10 Activities You Can Do With Your Teen Daughter for the Holidays

As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and mother, I understand how difficult it can be to get quality time with your teen daughter. With all of the demands that the holiday season brings, it can often be overwhelming. Between the parties, shopping, cooking and planning, sometimes the really important things, like spending time with your teen, get pushed aside. Participating together in activities that connect you to your daughter not only help keep the spirit of the holidays real, they can be the best gift you give to each other. Spend time together making memories!


10 Activity Ideas

1.    Have a baking day. Together, pick out special recipes and spend the day baking. There is nothing like rolling out dough together to give you a chance for some meaningful conversations.

2.    Invite your daughter’s friends and their mothers over for a Holiday Tea.
You’ve already made the cookies. It allows you to get to know her friends and their moms while doing something fun.

3.    Volunteer. Together, pick a charity and spend time volunteering. Not only do you get the opportunity to be together, but you get into the spirit of the holidays by giving to others. This is a great message.

4.    Search for a craft project that would make great gifts for friends or neighbors and make them together. For example, one year we made cookie mix in a jar, decorated the jars, and took them to our neighbors.

5.    Have an afternoon of culture. Go to a Christmas play, concert, or ballet. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing this since there are many local productions.

6.    Have a Christmas movie marathon. This is one of my favorites. Each year we get out our favorite Christmas movies, put on our PJs, pop popcorn and lay on the floor and watch movies continuously.

7.    Have a spa day at home. Get some festive nail polish and do mani-pedis. Who needs to go to the spa when you can do it in the comfort of your own home? When it is just the two of you and you are relaxed, the conversation just flows.

8.    Christmas shop together, but start early with breakfast out.
My favorite is to get up really early when all of the stores have the early bird specials. Take the advertisements, head off to your favorite breakfast place and come up with your game plan.

9.    Go for a walk one evening, and look at holiday decorations in the neighborhood. Then decide on the most beautiful as well as the house with the “most over the top” decorations.

10.    Start a holiday memory book. Get a journal and each of you write about the holiday season from your point of view. Don’t forget to put in photos. This is something you can do every year, and when your daughter has her own family, it can be passed to her.

Remember, the shoes you give her will go out of style or wear out, the designer jeans will do the same, but the memories and time you give her will always be in her heart.

About the Expert:
Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You & Your MomJanine Sherman is an OB/GYN nurse practitioner in Houston, TX, who specializes in caring for teens and their moms. She is also the co-author of the book Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You & Your Mom. This easy-to read, lively, down-to-earth book is definitely teen-friendly and is ideal to help both mothers and daughters have engaging conversations about tough topics.

Nourish Your Body with the New Softsoap Nutri Serums Body Wash

Softsoap Nutri Serum Body Wash ReviewAnytime you step out of the shower, you’re supposed to feel clean, right? Well, sometimes soaps or body washes can leave a grimy film of who knows what all over your body. You can actually feel somewhat filthier after that shower than you did before. The reason for this is the added, not so necessary, ingredients that companies add to these products in order to make them “smell good”.

There’s been a few times in the past when, after buying a common body wash, I’d step out of the shower only to see little flakes of – I don’t even know what it was, staring back at me – like some sort of residue on my skin. Often times, I’d end up having to step back in the shower just to scrub again.

 

The point I’m trying to make is: wouldn’t you prefer a body wash / soap that really cleans your body, nourishes the skin, and gives you added “good stuff” (like vitamins and minerals) without adding the stuff you don’t?

Softsoap’s new Nutri Serums body wash will excite you in every way possible. It won’t leave you filmy, but it will leave you feeling extraordinarily clean, refreshed, and nourished (from head to toe and everywhere in between).

Product Review of Softsoap Nutri Serums by Barbara BakerWhen I received the new Softsoap’s Nutri Serums body wash for review, I couldn’t help but feel antsy to take my evening shower. The reason: I wanted to feel those floating softening serum pearls on my skin, I wanted to smell the extraordinary smells that came from within the bottle, and most importantly, I wanted to soak up those much needed vitamins and nourishing minerals I knew my body needed.

You see, the new Nutri Serums body wash isn’t your average “body wash”; it’s loaded with Vitamin E and moisture retaining Omegas 3 & 6. The rich, fragrant lather from the serum pearls will powerfully nourish skin and rinse off to an impeccable clean. The formulas deliver essential nutrients (like Shea Butter and Flax Seed Protein) and hydrators through the innovative Serum Pearl technology that will completely nourish your body from within.

