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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Attraction of Dating a Married Man in the Celebrity World – Sahel Kazemi and Steve McNair Meet an Untimely End

Perhaps the cheating ways of celebrities and professional athletes receive more attention because of the high profile lifestyles they lead. Tabloids and gossip columns continually shout about new suspicions for who is cheating on whom and where these two people were seen together, such as the cheating allegations against Jon Gosselin, and other possible cheating suspicions on Kate Gosselin, both of the hit reality series, Jon & Kate Plus 8. It is not often clear how much of the celebrity news is true and how much is speculation.

In the case of former NFL Quarterback Steve McNair and 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, the attraction of dating a married man may have been more along the lines of McNair’s fame and fortune, or the fact that he was an older man, 16 years her senior. One can only guess that the two felt an attraction for each other, despite the fact that Steve McNair was a married man.

Sadly, Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi were both killed in a double murder or murder-suicide during the 4th of July holiday (yet to be determined at the time of this writing). News reports state that Steve McNair’s wife Mechelle McNair did not know about his affair with Kazemi until after the bodies were discovered. Despite these reports, search queries this week are off the charts for the search term “Steve McNair wife photo.”

It is hard to imagine what Mechelle McNair must be going through right now. If the news reports are accurate, she not only lost her husband in this awful double murder (or murder-suicide), but she also found out after his death that he was cheating on her. Finding out about her husband’s affair with Sahel Kazemi produces an entirely different gut-wrenching emotion; but to deal with both at the same time seems simply unbearable. It’s also very possible that through the questioning, she had to suffer through police questioning related to her husband’s death.

Yet despite this terrible tragedy for Mechelle McNair and the McNairs’ four children, all of these Web searches for “Steve McNair wife photo” and “Steve McNair’s wife photo” cause us to wonder just what America thinks about the tragedy and the killer. Perhaps people want to see Steve McNair’s wife’s photo to compare it to his mistress, or to see if Mechelle looks like a killer. A number of Internet users suspected that Steve McNair’s wife Mechelle herself is the killer, despite the reports that she didn’t know he was cheating on her. If she is innocent, as it seems she is, what an awful thing to be accused of a murder after you’ve just found your husband was killed and that he was having an affair!

New evidence shows that Sahel Kazemi purchased a gun on Thursday night. It seems very likely that she may have shot Steve McNair and then herself, especially if McNair was refusing to leave his wife for her.

Reports state that Sahel Kazemi and Steve McNair took a number of vacations together, and that Kazemi had expectations of marrying McNair sometime after a divorce to his wife Mechelle. Stories also say that Kazemi’s family saw her as being happy with McNair, although they may not have approved of the situation.

Little is known or divulged regarding the double murder or murder-suicide involving Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi at this point, but surely new evidence is coming to light and should continue for the days to follow. All that is sure is that this is a tragedy for both the McNair and Kazemi families.

Hot Swimsuits and Top Swimwear Trends for the Summer of 2009

One-piece, two-piece, bikini, tankini, boy shorts, and cutouts – the styles and trends for swimwear in the summer of 2009 come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Bright, exotic color schemes and lively patterns make this year’s swimsuit trends perfect for lots of fun in the sun.

Various swimwear companies are offering a wide selection of swimsuits in bright, vibrant colors for a fun and vivacious look this summer. Bold and beautiful colors like fuchsia, emerald green, amethyst, and other jewel tones hold a top spot in color trends for 2009 swimsuits. Black swimwear continues to be timeless and slimming as well.

Regarding style of swimwear, halter tops seem to be a popular fashion for summer 2009, but so are swimsuits with a single shoulder strap or cut-outs. Swimwear companies offer sexy one-piece swimsuits and bikinis, tankinis, and more, all of which can be a great swimsuit style for 2009, depending on your preferences.

In terms of patterns, prints, and designs, summer 2009 swimwear trends see geometric patterns, African prints, or tribal prints hold great popularity this season. Adornments make a special fashion statement while ruffles, ruching, and fringing deliver camouflaging effects and a bit of soft and sexy to your look.

If you are worried about fitting your swimsuit to your bust size, don’t fret. Freya and Fantasie cup-size bathing suits offer support and cup sizing to give you a perfect fit for your swimsuit every time.  These two lines of swimwear provide full support for women up to an HH cup size, so you should be able to find a swimsuit that looks and feels great with Freya and Fantasie collections, both offering vibrant colors and interesting prints and patterns.

Rosa Cha, a high fashion Brazilian bikini line created by designer Amir Slama, also features swimwear in bright colors and unique styles, perfect for fashion-forward women and celebrities across the globe.

