Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays: Ready, Set, Dine

The holidays are here and there's a good chance you'll be setting the table for company sometime soon. On behalf of Caldrea, Lifestyle Expert Kelley Moore offers ideas for how to set the table while entertaining this holiday season. I love these ideas because they're easy to do and give your table a professional, chic vibe.

Make the Table Visually Stimulating
Dazzle your audience with tabletop décor by adding color and texture. For the holiday introduce seasonal colors such as eggplant, fuschia and gold to enhance the setting.

Try a Fun, Unexpected Centerpiece
While flowers are always beautiful, sometimes it is fun to add sculptural elements. At a friend's house recently, a fantastic array of vases that she'd bought on a trip to Italy were not only beautiful and different, but also a conversation starter for the table.

Provide a Menu Card
This not only allows guests to see what they have to look forward to, but you can design the cards to fit the color palette of the table and build out your holiday theme. Keep your dishes and ingredients in sync with the season to be truly cohesive.

Create Unique Placecards/Takeaways
By assigning seating for your guests, you avoid the awkward first couple of moments sitting down to the table. You can mix and match personalities to initiate conversations and new friendships. Perhaps make a matchbox with their initial on it and then send them home with a Caldrea Candle. To check out the new Caldrea Holiday Collection in Crimson Pear Ginger, go to www.caldrea.com.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the smurfs are in the house

Have you seen the much-anticipated Smurf's movie yet? I haven't...but my kids are all too familiar withe adorable blue creatures since they decorate the shampoo and body wash bottles in our bathtub. Every kid will love the fun, new bath-time products created to celebrate the movie launch. Suave Kids® introduced specially designed bottles of shampoos, detanglers and body washes – all featuring the Smurfs. While the packaging is engaging for your tykes, you won't be disappointed by the faithful Suave formulas inside. They lather up effectively, rinse out pretty well (better on my son's straight hair than on my daughter's endlessly curly locks, but that can probably be said for most brands) and leave hair soft and shiny. True, my daughter chooses the one she wants to use based on the color of the product (pink and blue are her favorite) but hey, whatever it takes to get them to wash themselves is okay by me. Go to www.suave.com for more info.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New School Year, New Wardrobe Sweepstakes from Lesters.com

Back-to-school shopping at Lester's while I was growing up was always a treat. My sisters and I would count the days till the end of August when our mom would take us to buy just a few new items for our school wardrobe. These days, girls are luckier than ever--thanks to a this chance to win a $500 shopping spree from Lesters.com.

With a new school year starting, now is the time to step up your style with the season’s most sought after looks from Lester’s. This fall, back to school shopping is quicker and easier than ever with the launch of Lesters.com, the ultimate online fashion destination. The new Lester’s online outpost features must-haves from trend-setting brands such as So Nikki, Vintage Havana, Wildfox, J Brand, Chaser, The North Face, Ugg Australia, and Volcom, making back to school cool just a click away.

Lester’s is inviting shoppers to help celebrate the new site with an exclusive giveaway. To enter the New School Year, New Wardrobe sweepstakes, simply log on to Lesters.com for the chance to win a $500 Lester’s shopping spree and kick off the school year in style.

The sweepstakes closes on August 14th so act now or you'll miss the chance to stock your closet with cool style finds before the first bell rings. Go to www.Lesters.com to participate.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

sun safety: fun sunscreen

We all know how hard it is to get kids to apply sunscreen or to sit still when we try to rub it on them. Sunbow makes it easier with formulas that come in engaging packaging and are fun to put on. When I first sprayed my 3.5 year old daughter with the Dora the Explorer blue goop, she couldn't wait to rub it in herself. When I grabbed a different brand in haste the next day, she pouted all the way to camp because "I wanted the blue sunscreen, mommy!"

My son, age 5, feels the same attachment to the SpongeBob Square Pants version, which comes in yellow (his favorite color) and--btw--also smells like bubble gum. Personally, I'm just thrilled with the bright colored formulas (they are easily absorbed and dry clear) that are gentle on their skin, and the maximum protection (SPF 30) from UVA/UVB rays. Try Sunbow Sunscreen Spray ($9.99), Sunbow Sun Stick ($7.99) and Sunbow Zinc Oxide Cream ($12.99).