If you’re looking for affordable, advanced skin care benefits for half the cost of those other brands, Softsoap brand Nutri Serums body wash is what you need. It’s the first of its kind because it contains vitamins your body needs as well as nutrient-rich softening serum pearls for soft, healthy-looking skin. It’s everything your body asks for and then some!

My take on the new Nutri Serums body wash (by Softsoap) is simple; I love it! I use it daily and have since purchased another bottle for my kids and another one for me. I recommend the use of this new body wash to everyone. Once you try it, you’ll see for yourself how great this product is!

Availability Information
Available at mass retail and grocery stores nationwide

Softsoap brand Nutri Serums body wash 15oz. has a suggested retail price of $3.50 (Mass), $4.50 (Food/drug).

For more information on Softsoap’s New Nutri Serums body wash; please visit the official Softsoap website.

DISCLOSURE: This review was made possible by Softsoap. I received a bottle of each new Nutri Serums fragrance (2) in order to give you my full and honest opinion. Therefore, I claim no responsibility for those that feel differently.

A Look at the Caroline Mary Jane of the Aetrex Essence Collection

Aetrex Caroline Mary Jane Shoe ballet flatAetrex manufactures a nice line of women’s shoes designed for women with problematic feet. While I don’t consider myself to have problematic feet per se, I do appreciate a pair of shoes designed to provide comfort along with style. After all, as many of you might know, once the feet have reached their breaking point there isn’t any recourse but to take off your shoes and give your feet that much deserved break. Plus, my feet aren’t perfect after the years of abuse that I put them through squeezing my tender little toes into pointy high heels. For those tender spots where calluses and bunions exist, it is nice to have another option besides buying a new pair of shoes.

Crafted with the Mozaic customization insole, the Caroline Mary Jane features terrific comfort built right into the specialized insoles. The insole lifts out readily allowing easy access to the gel plugs that have been carefully inserted into this unique insole. All you need to do is identify the location where you are experiencing pain or pressure, remove the gel plug and reinsert the sole. Once you do so, your foot should feel better.

Aetrex Essence Caroline Mary Jane Shoe ReviewSince I am used to heels or sneakers, both of which I live in although not at the same time, it took me a bit to get used to wearing flats again. If you have the same problem, stick with it as these shoes tend to feel more comfortable after a few wearings. Maybe it just took that long for me to get used to the idea that I could tear my shoes apart if I wanted to do so.

The Caroline Mary Jane is just one of the many styles included in the Aetrex Essence Collection. Although I have not worn any of the other styles and only received this free sample for the purposes of this review, I think that I would discover the other styles to be just as fashionable and comfortable.

In fact, I did glance at a few of their other available shoes including “Lizzy,” “Lucy,” “Ellie,” and “Maggie,” and I discovered that each style seems to carry a woman’s name (kind of cute when you think about it) and all of the styles seem to be flats. If you have a job that keeps you on your feet most of the working day, a pair of Aetrex could be the solution you need to come home without wanting to take off your footwear.

Cute and sassy in a sophisticated way, the Caroline Mary Jane features an easy to place Velcro strap with a suede upper. The top of the upper is elasticized for added comfort. The outsole is rubber so it holds up well. Maybe this isn’t actually a selling point, but the outsole is designed with a floral pattern- it is kind of cute to look at.

Top 10 Seniors Travel Getaways for Older Singles and Mature Couples

No matter what your age or what activities you enjoy, you should be able to find the perfect seniors travel getaway to suit you and your friends or your sweetheart without stressing over it. From cruises to secluded retreats, you can match your favorite activities and destinations to a great seniors travel getaway. Plan a trip with your sweetheart and other mature couples or get together with your favorite senior singles for an unforgettable vacation.

Senior travel ideas can be as low key or as exciting and adventurous as you wish. Your seniors travel getaway can include other people or just yourselves, and your mature travel destinations can work within any budget. Consider these top 10 seniors travel getaways for mature singles and older couples:


1.    Cruises – You can enjoy a cruise just about anywhere there’s water, from the Caribbean to New England to the Danube and beyond. You can cruise through Europe or cruise Alaska.  Whether you decide to cruise with your sweetheart only, with special friends, or with some of your family, a cruise can be just the ticket to relaxation and excitement all in one place. Seniors travel getaways via cruise ship can be especially exciting due to multiple ports of call and probability of other single seniors and mature couples.

2.    Disney Vacation with the Grandkids – If your kids will let you take their kids on a vacation getaway with you, a Disney vacation with the grandchildren may be the perfect mature travel destination for you. Walt Disney World and Disneyland both offer countless fun things to do with or without grandkids in tow, so even if you can’t swing a trip with the little ones, a Disney vacation may still be a great seniors’ getaway.

