balms to choose from and many that are very satisfactory; I will not dispute that, but once you’ve tried Oxylent Kisses for the first time, there’s definitely a difference. I was very, very impressed at how wonderful this lip balm truly was. It instantly made my lips go from “okay” to “amazing” in a matter of seconds. It kept my lips moisturized long after the balm had wiped away, and when used again, it gives that much more of an effect on the surface and feel of your lips. Did I mention it had flavor? Oops, it’s Raspberry – Yum!!

Every one of these products is worth the time to try, read about, and purchase. I for one am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to try them. I will be telling many friends about the two brands featured here today because I feel strongly about the companies and their products.

There are many products to consider and if you’d like to read more on Vitalah, please visit

Products provided free to writer for reviewDisclosure: The statements and opinions I share are my own. Please be advised that these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are also NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I was sent these products for the purpose of my review; based on my experiences with the products, therefore, I bare no responsibility for others who feel differently. Thank you.

Tips for Planning a Fantastic Hockey Party

If you love the game of hockey, then you will love the idea of hosting a hockey party for your friends and/or family. Even if you aren’t a fan of the game yourself, you can still have a lot of fun planning a hockey party for your better half who might just be an avid hockey fan.

Depending on your preference, you can center the entire party on a hockey theme or you can tone it down a bit and focus just the decorations on this theme. You should be able to find hockey-themed party goods including plates, cups, napkins, banners, etc at most brick-and-mortar or online party stores. Buy plastic silverware in the team’s colors. Make a list so that you can stick to your budget. This is important if you don’t want to have an overly large credit card bill next month.

All Out Hockey Play for Your Party

Okay, while you might find some of the following suggestions to be a bit over-the-top, die-hard hockey fans are sure to appreciate them. Use a white tablecloth and colored markers to create your own hockey floor, but be sure you leave some space for the fans. If you want to go all crazy, use colored candies instead of markers to create the blue lines, etc.

Since you can’t exactly serve pucks for food, serve biscuits in a basket otherwise known as scoring a goal. Place these down at one end of the table in the goal section. Down at the end of the table where the net would be located, set up the cookies in place of the “cookie jar” or top section of the net.

Put the chicken wings out where the left and right wings would be in play. Set up the “hot dogs” in the center of play somewhere on the hockey rink that you have created.

Put some boobirds (blue marshmallow peeps) up in the nosebleed section. While you are at it, place a few puck bunnies (pink marshmallow bunnies) near the hockey floor so they can cheer the players on.

Draw up a penalty box area on the tablecloth and sit your burgers in there. Use some red hot dollar candies out on the ice for pucks. Turn some lollipops upside down along the penalty box for hockey sticks. For some true hockey fun, place a couple of toy zebras out in your homemade rink as well. With a little bit of imagination, you are sure to come up with a few good ideas of your own to add a personal touch to your display.

Whichever way you decide to set things up for your hockey party, make sure that you put some effort and time into your menu planning. A full tummy is a happy tummy and a happy tummy makes a happy guest. So, if you provide plenty of yummy treats everyone will go home happy whether or not the guest’s favorite hockey team won the game.

Planning the Hockey Party Menu…

Simplify Your Party Clean Ups with Flings® Pop-Up Trash and Recycle Containers

Having a party takes a lot of work and planning, but it is certainly worth the effort to see lots of smiling faces, hear giggling and laughter, and catch up with old and new friends. Clean up, however, is another story entirely. Sometimes, the time that I spend cleaning up after a party is longer than the time that I needed to spend to prepare for it.

Here a Cup, There a Cup, Everywhere a Cup- Enough, Enough!

After hosting a large event, I have already gotten frustrated when I discovered half-empty cups, paper plates, and napkins everywhere from the fireplace mantel to the bookshelves. Perhaps it isn’t that my guests are slobs or they figured that I could just clean the mess up at my leisure. Perhaps the problem is simply that my guests could not find the trash can.

Plus, maybe my guests haven’t always been sure that I recycle. Maybe that is why they have been more likely to leave their empty beverage cans out in the open on a table or window ledge rather than placing them in the trash can where they will end up in a landfill somewhere. Of course, they should have been able to discover my recycling container since I keep it right next to the trash can. Ah well, it is nicer to give my guests the benefit of a doubt.

Now, however, I won’t have to do that anymore because I have discovered the Flings! Let me tell you, I really wish that these clever stand-alone trash bags had been around when I was throwing four kids birthday parties a year- twice that if you count family parties for birthdays.

What Are the Flings® Pop-Up Trash and Recycle Containers?

The Flings offer an easy solution to trash and recycling concerns at any party. As long as you purchase enough of these free-standing trash and recycling receptacles, you won’t have to worry about clean up at all. Just set them up and forget about them until it is time to clean up from your party.

They offer a nice option to setting up trash cans all over your home, backyard, or rental hall or taping trash bags to the end of the table. Who has that many spare trashcans anyway? The Flings are big enough to hold 13 gallons of waste or recyclables; and they are sturdy and leak-proof.