Sunbow products are available at www.sunbowsunscreen.comand www.drugstore.com.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day: the right move

If you give a guy a travel chess set, chances are he'll want to take it with him wherever he goes...like to his office for lunch hour games with his buds. If he plays chess with his buds, he just might put a wager on the game. If he puts a wager on the game, chances are he will win and be ceremoniously taken out to dinner. If he is treated to a dinner out, there's a good chance he will have a few drinks. If he has a few drinks, he just might challenge his friends to a game of chess. In any event, at least he would never take this travel chess set on your romantic weekend away...or would he?

The point is, it's so irresistible. Not only does it come with two suede pouches to keep the pieces in, but it rolls up into one convenient leather roll that's totally transportable.

The leather chess set by Mulholland ($86) is just one of the great accessories and "toys" available for men at The Plaza Boutique in New York. The Plaza Boutique also carries, Plaza sheets, Plaza bathrobes, Plaza puzzles, teddy bears with the Plaza bathrobes on them…the list goes on. There are also fun gadgets and clothing for men including golf shirts, leather travel size shoe polishing kits and manicure kits.

So if you're still wondering what to get that special dad in your life, pop on over to The Plaza Boutique and start shopping. Available at www.theplaza.com/shops/plaza-boutique.

Friday, June 17, 2011

happy father's day: this brew's for you

It's not fair that the Super Bowl only comes once a year. Make Father's Day just as celebratory with this original Father's Day gift.

Beer gift baskets, with their customizable details, make the perfect gift. Every recipient feels special when a personalized beer gift basket arrives in the mail, expertly tailored to their specific tastes. In addition to your significant other, give a Beer Basket to a coworker, boss, or even a prospective client.

Products include, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL,NCAA, NASCAR, Armed Forces, US Olympic Team, UFC, Seasonal, Custom & Corporate.

What's inside:

Roasted Peanuts, your choice of over 20 major brand beers, 1 Coozie, 1 bottle opener and a message from the sender.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

happy father's day: write on

Contrary to popular belief, it's not all about the stylus these days. Real men still put pen to paper when there's something important to record. Whether he's filling his to-do list or jotting down a quick note, your favorite guy will love these stylish pens from Parker.

The Parker Sonnet Sterling Silver Pen (shown here, from $208 to $341) has a distinctive image, enhanced by the ciselé décor. This beautiful pen has a precious 925/1000 Sterling Silver chiselled finish and is sleekly paired with the emblematic Parker arrow clip.

For those on a budget, get him the Parker Urban Premium Ebony Metal Chiselled Pen (from $40 to $65). This innovative pen is dynamic, curvy and oh-so-smooth. The black iridescent and metallic colored laquer combine for a sleek, contemporary design.

The Parker Pen Collections are available at fine pen retailers and parkerpen.com.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

happy father's day: skincare essentials

If your significant other is the low-maintenance type, you might typically have to sell him on using some basic grooming products. Luckily there's kyoku for men, a no-fuss skincare line that gets the job done and lets him get on with his day.

Kyoku for Men fuses tradition and innovation, by coupling Japanese natural ingredients with cutting-edge technology, harnessing the power of nature through the knowledge of science.

Sake it to him: Kyoku's Sake Infused Shave Crème (Sensitive Skin) combines potent skin softening agents, friction-free silicone micro particles and an exclusive dual phase cellular anti-inflammatory complex, to cushion the skin, ensuring a smooth and calming shave.

Face to face: Kyoku's Facial Moisturizer should be used both morning and night to hydrate and soften skin, while protecting it from the sun's powerful rays. With an
additional anti-aging element, this facial moisturizer reduces the number of
free radicals in the skin protecting the skin from future aging and reducing
the visibility of pesky stress lines.

Eye do's: Kyoku's Eye Fuel instantly energizes and brightens the under eye area, tightening the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines, providing
long term anti-aging effects. A great pick-me-up for the overworked, overstressed guy in your life.