3.    Casino Getaway – A casino themed trip can be an excellent senior singles getaway or mature couples vacation. If you like to take your chances and try your luck, a trip to Las Vegas may be great if you’re all in. For a less extravagant seniors’ vacation getaway, try Atlantic City, Connecticut, or Michigan.

4.    Broadway Escapade – A trip to New York City can be a great way to relax and recharge your batteries as well as a fun place to enjoy a little nightlife and excitement. Visit New York with your closest mature friends – whether singles or couples – or simply your sweetheart for a memorable experience. Stay at a posh hotel and dine out at some of the city’s best hotspots. See a show on Broadway and make it a weekend to remember.

5.    Napa Valley Wine Tour – For a truly indulgent and relaxing senior getaway, consider a week or a weekend of wine, dining, culture, and leisure. If you aren’t able to make it all the way out to California for a true Napa Valley wine tour, consider getting together with some other mature seniors couples and plan your own local wine tour.

6.    Niagara Falls Romance – For a scenic and truly romantic seniors’ getaway idea, consider taking a trip to Niagara Falls. You can visit the American Falls or the Canadian Falls with your sweetheart or a few other mature couples for an unforgettable and romantic escape. If your budget allows, find a hotel room with a great view of the falls. While you’re there, enjoy shopping, dining, wine tasting, sightseeing, and more.

7.    Tropical Relaxation – Book a trip to your favorite tropical destination for some relaxation and respite. On your tropical senior getaway, you can enjoy tropical cocktails, relax on the beach, soak in the sun, and just enjoy the lovely warm weather. Sit hand-in-hand on the beach, gazing off at the horizon across the ocean in the distance.

8.    Mountains Retreat – Sometimes seclusion is the perfect senior getaway idea for any mature couple. Ignite the spark in your relationship at a romantic mountains retreat where you can spend quality time together for hours on end. Enjoy the views, take in some fishing or boating, and simply relax the days away. Meet up with other senior couples if your mature friends would like to enjoy a mountains retreat getaway too.

9.    Grand Canyon Adventure – A Grand Canyon vacation is another exciting, scenic senior getaway to consider. If you don’t mind heights – or even if you do – you can find a plethora of things to do in the Grand Canyon region with your senior sweetheart, other mature couples, and single senior friends. Plan to take a lot of pictures and take in the sights. The Grand Canyon seems like one of those places everyone should visit at least once!

10.    European Tour – For a cultural experience, a fancy and luxurious European vacation can be a great way to spend a mature couples’ getaway or even a senior singles vacation with your closest friends. From fabulous food to great wines, countless sights to see, shops to visit, and so much more, a European tour may be the perfect senior getaway.

No matter what you decide to do for your seniors’ vacation, remember to take a lot of photos and enjoy each day and each experience fully. Share tales of your mature travel experiences with your friends and family so they may also learn from your tips and enjoy their own fabulous senior vacations.

Airbrush Wedding Makeup vs. Traditional Wedding Makeup

Airbrushed wedding makeup on a mature bride, by Michelle Lo ConteTRADITIONAL APPLICATION

My traditional makeup application provides sheer to full coverage. This type of make-up is waterproof, ready to wear, works with all skin types and comes in an all inclusive color range. It If good products are being used by your make-up artist, no matter what type of lighting or the type of lens shooting you, you will look flawless.

AIRBRUSH APPLICATION

Airbrushed wedding makeup on a pretty bride, by Michelle Lo ConteAirbrush Makeup is a specialized makeup application previously used by makeup artists for professional photography and celebrities. It is a technique of applying makeup through an airbrush sprayer, which finely mists on foundation giving you a natural, flawless, durable picture perfect skin.

With a superior waterproof technology, Airbrush was created for active wear, water scenes and WEDDINGS! This make-up provides sheer to maximum coverage and it is smudge proof and non-transferable on clothes (perfect for the white gown!) It stays on until you take it off.

The Benefits of Airbrush Makeup

* It is long lasting. There is no need for touch-ups
* Custom Blending for beautiful make-up applicationAirbrushed wedding makeup on a smiling bride, by Michelle Lo Conte
* Your skin looks perfect and fresh all day – no matter how hot or humid it is
* Creates a flawless complexion, which equals photographic perfections
* Seamless Contouring and Highlighting to accent your most beautiful features
* There is a full color range to match your skin tone perfectly
* It does not rub off or transfer to your clothes
* It does not cake, smear or melt away
* Lightweight looks and feel
* Oil-free
* Hyper-pigmentation Correction
* Non-comodogenic (will not clog pores!)
* Maximum Tattoo Coverage
* Great for sensitive Skin

Smashbox Cosmetics Super Deal $15 off purchase of $75 or more Plus FREE shipping on every order! Promo code: WELCOME2.