No matter what your body shape, size, and style preferences, you can find a fabulous swimsuit this summer. Whether you prefer to follow the swimwear trends of summer 2009 or pave your own way to fashion in your swim attire, enjoy your summer!

Tips for Taking Your Dog or Puppy with You in the Car on a Road Trip or a Long Drive

Some dogs love being in the car, others hate it. Getting your dog used to the car when he or she is a puppy can make going on long drives or road trips infinitely easier than if you only take your dog to the vet in the car. Dogs are smart creatures and they often make associations with good and bad experiences. Do your part to make your pet’s traveling experience a good one!

Road trips, vacations on the road, and long drives can be a lot of fun with your dog or puppy if you take the right approach to getting your dog accustomed to the car and providing a safe and pleasant environment while in the car. To make every car traveling experience as pleasant as possible for both you and your pet dog or puppy on a long drive or road trip, consider the following tips.

Testing the Waters – Make Sure Your Pup Likes the Car
“Before embarking on a long road trip, make sure your pup is okay with the car,” says Lisa Epstein, PETCO spokesperson. “It’s best to start as a puppy and slowly acclimate her to the car with treats so she associates it with a good place. Try taking short trips around the block, in her crate for some, to make sure your dog is ready for a longer trip and to make sure she doesn’t get car sick. Be sure to give lots of praise and treats when she’s being a good passenger.”

Prepare Your Vehicle for Your Pet before Leaving Home
“Avoid a permanent reminder of your car trip with your pet by dog-proofing your car,” advises Lisa Epstein, PETCO spokesperson. “Placing a plastic tablecloth on the backseat can save your upholstery, but the best method is usually to use his crate if he is not potty trained.”

“Make sure tags are up to date with your contact information,” Epstein adds. “For additional security, step into a local PETCO and have a temporary tag made with your destination like your camp site or sister’s address. At all times, the tag should be attached to your dog’s collar.”

Epstein also recommends familiarizing the puppy with its carrier or kennel to avoid any unnecessary drama when the pup is in it for a few hours at a time.

Pack Any Necessary Items for Your Dog, Including Food, Water, Etc.
Depending on the length of your road trip or car ride, you might be able to pack your dog’s food in a medium or large size Ziploc bag. Epstein also recommends creating a check list of items to pack for your dog, which should typically include food, treats, toys, plastic bags, flea and tick repellant, brushes and combs, and any medicines the pup might need. You might also pack bottled water to prevent an upset tummy if the water is very different from what your pet is used to drinking.

Ensure the Safety of Your Pet While in the Car and During Pit Stops
The safety of your dog or puppy should be your top priority whenever traveling with your pet in a car or during a road trip. Consider the following tips to help you keep your dog safe and secure in the car while you are driving.

Choose a safe collar. PETCO recommends a car-friendly dog collar for traveling in the car. Experts at PETCO advise against using a choke collar, pinch collar, training collar, or any other kind of dog collar that could hurt or choke your dog during the trip. Velcro collars and other breakaway collars tend to be best and safest for car travel.

Make sure your pooch is secure. Whether in a carrier, with a car safety harness, or on a favorite blanket, PETCO recommends keeping your dog securely fastened in case of an accident or abrupt slamming of the breaks.

“Forget those picturesque moments of dogs with their heads out the windows – it is dangerous,” says Epstein. “Loose objects, dust, and debris can harm your dog.”

Don’t leave your dog or puppy unattended in the car. Leaving a pet in the car is dangerous, especially in very hot or very cold weather. If you must leave your pup for a very brief errand, PETCO recommends cracking the windows enough to let some air in but not enough that your pet could snap at passersby.

Stopping every four to six hours should be sufficient so your dog can stretch and relieve him or herself. For puppies and dogs that are not potty trained, you may want to stop a little more often. Epstein recommends keeping your pet on the leash at all times to avoid getting near to traffic or getting lost.

You can also keep your pet on the usual feeding schedule, Epstein notes, but you can feed a bit less food than usual since your dog will probably spend most of the time in the car sleeping.

***

With these tips on traveling in cars with your dog or puppy, you should be able to have a pleasant driving and traveling experience, whether on a long drive or a road trip. Your dog also should have a more enjoyable ride, which ultimately makes your life easier. And remember, safety first!

Product Review: Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner

For that salon quality look, feel, and fragrance, consider trying out new Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner, both meant to tame frizz-prone curls using aloe-e. If your hair tends to go frizzy on those muggy summer days or just about any time it rains, this de-frizzing duo could be just the product set for you. Combat the frizz and free your hair from its crazy ways with this fragrant shampoo and conditioner set, just in time for the warmer months of the year.