With Flings, you don’t have to keep emptying your trashcan and replacing the trash bag. Just set enough of these attractive alternatives around the areas where you think you are going to need them and you are done! Once the Fling is filled, simply pull up the top of the bag and close it securely using the drawstring. Toss it in your primary trash receptacle and that’s it. No borrowed trashcans to return. No back and forth scurrying. It is simple, easy, and affordable!

What Do the Flings® Pop-Up Trash and Recycle Containers Look Like?

Flings are currently offered in five different patterns. The recycling design is easily recognizable with the green and white display featuring the recycling logo. Most people recognize this, so they have no problem knowing to place their recyclables in it. That is one of the reasons why this particular style of Fling makes it so terrific to use for tailgate parties and BBQs.

Pair the recycling design up with the picnic/BBQ design and you even have an extra touch of ambience for your party. The picnic/BBQ design is adorable. It features burgers and franks along with bright yellow swirls and suns.

The holiday design offers an attractive red and white display of bows. Two all-occasion designs are available with either cake and stars or balloons and stars. These are great for all types of parties including birthday parties, showers, retirement parties, and holiday gatherings.

Not only do you get easy clean up for each event, but you never have to worry about trash spilling over or out of trash bags that have been secured to the end of a table or on a doorknob.

Pricing and Shipment of Flings

Flings are sold in a variety of combinations that pair up certain designs. You have two quantity options: 4 for $15.99 or 10 for $29.99. If you are interested in trying these adorable freestanding trash bags, visit There’s even a short YouTube video showing you how easy it is to set these up and use them. Plus, they are currently offering free shipping!

Product provided free to writer for reviewDisclaimer: I received one recycling Fling and two all-occasion Flings to review. I can’t see how you could possibly disagree, but you do have that right. These trash bags are terrific! It is about time someone created stand-alone trash bags that are attractive and functional.

Great Gifts for Pregnant Mommies and New Moms

Consider these great gifts for pregnant / expectant women.What kind of gift do you get for a new mom or a pregnant woman without overdoing the baby clothes and accessories? Sometimes a special gift with the mom herself in mind can be the best kind of gift. From pampering products to stylish nursing clothes, gifts for expecting moms and new moms have come a long, long way.  You might just have to get a little creative.

As you plan to select a gift for your pregnant friend or family member, remember to keep her personal tastes in mind. That can greatly help you in selecting a personal gift that is both useful and meaningful. Consider these gift ideas for pregnant mommies and new moms.

Gift Idea #1: Toe Stretchers, Yoga Toes, or Pampered Toes
Yoga Toes are great for pregnant moms.Sometimes the extra weight and the sheer exhaustion of being pregnant can cause pains in the feet, back, and other parts of the body. To help alleviate some of the discomfort, consider getting your expectant friend a set of toe stretchers like Yoga Toes or Pampered Toes by the maker of the Ped Egg. You can be sure she will appreciate the few moments of relaxation these types of products can provide to a tired mom-to-be.

Toe stretchers like Pampered Toes and Yoga Toes can range in price greatly. I recently picked up a pair of Pampered Toes at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $5, with the regular price being about $10. However, the Yoga Toes product typically sells for around $50 if my memory serves me. No matter what you decide, your friend’s body will thank you for it.

Gift Idea #2: French Toile Nightgown by Expressiva Nursingwear
Even new moms like to feel sexy during and after their pregnancies. A nightgown that is stylish and comfortable at the same time fits the bill for a perfect gift for an expectant mommy. The French Toile Nightgown by Expressiva Nursingwear is decked out in a fashionable red and cream pattern with lace trim at the bottom of the skirt and all the way around the bust area. The pattern includes hearts, flowers, and a bunch of swirls, curves, and abstract shapes, similar to paisley.

The French Etoile Nightgown by Expressiva - reviewThe bra cups for this comfy nursing nightgown are triangle shapes with adjustable straps and little clippies that easily unclip to reveal the hidden nursing area for easy breastfeeding while still keeping you covered up from sight. It seems like the folks at Expressiva have thought of every last detail in this lovely French Toile Nightgown. The style, pattern, and cut are gorgeous for any pregnant mommy or new mom. The fabric is soft and luxurious; a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex. Add a pair of slippers and you have the perfect gift set. While I am neither pregnant nor a new mom at this point in my life, I am definitely going to remember this brand and their attention to quality when I am!

Expressiva specializes in nursing clothes for moms, such as supportive nursing bras, nursing nightgowns and pjs, nursing tops, and a nursing dress for special occasions. For more information, please visit

Gift Idea #3: Gift Certificate to a Spa, Salon, or Other Special Store
Give the new mom or mom-to-be some special “me-time” with a gift certificate for something utterly indulgent like a day spa or high end salon. Your expectant friend can get a new haircut or indulge in a massage whenever she feels up to it following her pregnancy. A new haircut can help her feel sexy and sassy while a massage can truly rejuvenate her body and mind.

If the special mom-to-be isn’t a spa kind of gal, perhaps a gift certificate to a fancy boutique would do the trick. You can also look into gift certificates to nearby restaurants so she and her husband can escape for a romantic meal once things settle down.

No matter what, though, keep your friend’s preferences, likes, and dislikes in mind as you scope out her gift. All of these suggestions may not be a great fit for every expecting mom ever, but hopefully you can find the right gift in this list or while using this list as inspiration.