Does the color of the wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses impact the makeup color choices?

Traditional wedding makeup on a blushing bride, by Michelle Lo ConteFor bridesmaids, I always like to play up fun colors such as purples, blues, greens and pinks in the bridesmaid’s make-up – just a pop of the corresponding color to add a little dimension – it really stands out in photos!

While you don’t need to liner the entire eye with the coordinating color or cover the entire lid with a bright tone – a subtle use of the color goes a long way. I would only use these tones on the eyes, and keep the lips more neutral so it isn’t too much.

Traditional wedding makeup on a lovely bride, by Michelle Lo ConteFor the brides I keep their palette pretty standard, since the bride is photographed close up and is mainly pictured with a groom wearing black and white, I like to keep her makeup fresh, natural and romantic. I would rarely incorporate the corresponding bridesmaid color if it was vivid unless the bride requested. The main colors I use on brides are pinks, browns and champagne tones.

If a bride is wearing a bright white dress, I tend to have a little bit of a heavier hand when applying her foundation and blush so she doesn’t look washed out. For champagne and ivory dresses, I love to use whatever browns coordinate with their skin tone – there are so many colors out there, there are no wrong or right shades, it’s all about what works for the individual!

About the Expert:

For nearly a decade Michelle has transformed beautiful women into stunning brides fit to be showcased providing onsite hair and makeup services throughout the tri-state area.  Her love for the beauty business led to the opening of her own New Jersey based salon, Pink Comb, where clients receive the ultimate salon treatment.  Her success is based on her philosophy, combine a passion to make women feel beautiful with the highest quality of service imaginable and what you get is a relaxed, pampered experience that is truly unforgettable. For more information, visit www.idohairandmake-up.com or www.pinkcombsalon.com.

Pros and Cons of Friday Weddings, Saturday Weddings, and Sunday Weddings

After you get engaged, chances are it won’t take long for your friends and relatives to start asking the same common question – when is the wedding date? Choosing your wedding date can be an easy task for some couples and quite the difficult feat for others. The wedding date becomes your anniversary, so it should be a date that you and your sweetheart both like. You should also consider the pros and cons of Friday weddings, Saturday weddings, and Sunday weddings to help you put your special day on the calendar.

When planning your wedding date, you should consider the seasons and which time of year you want to get married. Consider the weather and consider the setting, especially if you plan to hold an outdoor wedding. Remember, you’ll be vying with other brides and grooms for wedding dates as well, based on the wedding hall or venue, your preferred photographer, priest or minister, and so on and so forth. This is why considering the pros and cons of holding a wedding on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday can come in handy in your planning.

 

As you prepare to select your wedding date, consider these helpful pros and cons for Friday weddings, Saturday weddings, and Sunday weddings to help you make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Friday Weddings
Friday weddings can make your planning cheaper and possibly easier in getting what you want, but sometimes may cause complications for your guests and special members of your family and bridal party. Consider these pros and cons of Friday weddings to help you decide whether you would like to plan your wedding on a Friday.

Pros of Friday Weddings
Here are some pros for holding your wedding on a Friday:

+ Friday weddings often cost less than Saturday weddings.

+ Wedding venues and banquet halls are often more willing to offer a bigger discount for Friday weddings and Sunday weddings.

+ Friday weddings give you the option of extending your wedding celebration through the entire weekend, with opportunity to host additional parties and celebrations throughout Saturday and Sunday.

+ Friday weddings give you an easy day out of work.

+ Friday weddings allow you and your new spouse to relax for the rest of the weekend and then fly out for your honeymoon on Monday, when flights most likely cost less than they do over the weekend.

+ It’s more likely that your photographer and preferred pastor or priest, wedding venue, DJ or band, etc. will be available on a Friday than a Saturday.

+ The guest minimums should typically be lower on a Friday for those venues that require you to book your event with a certain number of guests or more.

Cons of Friday Weddings
Here are some cons for holding your wedding on a Friday:

– All of your guests who typically work during the week will have to take either a day off or a half-day on Friday to attend your wedding. The out-of-town guests may have to take off Thursday as well for travel arrangements. You may get fewer guests if they cannot afford to take time off from work.