Upon first sight, Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner each boast a vibrant, bright green bottle with flip-top lid. To help you remember which is which, the shampoo bottle opens on the top and the conditioner bottle sits on its lid.

Both products carry a light and slightly fruity aroma that lingers long after your shower concludes. The shampoo’s and conditioner’s fragrances are reminiscent of the same kind of fragrant products your hair enjoys at the hair salon. Another nicety – when you walk by someone within a few hours after washing your hair, the delightful fragrance catches a passing breeze and lingers for all within a nearby radius to enjoy the enticing scent.

 

Perhaps the most striking thing I noticed about Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner is the condition of my hair after washing it with these products. I found my hair soft and fluffy immediately once my hair dried and the softness lasted all throughout the day. I truly enjoy these products and the way they make my hair look, smell, and feel.

Unless it’s an optical illusion, the Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner products both boast a soft, very pale minty green color and a shimmery sheen, with an overall creamy consistency. These beauty potions are pretty and effective at the same time.

By including Aloe-E, Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner hydrate your hair, leaving it softer, silkier, and frizz-free. The products allow hair to take on its own natural wave or curl, minus the sometimes frizzy texture. If you want to get sexy natural curls and waves, give Sunsilk Captivating Curls a shot. The results are great and the price can’t be beat.

Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner retail for under $4 each. This product line by Sunsilk includes shampoo, conditioner, cream gel, scrunching mousse, and de-frizz leave in cream. The products are available at drugstores, supermarkets, and mass retailers near you. You can also buy these Sunsilk products in bulk at Amazon.com.

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom Makeup Trends for At-Home or Professional Makeup Application

Getting your makeup done professionally or doing your makeup for a special wedding can be an enjoyable experience, but it definitely helps if you go into it knowing how you want your makeup to look. If you aren’t entirely sure how you want your makeup done for your son’s or daughter’s wedding, you might consider following the latest makeup trends for mother of the bride and mother of the groom.

Makeup trends change on a fairly regular basis, sometimes even with the seasons. Some makeup trends tend to stick around for a while, like the smoky eye look, although that may not be appropriate for your son’s or daughter’s wedding. If you want to find dashing and glamorous mother of the bride and mother of the groom makeup trends and styles, consider checking out magazines for photos of mature celebrities that you admire as a good place to start. You can also consult your hairstylist for additional ideas.

To learn about some of the makeup tips and trends for mother of the bride (MOB) and mother of the groom (MOG), read on. Makeup Artist Vanessa Elese shares the following answers to our burning questions about makeup trends and tips for the bride’s mother and groom’s mother.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What makeup color trends would be good for mother of the bride and mother of the groom? Should they match, complement, or accent their wedding attire, go with a look based on skin tone, etc.?

A. – Vanessa Elese: When you are looking at what colors to wear for the big day, focus not only on your skin tone, but also a look that will represent sophistication, your personality, as well as timeless beauty.  Essentially for mother’s of the bride / groom, focus on colors that complement your skin tone as well as enhance your eye color. A tried and true color trio can be seen with the bronzes, pinks, and earthy tones, which are certainly very popular and were all over the red carpets and runways this year. You can achieve a similar glamorous look with earthy tones then choose a plum or deep navy liner to complement your eyes and make them truly sparkle in the pictures.

Something to keep in mind… When looking for eye shadows, try Chanel’s Eye Shadow Quads in “Sequoia” or “Dune” – great complements of pinks, browns, and golds. Be sure when wearing eye shadow that you balance shimmer with flat colors. Too much shimmer can detract from your gorgeous eyes. Try a slight shimmer on the very inner part of the lid to awaken the eyes and use flat silky hues to add definition.

Skin tone: My true belief is to accent, rather than hide. For skin, start with a primer, to help hold your makeup for the long day ahead. Try: Smashbox’s “Photo Finish” Foundation primer with Dermaxyl Complex. This primer helps fill in fine lines and pores and allows makeup to apply flawlessly, ensuring continuous wear.  Also, you can try the Bodyography “Veil Foundation Primer,” which acts in the same way, but also contains antioxidants while helping to repair and prevent premature aging.

Next, make sure your concealer and foundations truly are your shade. There’s nothing worse than cakey makeup showing up in naturally lit photos. Your color should blend seamlessly without notice.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What kinds of makeup are important for the bride’s mother or groom’s mother if planning to do their makeup at home?

A. – Vanessa Elese:
Today is a very proud day, presenting either your daughter or son. Make sure your makeup complements rather than detracts. Your true beauty will shine through with these simple steps.