For more info, go to www.kyokuformen.com.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

happy father's day: cheers!

The perfect gift for dear old dad...otherwise known as the king of the house: A Designs by Lolita Pilsner Glass. Choose from the King Pilsner (shown here), #1 Dad Pilsner, the 19th Hole Pilsner or the Not Another Neck Tie Pilsner (it's decorated in ties so you can keep to your typical father's day tradition but add a bit of a twist). Pick the style that shows off his individual personality and complements his favorite brew. Only $27 each, at www.thelolitastore.com.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

chic treats: you gotta love lester's

Growing up in Brooklyn, Lester's was a household name. Some of my friends shopped there for their everyday school clothes but for my me and my sisters, any special occasion--sweet sixteens, recitals, graduations--called for a trip to the famous designer shop. The dresses or outfits we purchased there would be treasured and rarely shared (unlike everything else we owned).

So when I heard Lester's opened up a store in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, I was so excited to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised to find there was a kids' store and an adult store too. The fashion emporium was filled with cool tees, chic jeans, edgy dresses and tons of accessories. (Love the Hunter Rubber Tote and the cutting edge shoe shop--I even picked up a beautiful pair of suede wedge sandals for myself while I was there).

But the kids' store is out of control. It was obvious that camp season is right around the corner. You'll find the hottest camp fashion, accessories and gear, plus lots of stuff your kids will love that you never imagined even existed. Load up their personalized duffle bags (shown here) with word bracelets, snap on watches, fashion bandaids, color war attire, and American and European swimsuits. You'll even get a $25 gift card when you spend more than $500 worth of camp essentials.

Make sure you save time to do more than just "drop by"--you'll want to spend some time at Lester's, where you uncover a different fashion find as you scour every corner of the store.

Over 60 years ago, Lester and Lillian Kronfeld established their first store; and Lester's remains a family-owned and operated business today. Stop by any of the stores--in Brooklyn, Greenvale, Huntington LI, Manhattan, New Jersey and Rye-- for personalized service, unmatched selection and a pleasurable shopping experience.

Go to www.lestersnyc.com for more info.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

find your solemate

Whether you’re going to be a bridesmaid at an outdoor wedding or you’re planning on attending a Memorial Day picnic, chances are the thought of your heels sinking into the ground has crossed your mind. Before you go ahead and ruin a good pair of Manolos (and get yourself into a sticky situation), try SolesMates’ High Heeler ($9.95 per pair). The heel protector comes in three styles, Narrow (for super skinny heels), Wide and Classic and four colors–clear, black, gold and silver. They fit snuggly on the heel of your shoe and stay put while walking. By increasing the surface area on the base of the heel, it reduces pressure on this area and prevents heels from sinking into grass or falling into the cracks of bricks, cobblestones, subway grates and even wooden decks. You may be skeptical at first but you won’t think twice when you realize how much longer your shoes will really last without a visit to the shoemaker to repair the normal wear and tear. Go to www.thesolemates.com to purchase or look for them at retailers nationwide.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

shield your skin from the sun

Here in New York City, it feels as if the rain will never end. But sooner or later it will be sunny again and we'll need to protect ourselves from all that UV stuff. Up to 90% of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. But instead of walking around all lathered up with sunscreen, try Mott50 sun protective clothing.

Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, Mott 50 is a new line of clothing that helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Each easy-to-wear piece offers a UPF of 50 (while a regular shirt provides a UPF of 5) and blocks both UVA (aging) and UBV (burning rays). The co-founders are two young women who were keenly aware of the damaging affects of ultra violet radiation (one has a history of melanoma in her family) and wanted a stylish option that encouraged better sun protection.

While traditionally this would be considered “fashion,” the brand also represents a new option in “skincare” and offers a chic alternative for people concerned with sun damage (wrinkles, brown spots, etc.) and skin cancer. During the month of May, 10% of tunic sales will go to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

To choose your favorite Mott 50 pieces, go to www.mott50.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

laundry lagger? call laundrylocal.com

After a couple of rugged soccer games, baking chocolate cupcakes at school and a rare nighttime accident, there are a million things you'd probably rather be doing than your kids' laundry. Now there's respite for the laundry-dreading crowd. LaundryLocal.com does your laundry for you...so you can get busy doing something you'd much rather be doing.