– Your entire bridal party and immediate family will most likely have to take a half-day or an entire day off on Thursday as well as Friday for the rehearsal dinner.

– Some of your bridal party may not be able to attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner if they are flying in from out of town or if they cannot get out of work.

– Some churches or other wedding ceremony venues may give you a hard time about planning your wedding rehearsal. They may not have the venue available on Thursday evenings.

– Fewer guests may attend the actual wedding ceremony at the church or marriage venue.

Pros and Cons of Saturday Weddings…


Healthy Holiday Travel

The holiday season is upon us, which means lots travel, unhealthy food, memorable moments, and our famous excuses such as, ”I’m traveling, there are no healthy options!” and “I’ll work it all off when I get home.” A typical American may gain upwards of 15 pounds during the winter months, including holidays. Why put you and your body through this when there are simple tips and ways around the holiday bulge?

Whether you travel by plane, train, or automobile, the only things moving are the means of transportation.

 

When traveling by car, I suggest the following tips:

– Stop to eat instead of sitting in the car and going through the drive-thru. For the budget conscious, this doesn’t have to be at a restaurant; there are some great sandwich shops that offer healthy and affordable meals!

– Take a break from the long drive and walk around for 10-15 minutes, this short amount of time can be a great benefit to your health.

– For close destinations, pack a picnic. This is a great way to get the family involved and find a great place to pull over and eat on the way.

When traveling by train:

– Get up, walk around and stretch as much as you can.

– Bring snacks to avoid over eating the full, typically, unhealthy foods trains provide. Trail mix and nuts are some of the best options to bring!

– Bring a book! The train is the perfect place to relax and stimulate your mind.

While traveling by plane:

– Power walk in the airport! Don’t worry, you won’t look weird, usually others who are late to their flights are doing the same so you’ll fit right in!

– Make sure you plan ahead. If you are traveling internationally check to see if they offer a vegan menu or bring your own food to eat that you know you’ll enjoy.

– Snack frequently, never allowing yourself to over eat or binge at one sitting.

– Keep alcohol to a minimum while traveling, as well as caffeine, and sodium. All tend to dehydrate the body, and while flying it is important to stay hydrated, plus it helps prevent the dreaded jet lag!

With these simple tips, you can help keep the pounds off while traveling this holiday season! Remember, being prepared is the key to traveling success!

About the Expert:
Shauna Johnson is Culinary Instructor at Wellspring Weight Loss Camps. (www.wellspringweightloss.com) Shauna has a passion for healthy living, including living and cooking a healthy diet. She has been the head instructor for flagship Wellspring Academy of California for four years, and has designed the curriculum for Wellspring Camps around the globe. Shauna earned her Nutrition and Culinary Education degree at Fresno State University. Shauna has also continued taking courses, including a recent “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives” curriculum developed by Harvard Medical School in association with Culinary Institute of America.

30 Fun Things to Do to Celebrate Your 30th Birthday

You only turn 30 once, so why not celebrate it in style! Instead of dreading age 30, embrace it. Your life is not over, not even half way, so welcome age 30 with a smile and instead of moaning about your age, make some fantastic memories. If you can’t think of something extra special to do for your 30th birthday, consider these 30 fun ways to celebrate turning 30.

Whether you are into sports or the arts, relaxing or going out on the town, these 30 fun things to do to celebrate your 30th birthday should give you an idea of a great way to celebrate the big 3-0. Get together with your best pals, your family and everyone you know, or just your sweetheart for an exciting way to celebrate your 30th birthday.

Here are 30 fun ways to celebrate turning 30:

1.    Go to a baseball game.

2.    Rent out a party suite at a hockey game.

3.    Go to a football game.

4.    Plan a golf weekend.

5.    Plan a spa weekend.

6.    Throw a party.

7.    Go out to dinner with friends or family.

8.    Have a happy hour.

9.    Tour a brewery.

10.    Plan a wine tour.

11.    Go on a road trip somewhere.

12.    Check out a casino.

13.    Go to a Broadway show or other theatrical event.

14.    Go to a comedy club.

15.    Go to Las Vegas.

16.    Go to New York City.

17.    Go on a cruise.

18.    Go to your own surprise party. (Inevitably, someone will throw a surprise party for probably half of you guys who read this.)