1.    First, apply a primer for lasting and restorative results.
2.    Spot cover any blemishes or marks, then assess whether a full foundation is necessary. Oftentimes a little foundation applied with a damp sponge will allow all flaws to be concealed and with seamless radiance showing through.
3.    Choose a lipstick that is along the peachy/rose tones. These tones will add the amount of color desired without looking garish.

Q. – Life Love Beauty:  What tips do you have for mothers who want to get their makeup professionally done on their child’s wedding day?

A. – Vanessa Elese: When looking for a makeup artist, make sure your concerns and ideas are thoughtfully addressed. Also, your artist will be present while your photographer is taking pre-ceremony pictures and can be hired throughout for touchups. Be mindful of appearance and professionalism.  With that in mind, consider price, but do not hesitate to spend for a true professional. Remember, these pictures and memories will be those you cherish for your lifetime. Cutting corners can often lead to more drama on your day than what you anticipate. A makeup artist’s job is to not only provide a flawless result and boost confidence, but also soothe their clients with reassurance that all the planning, time, and investment is well spent.

About the Expert:
Vanessa Elese is a makeup artist whose primary clientele includes members of the media, fashion, entertainment, and arts industries. For more information, visit online at www.vanessaelese.com.

Travel on the Cheap – 10 Ways to Save on Vacation Costs

In a tough economy, people’s travel plans often suffer. Luckily, despite the waddling economy, folks can still take advantage of travel deals to enjoy fabulous vacations at a fraction of the cost. If you want to travel on the cheap but you’re concerned about financing a vacation, you can still make things happen with some careful planning. Simply get creative and find some great ways to save on your vacation costs!

First things first – decide on the necessary factors of your vacation. Make a list of your prerequisites – such as land or sea, domestic or international, luxury-ish or roughing it. Once you’ve determined your travel preferences, you can start planning a great vacation on the cheap. Finding travel deals might even be easier than you think. In fact, many hotels are discounting rooms way lower than ever before in hopes of luring in some would-be travelers. You can also take advantage of a number of deals available through memberships like AAA and the Entertainment Book.

1.    Go on vacation during off-peak times. If you can still have decent weather, why pay top dollar for prime time?

2.    Use a credit card with air miles or hotel stay rewards. If you spend all year long earning air miles or hotel dollars, you can offset your vacation costs with the rewards you reap from your credit card.

3.    Get a copy of the money-saving Entertainment Book. In case you aren’t familiar, the Entertainment Book is a comprehensive volume of coupons, deals, and discounts at countless locations around the United States. You can buy a book for your local area or even get an Entertainment book for your destination, such as Buffalo, NY for a Niagara Falls vacation or Orlando, FL for a Disney vacation.

4.    Arrange your trip so you can make your own meals sometimes. If you stay in an efficiency or even a tent with a fire ring, you can cook some of your own meals to offset the cost of your vacation.

5.    Share expenses with a friend or group of friends. If you plan a road trip where you can carpool or all stay together in the same accommodations, you and your friends can split the costs as many ways.

6.    Take a more rugged trip, like camping, backpacking, or even a road trip. Save money by staying at hostels, cheap motels, or even under the stars in a tent. If you are set on a vacation with modern conveniences, look for a vacation house that you can rent from the owner.

7.    Become a member of AAA. Countless hotels and travel related companies offer discounts only to AAA members. The membership costs less than $50 a year and could save you lots more.

8.    If you’re seeking a tropical vacation, consider a cruise or an all-inclusive deal. A cruise offers the opportunity to see several wonderful destinations on the same vacation – totally more bang for your buck. Also, Mexico is known for having affordable prices and great vacation packages.

9.    Look for free and cheap things to do in addition to your planned itinerary. If you plan to do a more expensive activity, fill some of your other free time with lesser expensive or even free events. Also, seek out discount coupons and vouchers.

10.    Be willing to get bumped from a flight for airfare vouchers. Also, consider booking your flights in advance for better pricing if you notice costs beginning to climb.

While it won’t actually save you money, you can also begin saving for vacation before you even know you’re planning one. If you have a bit of a reserve of cash set aside for a trip, you won’t feel as guilty doing the things you really want to do on vacation!

How to Get Your Husband or Partner to Pitch in around the House or to Help with the Kids

Sometimes family chores and obligations can seem unbalanced. When this is the case, very often one spouse is doing more work around the house, or handling more responsibilities with the children, than the other spouse. Sometimes this uneven way of living can be very obvious, and other times it may sneak up on you out of nowhere.

If you feel that your husband or partner is not helping enough around the house or with the kids, you don’t have to give up. Even if you feel frustrated and helpless, there are things you can do to help encourage your spouse to pitch in around the house and with the responsibilities of being a parent.