Busy New York and Los Angeles residents can say “bye-bye” to the hassle of dropping off and picking up their work clothes at their local Laundromat and “hello” to the convenience of a laundry delivery service. It’s as easy as 1-Pick Your Spot, 2-Schedule a Pick-Up and 3-Confirm your information. Doing your laundry has never been easier. Just enter your address a select a prescreened service provider for valet laundry service (they’ll pick-up from your door and deliver your clean clothes back to you with no hassles!)

Why didn't someone come up with this sooner? Go to www.laundrylocal.com to schedule your pickup. Then go out and get a manicure--you deserve it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

get connected: with the free LiveProfile app

New to the Android world, and having skipped over the Blackberry craze and turned my nose up at all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone, I don't know much about communicating via your phone--aside from the constant reports of who BBM'd who that day. Now that I'm more connected, I am beginning to take note. And one thing that seems to be lacking is a way to connect from platform to platform--until now, thanks to Live Profile.

As Facebook’s future becomes more and more uncertain everyday, new mobile-based programs are emerging to take its place. What may become the next Facebook: LiveProfile.

LiveProfile is a free mobile messenger application that connects Blackberry, Android and iPhone users. As a social utility, LiveProfile helps people to connect and share with friends, family, or coworkers, typically those who communicate regularly through text messaging. Unlike popular social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, LiveProfile is specific to mobile devices, enabling more real-time, relevant, and meaningful communication.

Best of all, LiveProfile also offers a FREE alternative to text messaging, allowing users to communicate with lightning-fast message delivery and reliability. Unlike text messaging, LiveProfile displays when messages are delivered, read, and even when the recipient is typing a response, making it feel closer to a live conversation.

The next mobile social network, the next texting trend- it’s no wonder that LiveProfile adds 175,000 new users a day!

Go to www.LiveProfile.com for more info and to sign up today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

melanoma awareness month: protect yourself with the new UV app!

It's that time of the year again...time to get outside, enjoy the warm weather, hit the beach and get a healthy dose of sunshine. After all, we could all use some extra vitamin D, right? But while you're basking in its glow, keep in mind that May is Melanoma awareness month and you need to do everything possible to protect yourself from those harmful UV rays and keep yourself from becoming another statistic.

As part of La Roche-Posay’s SOS — Save Our Skin campaign that encourages daily sun safety through education and awareness--the brand has launched a new iPhone application, “My UV Check,” that uses location-based services to assess the strength of sun rays. Studies show that regular use of sunscreen led to a 50% decrease in melanoma. With ‘My UV Check,’ choosing which SPF factor to bring to the beach has never been easier.

MY UV CHECK is the first application on the market that measures both the UVA and UVB index, provides individualized sun risk diagnosis, shows you how to check your own skin for suspicious lesions/moles, and explores the Anthelios range for individualized product recommendations and to find the closest store near you.

Find out more about the SOS — Save Our Skin campaign--at www.SOSSaveOurSkin.com orwww.facebook.com/LaRochePosayusa.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day: a little spritz goes a long way

Simply put: You've got kids...you need peace. This is a great mother's day gift for moms who just need to chill and take some time for themselves. Sprayology’s special beauty and wellness kit is specially designed with moms in mind.

Sprayology is a chic collection of all-natural oral sprays founded by three top female executives with former past lives in the high-fashion world (i.e. Chanel, Christian Dior, Vincent Longo, etc.). They know what it takes to be superwomen and founded Sprayology as the new way to gain better balance and harmony. After all, better health is beautiful.

New for this Mother’s Day, Sprayology is launching a special “Just Relax Mom” gift set ($32) to help your mom look and feel great from the inside out. This gift set includes three of Sprayology’s top-selling oral sprays:

• Stress Relief – When you just can't get to the spa...This fast‐acting restorative spray contains eight natural ingredients, including passion flower to calm nerves, oats to ease anxiety, cinchona plant to reduce mood swings and valerian root to address irritability.