19.    Go out to a club to go dancing.

20.    Check out a male revue or a strip club. (Just for kicks!)

21.    Take a class with a group of friends.

22.    Plan a vacation to someplace you’ve always wanted to see.

23.    Go to a fancy restaurant with a great view with your sweetheart.

24.    Go to a big kids’ arcade, like Dave & Buster’s, where you can play skee ball to your heart’s content.

25.    Do something adventurous like skydiving, bungee jumping, or going for a ride down a zip line.

26.    Go bowling with a group of friends.

27.    Try your luck at miniature golf with your closest pals. Losing team buys ice cream.

28.    Plan a fishing trip or charter your own boat.

29.    Rent a cabin in the mountains or a cottage at the beach and chill with your best buds.

30.    Sleep in, lay around in your pajamas all day, and then spend the night anyway you like!

No matter what you decide to do to celebrate your 30th birthday, we hope you have a safe and wonderful special day. Be sure to do something special to pamper yourself or to create great memories of your 30th birthday. Wishing you many more happy years!

Do Your Nails Have a Costume Yet? Kiss and Dashing Diva: Limited Edition Halloween Nail Review

Yes, you read right… do your nails have a costume yet? Mine do; I’m dressing them up with some spooktacular Halloween themed nails via Kiss’s Halloween Nails and Dashing Diva’s Design Nails on the Go.

If you haven’t already, take a trip to any of the Walgreens, CVS, or Kmart stores (nationwide) before October 31st (that’s tomorrow).These Halloween Nails are definitely a must have and will definitely accent any costume you have in mind.

The nail kits come ready to use. There’s no mess from glue and it takes only seconds to apply. Each Halloween nail kit includes 24 nails in 12 sizes and “glue tabs” to help press on the nails, making the mess a thing of the past.

Young girls can wear Halloween nails too - a great costume enhancement!The limited edition Halloween nail kits I received:

Red French with Skull kit – this kit has got to be one of my favorites. It has the French manicure look only the white tips are red/black plaid; a few of them even have white skulls inside a beautiful gold heart (just beautiful).

Silver Spider Web kit – If you’re looking to add pizzazz to any gothic costume; these will do the job. The French tips are black with beautiful spider webbing across the bed of your nail, but don’t think that’s all for these nails wouldn’t be complete without the awesome silver spider that sits atop of your fingers…sure to get some attention on these beauties.

Halloween Love Potion Nails as modeled by PatienceVampire Red kit – Awesome blood red nails with the embossed black flair of designs around the edging. Trust me; you won’t want to forget about your nails once you see this design. They’re frighteningly red, yet elegantly vibrant with color…a must have.

Black & White Skull kit – You’ll have enough nails to do every other nail with cross bones and the other half with black nails and (what seems to be) white bones scattered about. They’re really cool looking, especially if you’re planning on dressing as a pirate, skeleton or other such character. I like these because of the cool Black & White contrasting look.

Dashing Diva; Design Nails on the Go… – (Skull & Bonz, Treasure Island and Love Potion) I received three spook-a-luscious designs; and all worth mentioning. Each set includes 28 nails and the glue is already applied. All you do is pick, set and press…that’s it. The hardest part was figuring out which one to wear first.

Girls showing off their Halloween manicures by Dashing Diva.The other set (that I plan to use tomorrow) are solid black nails with pretty white tips and a shiny silver strip to break the colors apart. I plan on wearing these tomorrow because I still haven’t decided what to wear. I know what I’d like to be, but because I’m not sure – these Halloween nail sets will be perfect for anything.

Each one of these kits was really fun to use and added much excitement to my girls’ evening. I normally don’t buy any type of nail kits for my girls because I worry about the glue tearing up their own nails, but with these being temporary, I had no fears. Why? To remove the nails, you simply soak them in warm water until the glue becomes soft and loose. Once there, the girls just peel them off (Note: nails cannot be reapplied once removed).

Although the Kiss nails were not the right size for my little ones (geared for women and young ladies), the Dashing Diva nails were a perfect fit for their little fingertips. The Dashing Diva nails had just enough “little” nails to give my girls a full set of glamour for tomorrow’s events.

Halloween Nails by Dashing DivaDashing Diva nails are available online at www.dashingdiva.com (8.00 SRP) and also www.sephora.com (10.00 SRP) online or Sephora stores nationwide.

Kiss nails, as mentioned before, can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, and Kmart stores nationwide. For more information, see www.kissusa.com.

This review is made possible by Kiss and Dashing Diva (thank you). I happily accepted free products in order to give you my thorough and honest thoughts/opinion.

Plus Size Fashion Tips for Curvy Girls

Finding the right fashions for your body type, your height, and your personality can be tricky enough as it is. Add in the need to find cute, plus-sized fashions that don’t lack style and you may have found quite the challenge. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Consider these plus-sized fashion tips to help you find the right fashions for your figure.