Charles Orlando, author of The Problem with Women… is Men: The Evolution of a Man’s Man to a Man of Higher Consciousness, shares some of his favorite tips for helping to get your husband, boyfriend, or partner to chip in with daily and weekly responsibilities of life. Check out his tips and commentary below:

Tips to Get Him to Pitch-in Without Having to Bitch-in, by Charles Orlando

Many men are driven by primal instincts to solve problems based on evidence and/or hard data. And when it comes to child care, that instinct can sometimes quell the possibility of knowing what a child needs, when they need it and how often. As a result, men oftentimes take a voluntary step back from child care, leaving the mother with the lion’s share of the workload. Women wanting to change this cycle have a few options… some commonplace (and unsuccessful), some to perhaps think about and try.

—Hoping it fixes itself. This has the most chance of failure. Wants and needs need to be communicated clearly … and most times, consistently.

—Complaining:
Men are prepared for the inevitable “I-know-you-just-got-home-but-I’ve-been-doing-this-all-day-and-you-need-to-help-me-out” statements. The result is usually more withdrawal, or passive-aggressive “attempts” at doing something to “help”.

—Change the approach with “Thought Seeds.” As discussed in my book, The Problem with Women… is Men: The Evolution of a Man’s Man to a Man of Higher Consciousness, perhaps the best approach to convincing your partner of the extreme importance of recognizing your needs, is planting the idea in his head, and then reinforcing it over time (which might prove especially useful for stay-at-home-moms whose husbands think you sit around all day, watching TV). Careful phrasing and calm discussion from the woman is paramount … and the key to this is to “get on the man’s side.” That should not be understood to mean that she must agree with him, or “fold” (read: be cowed into silence when she encounters his opposing views). Her job in this step is to plant an idea — a so-called “thought seed” — in his head, and then to add to that idea on a daily basis. The premise behind this tactic is simple: It’s a lot easier to convince people of things if they think they thought of it first. By germinating new thoughts that lead to new actions, she can effectively create an atmosphere of healthy change.

Short-term example

Instead of:
“I need a break! Get in here and take over for me!”

Try:
“I’m tired… and I need a break. Do you want to take over for me now, or in 20 minutes?” This provides a response the woman controls. While not forcing the man with an ultimatum, this statement provides the illusion of choice and has a positive expected outcome.

Long-term example

Instead of:
“Hey! Why do you need me to explain every little thing to you? Use your brain and figured out what our child needs! That’s what I have to do.”

Try: Talking about it. In a non-confrontational way, go over things with the father: schedules, food, and the thought process behind how you (as a mother) eliminate what is needed (or wanted) at a particular time (feeding schedule, check diaper, child is bored/needs playtime, etc.)

This process is easy to write, but it takes time, consistency and reinforcement. (Ever attempt to box train a cat? Did it work the first time?) The main message to get across to your husband is that it’s not a man’s job to “help” with caring for children. “Help” implies that it’s the woman’s job to do it, and he’s doing her a favor by lending-a-had once in a while. It IS his job…

 

About the Expert:
Charles Orlando is the author of The Problem with Women… is Men: The Evolution of a Man’s Man to a Man of Higher Consciousness, and is a speaker and life coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he’s not cooking his wife breakfast-in-bed or playing Guitar Hero with his kids, he can be found blogging at theproblemwithwomenismen.com.

Tips for Adopting a Puppy, Kitten, Cat, or Dog from a Shelter or Dog Pound instead of Buying a Pet from a Breeder

If you’ve decided to adopt a furry, four-legged friend from a dog pound or shelter, good on you! Millions of homeless pets could really use a good home rather than living out their lives in a shelter… or worse. Rescuing a pet dog, cat, kitten, or puppy from an animal shelter gives that pet a chance to live a full and happy life, showered in love and enjoyable experiences with a family of its own.

Even if you are set on a certain age – like a young puppy – or a certain breed of dog – your chances of finding the right pet for you and your family are still fairly good if you are willing to put in the effort. My husband and I recently adopted a puppy from an animal rescue on the other side of the country. I had originally been looking at breeders in our area and within a few hours of a drive, as I knew I wanted to get a young puppy in a particular breed. (I wanted a border collie!) I did extensive research on Petfinder.com and found a border collie mix that is the perfect puppy ever, and she has the spitting image of a border collie, even though she is half Australian shepherd.

If you choose to adopt a pet from a pound or animal shelter, it’s always a good idea to get your new pet checked out at the vet, and make sure they are up-to-date on any shots. Here are some additional tips for adopting your pet from a shelter.