Novelty Items worth Remembering: The Rack Trap and Jack Cards Divorce / Breakup Cards

Do you ever shop online, looking for novelty items to purchase as a birthday gifts, anniversary presents, etc.? I always have so much fun looking for odds and ends. Things that would normally not be considered, I find, just because I’m “that person.” I’m the gal that has the cool and “un-thought-of” gifts at every party. I’m the gal that hunts high and low for something fun, quirky, and out of the norm… yep, that’s me.

I had an especially fun time reviewing the following two products. They are great novelty items that I’m sure you’ll find interesting too.

THE RACK TRAP – that’s right, The Rack Trap… it’s an item you’ll wish you had encountered a long time ago. It’s an interesting little number that you place in your bra and it holds anything from cash to credit cards and your license/ID to pictures. Practically anything you’d like to carry with you “on the go” without having to lug around anything else. It’s convenient, practical and so simple you can’t help but smile. The Rack Trap is definitely an ingenious idea and I give props to the makers!

Editor’s Note: The Rack Trap is an especially great fit for padded bras or supportive bras, but it can also work with decorative and delicate lace bras. If you plan to wear a more decorative bra, such as a delicate lace bra, proceed with caution so your shirt doesn’t reveal your secret pocket, or be sure to get yourself one of the lace style Rack Traps for a more delicate fit.

ARP: sold individually or in a set of four. Gold Version is $7.95 w/free shipping and the four packs are sold at $19.95 w/free shipping.

Available at:

Next we have Jack Cards. Jack Cards is an amazing online Card store that has the funniest, cutest, most outrageous cards I’ve ever seen. Example: they have cards for any imaginable situation a person can fall into.

So you have a friend who’s just gone through a divorce; you so badly want to cheer your friend up because after all, we all know how tough that must be, right? Well, break the ice, fears, and sorrow with an amusingly fun card from Jack Cards. These cards will make anyone smile (even if only for a moment).

Let’s say there’s an occasion where a sincere card is more appropriate. Jack Cards can help. There are sections for birthdays and parties to humor and sincerity; romantic love to funny jokes and baby showers to giving thanks. In fact, there is not one occasion or situation Jack Cards won’t supply. The prices are exceptional and well worth the time to check them out; and with any purchase above $50.00, they are offering free shipping, too. Perhaps the nicest feature of all, Jack Cards will send your selected cards to you prior to the event or for you, addressed to your recipient. You still have the option to hand-sign each card with a personal message, while still enjoying the convenience of not having to visit the card shop.

ARP: As with any card, prices vary

Available at:

Products provided free to writer for reviewDisclosure: Sample products were provided in order to gather enough of an opinion based on my experiences with use. The thoughts and opinions within this article are my own and therefore I claim no responsibility for anyone who feels differently. For more information on the products listed in this review; please take a moment and visit the official websites provided. Thank you.

White Sands Orchid Oil for Coarse and Curly Hair

Long admired for their ability to brighten a dreary room or garden, orchids are beautiful and seemingly ageless. The folks at White Sands are among the first to find a way to adopt these principles of the orchid flower to benefit hair. White Sands Orchid Oil promises to capture the anti-aging properties of the orchid flower to restore “moisture, shine, elasticity, and softness” to hair. It uses orchid oil extract supplemented with light weight silicones to eliminate frizz and balance moisture to make hair smooth, shiny, and soft. A 3-oz bottle costs $20, and so little is required for each use, that the bottle should last a very long time.

In full disclosure, White Sands Orchid Oil identifies coarse and curly hair as their ideal candidate; my hair is neither. I have fine hair that has wavy days and stick-straight days. However, my hair is at its midwinter dry-and-frizzy peak, so I gave the Orchid Oil a shot.

Following the White Sands directions, I used only about a nickel-sized amount on towel-dried hair. I was initially put off by the powerful, slightly acrid smell and the fact that once I applied the oil, it seemed to vanish. However, after my hair dried, the smell disappeared and my hair was the softest it’s been in months. I actually found myself running my hands through my hair all day, marveling at how smooth it was! While frizz wasn’t eliminated entirely, it was significantly decreased. The oil had an added bonus of acting a slight curling agent. Repeat wet hair applications produced similar results, although after a week or so, I’ve managed to stop the embarrassing tendency to play with my new soft hair in public.

White Sands also offers a dry hair application option, which I also tried. This time, I used a dime sized amount. I didn’t have as much success as with the wet hair application. My hair didn’t feel any different than before I applied. However, when put in a spray bottle, it worked great as a spot detangler.

White Sands also claims the oil works to restore moisture on skin, however, the consistency of the oil was a bit too oily for most of my skin, although I’m sure it’s great for the scalp. In their very helpful directions, White Sands also offers ways to use the Orchid Oil to augment the hair coloring process, which I might try the next time I dye my hair. In the meantime, though, I’m grateful to White Sands for finding a way for me to get through winter frizz free. For those with coarse or curly hair, I imagine the results will be even better than mine. You can try it for yourself by ordering from the White Sands website at or online at