As you begin your search for cute and classy plus-sized fashions, remember that women’s plus size clothing is widely available on the Internet as well as in boutiques and department stores near you. You can have lots of fun trying plus-sized fashions on in person or browsing the plus size clothing catalogues online.

“As one of the leading designers of stylish plus size women’s apparel, we strive to make full figured women look and feel amazing in our line of clothing,” says Alicia Leach for Kiyonna. “As over 60% of women wear a size 14 or larger, our aim is to create “something a size 6 would die to wear.”

Plus Size Fashion Tips to Hide Your Tummy, Look Thinner, and Accentuate Your Best Features
Sometimes plus size women may find a particular “problem area” that they would like to disguise or hide. Targeting these problem areas with your fashion choices can be easy once you have the right apparel and accessories on hand. If you are looking for plus-sized fashions and accessories to help hide your tummy, consider the following tips and ideas.

•    “Layer with tank and jacket or twin set to camouflage your midsection (tummy).” – Paula Guthrie, owner of Bodacious Boutique, the only non chain boutique for new plus size fashions in Dallas.

•    “Don’t wear it too loose, or too tight, but wear your garment close to your silhouette and you will look thinner.” – Paula Guthrie, Bodacious Boutique

•    “Sexy and feminine boy shorts, chemises, and camisoles make for an unmentionables collection that is sure to show off those curves.” – Alicia Leach, Kiyonna, an online designer of plus sized fashion that is stylish and sophisticated.

•    Find jeans for a curvy woman at Fashion Bug, Catherines, and Lee Jeans. Try on a few different styles to find the right fit for your curves! Life Love Beauty, product research

Plus Size Tips – Colors, Patterns, Prints, and Styles for Curvy Girls
What is the rhyme and reason to women’s plus size clothing? What are the best patterns, colors, and styles for curvy girls? Curvy girl clothing comes in countless patterns and prints, colors and fabrics, and cuts and styles. Depending on your own preferences and your instincts, you can consider the wide world of plus size women’s clothing to find the right fit and style for you.

“I personally love prints vs. solids, but that is really a personal preference,” says Paula Guthrie, owner of Bodacious Boutique. “We suggest that your top / jacket length hit you at the top of your leg, so that it covers the tummy and back side. Long tops and tunics look best on taller ladies. As far as colors, we love the look of a black tank and pant or skirt with a fun jacket. This way you only have to invest in a top / jacket piece and it is also great for travel, to save space in packing.”

Boots for Plus-Sized Women
If you are interested in adding a sexy or sedate pair of boots to your footwear collection, but have difficulty finding a boot that fits comfortably, you are not alone. Silhouettes Extended-Calf Boots offer a great option if you need extra room in the legs as compared to other boots available on the market. Silhouettes boots are designed especially for women sizes 12 to 26.

Silhouettes boots fit a wide variety of popular styles, from ankle boots to dress boots, riding boots, fur trimmed suede boots, stretch boots, and everything in between. Footwear by Silhouettes is available in wide-calf and wide-width sizes. Silhouettes boots are available online at www.silhouettes.com and through catalogue orders.

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“I believe that size should never dictate style, and that every woman deserves to dress in a way that befits her personality and zest for life,” says Paula Guthrie, owner of Bodacious Boutique.

About the Experts:
Paula Guthrie is the owner of Bodacious Boutique, the only non chain boutique for new plus size fashions in Dallas. Bodacious Boutique caters to the full-figured woman who has a life full of places to go and people to see, and who always wants to look good doing it. They offer a large selection and affordable prices on everything from casual sportswear to After 5 and Wedding attire, as well as shoes, handbags, and accessories galore. Visit online at www.bodaciousboutique.com.

Alicia Leach
is a marketing specialist for Kiyonna. Kiyonna is an online designer and boutique offering plus sized fashions ranging from 0X (10-12) – 5X (30-32). For more information, visit online at www.kiyonna.com.

Best Dress Types for Plus-Sized Women

If you are wondering how to best accentuate your favorite features or how to best hide whatever you’ve decided to be your figure flaws, certain fashion choices can help you do one or both. Finding the right plus sized dress can be challenging if you don’t know where to start or what you are looking for – in terms of cut, style, color, etc. Consider these tips to help you find the best plus sized dress type for your body.


Sydney’s Closet, a plus size dress shop with hard-to-find plus sizes 14 to 44, offers the following tips for matching up the right dress type to your body for a perfect plus size dress to add to your wardrobe. Find out which plus sized dress style is best for your body type – A-line, ball gown, empire waist, princess dress, and sheath.