1.    If you can’t find the perfect pet at a rescue location near you, look online. Countless dogs and cats (and other animals too!) need good homes, and thanks to today’s technology, you can see their cute mugs online, and then call or email for more information.

2.    Look far and wide. If you fall in love with a pet that is out of driving distance, some shelters will still allow you to adopt out of state if you are willing to pay for the transportation costs.

3.    Don’t give up if you can’t afford to transport your new pet. Some animal rescue groups offer ground transportation services from shelters several states away or farther. Breed rescues very commonly do this.

4.    Check the pet’s health right away. Once you’ve adopted your pet, schedule a vet appointment for a standard check-up and to get any shots that may be needed.

5.    If you get your pet from a shelter with common areas for the dogs, be aware that your dog might have a chance of catching Parvovirus if not fully vaccinated. Talk to your vet about this possibility and whether a diagnostic test is a good idea for peace of mind. (Parvo is often fatal in dogs if not detected and treated early, and my puppy did have it, so I am a strong advocate for being on the safe side.) Also, if your pet begins acting very sick (throwing up and diarrhea), you should rush to the vet stat.

6.    Schedule your pet’s next round of shots while you are at the vet. Keep your new puppy or kitty up-to-date on all boosters.

7.    Ask questions about your pet’s health and lifestyle. Talk to your vet about diet, exercise, socializing your new pet, and any other burning questions that come to mind.

8.    Shower your new pet with unconditional love and affection!

Best wishes with your furry new family member!

Summer Giveaway – Aroma-Sothys relaxation line three-step program

aroma-sothys-logoThis summer, relax your mind and your body with Aroma-Sothys relaxation line three-step program – our latest giveaway prize in our fun summer contest. Aroma-Sothys relaxation line three-step program includes Aroma-Sothys Energizing Bath Essences Tablets, Aroma-Sothys Energizing Essential Oils Elixir, Sothys Aroma-Sothys Massage Elixir.

Read on for instructions on how to enter our giveaway for a chance to win the Aroma-Sothys relaxation line three-step program.

Prize: One lucky reader will win Aroma-Sothys relaxation line three-step program.

Refresh and cleanse with an indulgent bath

* Aroma-Sothys Energizing Bath Essences Tablets are effervescent, playful, and revitalizing bath pebbles that will enrich your bath with their tonic and energizing fragrance. Price: $26

Pamper and awaken the senses with the beneficial virtues of essential oils

* Aroma-Sothys Energizing Essential Oils Elixir, is a magical experience of concentrated essential oils that promises to restore and tone the skin’s natural essence. Price: $26

Seal and protect to keep your skin moist and glowing all summer long

* Sothys Aroma-Sothys Massage Elixir – Massage your body with a cocktail of ginger, nutmeg, orange, marula and mandarin essential oils.  This elixir is sure to leave your skin with a satin-like gloss and perfume finish. Price: $38

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

Time Frame: Contest begins June 30, 2009 and ends July 10, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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

1. Compose a brief statement of 35 words or more about the following topic:
– What are your favorite summer beauty tips?

Note: Your recommendation will be posted on Life Love Beauty for the benefit of all our readers. Tips will not be returned.

2. Compose an e-mail message to [email protected], and include the following:
* Subject line: Sothys / Summer Beauty
* Your full name and birth date, including the year
* Your full mailing address (house #, street, apt. #, city, state, zip)
* Your tip or statement of 35 words or more

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

How to win:
•    Judges will determine the best summer beauty tip from all entry submissions.
•    One winner will be selected from all entrants according to votes by judges.
•    No purchase necessary. You have not yet won.
•    Winner will be contacted via e-mail, and the winner will be added to the list of winners posted on LifeLoveBeauty.com following verification.

Good luck!

Looking Younger on Your Child’s Wedding Day – Tips for Bride’s Mom and Groom’s Mom to Take Years off with the Right Cosmetics

Special events and important gatherings give us reason to want to look our best, shave years off our appearance, and show off our true style and fashion sense. As a mother of the bride (MOB) or mother of the groom (MOG), chances are you may want to look younger for your daughter’s or son’s wedding day. Did you know you can take a few years off your appearance with the right cosmetics?

Just as different clothing fashions can alter your look for a younger appearance, you can enjoy the same kinds of results by achieving a younger look with cosmetics on your child’s wedding day. Often, the bride’s mom and groom’s mom share a highly important role in their child’s wedding day, so if desired, a youthful appearance is often of the utmost importance.

If you want to take a few years off your appearance, read on for tips on how you can look younger on your child’s wedding day using cosmetics.