• Body Balance – Since your skin needs a little TLC too...This breakthrough spray includes homeopathic infusions of Rhus Toxicodendron to soothe dry skin, stinging nettle to reduce inflamed skin and spurge olive and mineral sulphur to relieve itchiness.

• B12 + Folic Acid – If you don't have time to take your vitamins...This spray is particularly important for women. It provides a substantial energy boost. B‐12 is important for the body's system of enzymes (substances that promote chemical reactions in the body) and to maintain a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B‐12 works in conjunction with Folic Acid to build the genetic material of cells and, specifically, the blood cells in bone marrow. B‐12 and Folic Acid are essential daily vitamins. Folic Acid can help prevent heart disease later in life.

It's not too late to purchase it for your mom. Go to www.sprayology.com to place your order and tell mom peace is on the way.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

happy mother's day: at-home spa

Everyone loves a good spa treatment, and no one's more deserving than your mom. But if she can't get to the spa, bring it to her. Lilli Gordon, founder of the First Aid Beauty skincare line, suggests products to give your mom, along with her tips on how to create a relaxing facial at home or a much needed hand massage. Lilli’s at-home spa tips make it affordable and easy to treat mom to her own facial and many more in the future.

Set the Mood: "Making any home a little more spa-like is easier than you think," Lilli says. “To create a spa feel, make your own cucumber water by adding five mint leaves and 10 cucumber slices to a pitcher of water. Mint oil helps flush away complexion-dulling toxins and vitamins A and C in the cucumbers help to keep skin glowing.” Lilli also recommends putting on your favorite music to suit your mood and create the perfect atmosphere. Lilli's favorites include: Annie Lennox, Gabriela Anders and Astrud Gilberto.

Fix a Facial: It’s a great mother-daughter bonding activity. · Soak a face cloth in hot warm water and place on skin to open pores. · Next, use a quarter size amount of cleanser (First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser - $18) and apply to a damp cotton pad, swiping from the middle of the face outward.· Exhale and imagine the stress leaving your body with each swipe outwards.· Re-moisten your facial cloth in warm-hot water and place on your face to remove the cleanser - let your nose peek out. Take a few deep breaths and remove the cleanser from your skin.· Tone skin with a brightening toner (First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - $28) to purify and restore pH balance to the skin.· Next, use an eye cream or eye roller (First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller - $24) to ward off wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.· Finally, rub a pea-sized amount of moisturizer (First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Restore Cream - $36) into hands and lightly smooth over face, again moving from the middle outward.· Cover your entire face with the cream.· Breathe in and out a few more times and look in the mirror to see how radiant your skin looks!

For more info, go to FirstAidBeauty.com.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

contest: win baby gear from Bright Start!

Between sleepless nights, constant spit-up and having a bundle you have to carry around all the time (at least for the first few months), life with an infant can be trying.

Enter the Bright Starts Facebook contest and make your life a bit easier. During May, June and July, Bright Starts is giving away the entire InGenuity™ Collection in the new Briarcliff fashion to one lucky winner per month, and that winner could be you!

This prize package, valued at more than $450 includes five amazing products, Perfect Place High Chair, Automatic Bouncer, Cradle & Sway Swing, SleepEasy Playard and Smart & Quiet Portable Swing to help make life easier.

Talk about easy...Entering to win only takes three simple steps. Visit the company's facebook wall: www.facebook.com/BrightStarts?ref=ts&sk=app_146242398774397, share your story about how Bright Starts has made your life easier, then vote! The winner of this baby gear upgrade will be chosen by the greatest number of votes, so don’t forget to tell your family and friends to stop in and vote!

For more info on Bright Start products, go to www.BrightStarts.com.

Friday, April 22, 2011

happy earth day: eco-friendly laundry products for a green clean

My son's allergic to lots of things...from food items, to environmental elements to my mom's Maltese. So I'm always looking for products that won't irritate his sensitive skin.

Vaska uses natural ingredients to develop laundry products that clean effectively without harming people or the planet. Whether washing high tech workout clothing or a toddler’s favorite tee, Vaska products clean even the most delicate fabrics gently yet effectively.