Best Body for a Plus Sized A-LINE Dress
The popular A-line dress is narrow at the top, fitting close to body, and then gently flaring out and flowing wider into an “A”. Phyllis Brasch Librach, president and founder of Sydney’s Closet, says this is a flattering fit for everyone and every body type.

This dress flatters all body types because of the benefits the A-line dress provides. On her Web site, Phyllis Brasch Librach says the A-line dress disguises fuller hips and bigger bottoms while balancing the torso with the chest and adding the illusion of height and a more slender figure. An A-line dress can also enhance the curves of a straight body, she says.

Best Body for a Plus Sized BALL GOWN
Perhaps one of the most romanticized dresses and a popular wedding style, the ball gown features a fitted bodice and a floor-length, flowing skirt. Phyllis Brasch Librach says the ball gown flatters women with the hourglass figure. The ball gown especially hides hips and accentuates the bust, she says.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized EMPIRE Dress
The empire waist is a favorite among many women who wish to disguise their tummy or midsection. This dress type features a high waist right under the bust line that flows loosely into a long skirt.

Phyllis Brasch Librach says this style of dress is great for women with a heavy middle, as this style disguises thicker waists and hides large tummies while also enhancing smaller breasts and adding length to petite figures.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized PRINCESS Dress
Phyllis Brasch Librach explains that the princess dress features vertical panes that follow the body’s natural lines and curves. This type of dress flatters the lower body by minimizing hips and hiding the tummy, she says. The princess dress is slimming and gives the illusion of a longer body.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized SHEATH Dress
The sheath dress is a closely fitting gown that hugs the body and offers a straight, slim fit. Like the princess dress, the sheath dress minimizes hips and disguises the belly area, Phyllis Brasch Librach says.

This dress is similar to the mermaid gown, which flares out at or just below the knee. These dress types work nicely for tall and thin body types.

About the Expert:
Phyllis Brasch Librach is president and founder of Sydney’s Closet – “We Size Up Glamour” – a plus size dress shop online and with a store in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Sydney’s Closet features a collection of hard-to-find plus sizes 14 to 44 with fast turnaround and delivery. For more information, please visit and shop online at www.SydneysCloset.com.

Tips on Finding the Perfect Plus Size Dresses

Finding cute plus size dresses can be like finding a set of winning lottery numbers – maybe not the easiest thing to do, but certainly well worth your efforts! Women’s plus size clothing has come a long way in recent years, offering curvy girls many more options when it comes to a fashionable wardrobe. If you’re a curvy girl, plus size dresses may be an essential fashion choice to add to your wardrobe. Don’t fret if you can’t find something perfect right away – the following tips on finding the perfect plus size dresses should help you!


Plus size dresses come in many styles, lengths, colors, cuts, and levels of formality. You can find everything from plus size prom dresses to plus size wedding gowns and plus size bridesmaid dresses for those special occasions in your life. You can find a women’s plus size holiday dress or plus size fancy dress for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, or any holiday or special time of year.

“When it comes to finding a plus-size dress that fits and flatters your curves, an A-line design always works,” says Phyllis Brasch Librach, president of Sydney’s Closet, a plus size dress shop online at www.SydneysCloset.com and with a store in suburban St. Louis, Missouri.

“The silhouette, narrower at the top then gently flaring wider into an ‘A,’ flatters everyone,” adds Librach. “How? An A-line dress disguises full hips and bottoms, balances the torso with the bust line, adds curves to a straight figure and makes any shape look taller and slimmer. It’s the one perfect dress for any body.”

Tips for Finding Stunning Plus Size Formal Dresses
Life often throws us a number of formal occasions each year for which we must find an appropriate dress or gown to look great for the occasion. Whether you need a plus size prom dress or plus size wedding gown or even plus size bridesmaid dresses, you can rock the scene by choosing a dress that looks and feels great.

“I wanted to take the tears out of shopping for my daughter and the millions of full-figure women like her who want to look and feel gorgeous when they celebrate life’s special occasions from going to Prom to going down the aisle,” says Librach.

If you are preparing to celebrate your high school prom, homecoming, or a special school formal or military ball, a kickass plus size formal dress becomes a top priority. You can find a lovely and sexy plus size prom dress if you give yourself enough time to search to your heart’s content.

If you or a close friend or family member is getting married, a special plus size wedding gown or collection of plus size bridesmaid dresses may be a great fit for your needs. You can look just as good as the women who wear smaller sizes by finding fabrics, styles, and colors that work with your body type and your own curves.

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