What are some ways the mother of the bride (MOB) and mother of the groom (MOG) can look younger or take years off with makeup?
If you are accustomed to using cosmetics in your daily routine, you might not even worry about the results you will achieve when using cosmetics to make you look younger for your child’s wedding day. Mother of the bride and mother of the groom can follow these tips from Makeup Artist Vanessa Elese and beauty expert Sonia Roselli, who owns Sonia Roselli Esthetique, in order to look younger with the right makeup products.

“Makeup is a wonderful tool in helping to enhance our features,” Elese says. “I truly believe less is more.  Makeup is a lot like a gorgeous dress, you should be wearing it, instead of it wearing you.”

Makeup Tips for Younger Looking Eyes
When thinking of ways to make your eyes look more youthful, remember to make every effort to get a good sleep the night before your child’s wedding. Mother of the bride and mother of the groom have a lot of tasks and responsibilities (and likely, stress) on their plates, but their beautiful, youthful appearance is important for their child’s special day.

For more youthful looking eyes, consider these tips:

“After long hours of excitement, eyes can become a bit tired,” Elese says. “Ensure your eyes are aglow and mix a highlighter with your under eye concealer. Not only does it diffuse the lines and circles, but also defies: you look like you’ve had an instant eight hours of sleep.”

She recommends Smashbox’s Photo Op Under Eye Brightener.

“This sheer liquid, when delicately applied to your under eye, really awakens and tones the skin,” Elese says.

Makeup Tips for Younger Looking Skin and Cheeks
There are a variety of things you can do to enjoy younger looking skin. Unfortunately, some of those involve taking good care of your skin in your younger years, taking precautions in the sun, and so forth. Despite this, mother of the bride and mother of the groom can still try a variety of products and cosmetic tricks to lighten the load and enjoy a younger appearance for the wedding day festivities.

For younger looking skin and youthful cheeks, consider these tips:

“Skin as we age becomes a bit dryer, so our old tools can be updated, but using a cream or gel blush instead of just a powder formula,” Elese instructs. “I love Alison Raffaele’s ‘Inner Glow’. This water-based gel formula lasts, hydrates, and adds the perfect amount of hue with its translucent formula.”

Vanessa Elese recommends a cream blush, like Nar’s “Cream Blush,” which she says includes Vitamin E and hydrates with a sheer deposit of color. Her favorite shade is “Gueule de Nuit.”

“Try gingerly sweeping your favorite complementary powder blush over the gel/cream to add dimension and really look glamorous,” Elese suggests.

Sonia Roselli, owner of Sonia Roselli Esthetique, a makeup and skin studio in Chicago, suggests keeping frosty shimmers to a minimum or using sheer shimmers.

“Too much shimmer can show fine lines and wrinkles, but too matte can also look too much,” she says. “Go for products that have silicone in them. Also, keep the cheek color to a very soft pink. Almost a candy pink, if you will. That color works on almost all skin tones and looks very youthful.”

Makeup Tips for Youthful Looking Lips
For smoochable, sexy lips, moms of the bride and groom can take a few tips from the pros. Get a soft and kissable mouth, with plump, luscious lips by following a few tips on using cosmetics and beauty products to get youthful looking lips.

For young looking lips, consider these tips:

“Try a great lip plumping gloss over your favorite shade of lipstick,” Elese offers. “Bodyography has one of my favorites, ‘Lip Vapour.’ This formula plumps lips with a slight cinnamon burst taste that ignites the taste buds and easily absorbs and enhances the lips using your body’s own natural moisture which results in a lusciously full pout. This formula doesn’t sting and actually lasts!”

“For moms it is crucial to wear a cream lipstick or a gloss,” says Sonia Roselli, owner of Sonia Roselli Esthetique, a makeup and skin studio in Chicago. “Mattes are very aging, as are too dark a lip color. [Moms should] Go for one or two shades deeper of their natural lip tone for the freshest look but to pop in photos. Also keeping the lips very glossy will instantly take 10 years off.”

***

Remember, even if you opt to go easy on the cosmetics for a more natural look at your child’s wedding, you are as young as you feel. Enjoy the special day!

About the Experts:
Sonia Roselli owns Sonia Roselli Esthetique, a makeup and skin studio in Chicago. She caters to a large wedding business. For more information, visit online at www.soniaroselliweddings.com.

Vanessa Elese is a makeup artist whose primary clientele includes members of the media, fashion, entertainment, and arts industries. For more information, visit online at www.vanessaelese.com.

The Parvo Chronicles – How Our Puppy Survived the Often Fatal Parvovirus

If you are reading this, you may suspect or know that your dog or puppy has Parvo, aka: Parvovirus. If that is the case, I am very sorry and I encourage you to take your pet to the veterinary hospital without delay. If it is after your normal vet’s hours and your puppy exhibits the signs of Parvovirus, you would be wise to consider an emergency vet if you are fairly convinced your pet has Parvo. However, if you are already in the treatment phases or unable to do so at the moment, here’s a tale of how our long awaited puppy survived Parvo. Hopefully this tale is enough to encourage you to stay strong, keep a positive outlook, and give your dog the proper vet care that is so typically needed for a dog or pup to beat Parvo.

I’ve had my heart set on a border collie puppy for a few years now. This year, 2009, I thought would be the year we’d get a puppy, and I was right – but it didn’t happen right away. For one reason or another, every time a pregnant border collie was about to have pups, something either went wrong, or we discovered there were no puppies to be born. The false pregnancies got me started thinking that something wasn’t quite right with my plan, but I still desperately wanted a puppy. Then one weekend, my husband suggested we adopt a border collie from a shelter or a rescue instead of buying from a breeder.

I was skeptical at first because often the border collies given up for rescue tend to be older dogs or dogs of a few years old. Puppies rarely seem to be available. I decided to search on Petfinder.com to see if I could prove myself wrong. I checked up and down the whole East Coast to no avail. Plenty of dogs and puppies needed good homes, but I just didn’t see the one that stole my heart on first glimpse. Finally, I started searching the available pets out on the West Coast. When I got to Utah, the perfect puppy stared back at me from one of the pages of search results.

The little puppy was only nine weeks old and had the adorable looks of a border collie. She was half border collie and half Australian shepherd too, but you’d never know it by looking at her. She is the spitting image of a border collie – with the split face and all. Her fluffy black and white fur and precious face – half black and half white – gave me all the inspiration I needed to pick up the phone and call the shelter. She was still available!

In one day’s spin of the clock, I had all the plans in place for this little puppy to fly to PA from Utah in two short days. She’d catch a ride to Las Vegas, fly into Atlanta for a connection up to Allentown, and then we’d pick her up after my brother’s high school graduation and drive her home. It was a well choreographed plan, all things considered. Turns out her flight got delayed and we didn’t get home with her until 2 a.m., but it was all well worth it. What happened next is where the real story begins.

We took our puppy to the vet for a health check and a Lyme’s disease shot, as well as a kennel cough vaccine. She seemed perfectly healthy! We named her Moko, after the Maori tribal face tattoos worn by a number of the aboriginal people in New Zealand. (With this in mind, it translates roughly to “mask.”)  Moko met some of our family members and neighbors, played, ate, slept, and did all the wonderful things a puppy does. Then, only five days from the night we got her, our little puppy became very ill. My husband and I had no idea why or what was wrong. My hubby had to leave for a weekend golf trip, and that first night is when I looked up all her symptoms online.

My projected hypochondria and hours of sleuthing led me to believe she had Parvo. Her symptoms included very watery yellow diarrhea, vomiting (since she hadn’t eaten anything, it was mostly yellow bile and foamy, clear liquid, kind of just like slobber), laziness and complete lethargy (what puppy do you know that is content to sleep ALL DAY LONG?), no desire to play, and refusing to eat and drink all day. The more I read online, the more I convinced myself she had Parvo. Around 11 p.m., I called and left the vet a message that I wanted the first available appointment that next morning.

Based on my detective work, I frantically tried to get her to drink water. Dogs and puppies that get Parvo typically die of starvation and dehydration within 24 – 48 hours or so. This terrified me. My efforts to get Moko to drink water were not working out too well, but I kept trying.

Here is what I did to get her to drink:
1.    Tried to give her ice chips in her bowl to entice her to drink or even accidentally get some water in her mouth.
2.    Used a turkey baster to force some water down her throat. This was somewhat successful, but I spilled as much as I got down her throat.
3.    Added a small splash of milk to her bowl of water – she actually did go after it and drank for a good 20 seconds or so. This was the most successful method.

I also gave her a small piece of ham lunchmeat even though we decided no people food. It was literally a small piece the size of a quarter, so I don’t know if she got any nourishment at all, but she did reluctantly eat it, which made me feel better.

The next morning, she seemed a good deal better – happy and playful, but she still had diarrhea and she just didn’t seem right. At the vet’s, they tested her droppings and gave her a general exam. The vet didn’t think she had Parvo as I suspected, because she seemed too energetic and healthy, but decided to do a Parvo test anyway for both our peace of mind. About 10 minutes later, the vet returned and my worst fears were confirmed. Moko tested positive for Parvo.

Continue reading the story…