Whether you're celebrating Earth Day or want to be good to the planet every day of the year, check out Vaska’s home laundry product line:

• Herbatergent ™ liquid laundry detergent uses real lavender and potent botanical cleaning agents to clean clothing and linens effectively without harmful chemicals. Available in Light Lavender (it smells better than typical laundry detergents) or Scent Free, Herbatergent is free of perfumes, dyes, optical brighteners, and the traditional chemicals that damage fabrics and cause skin irritation. Ingredients include plant based surfactants, vegetable conditioner, water soluble degreasing agent, lavender extract, lavender scent (Light Lavender only) and filtered water.
$9.99 for a 48 oz bottle/32 loads and $15.99 for a 96 oz bottle/64 loads
(Available at Target)

• Herbasoft™ liquid fabric softener gives clothing and linens enhanced softness and a light, fresh, lavender scent. Herbasoft uses real herbs and advanced botanicals to soften textiles naturally, without leaving behind waxes or harmful chemicals that damage fabrics and or irritate skin (definitely better for kids with allergies, texture issues or those who just love the feel of something soft against their skin). Safe on colors, whites, natural and synthetic washable fabrics, Herbasoft is an ideal way to add an extra soft and fresh touch to laundry. Ingredients include vegetable derived softener and natural lavender scent. $9.99 for a 48 oz bottle/32 loads

• Oxygenbleach is natural, chlorine free bleach that makes whites sparkle (even those that have been spit up on and otherwise damaged) and keeps color garments bright. Oxygenbleach is safe on colors, whites, natural and synthetic washable fabrics, and it makes clothing and linens truly soft – without the stiff and crunchy bleach-feel. Oxygenbleach gets whites whiter, and unlike traditional chlorine bleaches that can harm fabric and skin, this formulation does not cause whites to become yellow over time. Ingredients include hydrogen peroxide, plant based surfactants and filtered water. $6.99 for a 48 oz bottle/32 loads

• Spotoff™ is an all natural stain remover designed to treat spills and stains on clothing, rugs, and upholstery. Spotoff uses potent botanical cleaning agents to remove wine, dirt, and other tough stains (we won't discuss which ones specifically but anyone with an infant can relate) without harming textiles. Safe on colors, whites, natural and synthetic washable fabrics, Spotoff contains no dyes or fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin and harm the environment.
Ingredients include botanical surfactants, natural blending agents, lavender extract, alcohol and filtered water. $9.59 for a 22 oz spray bottle

For additional information on Vaska’s product line, please visit www.vaskahome.com

Vaska Herbatergent is available at select Target stores nationwide and in Duane Reade in New York City. The entire line is available online at Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, and Alice.com.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

nature takes its course

For me, when it comes to moisturizers, thicker is better. So the thicker the lotion, the more confidence I have in it moisturizing my dry winter skin.

Transitional skin is the worst...get dry winter skin ready to be revealed with Nature’s Gate Hemp Moisturizing Lotion ($10.99). Thanks to seven natural moisture boosters, it keeps you hydrated all day long and leaves skin fresh and smooth.

It's free of Parabens, Phthalates, Butylene and Propylene Glycol, PEG, EDTA, and animal by-products. Hemp Seed Oil, high in nourishing essential fatty acids, is combined with Shea Butter, Milk Thistle and Kukui Nut Oil to help smooth and soften. The result: Revitalized and replenished skin.

The moisturizer works great after Nature's Gate Hemp Velvet Body Wash ($7.49), another way to nourish dry skin. Just pour a generous amount onto a washcloth and rub it all over your skin, then rinse and repeat. Your skin will look and feel incredibly smooth as soon as you tower off. I love the clean scent and convenient pump dispenser too.

Getting into Earth Day spirit? Also try Nature's Gate Nourishing Shampoo ($7.29), Nourishing Conditioner ($7.29)

Go to natures-gate.com for more info on these and other amazing products.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

raise the bar

My kids' shampoo saga continues.... One wants lots of suds, the other wants a fruity scent... I didn't think I could ever make them both happy in the bath...until I discovered One Bath and Body. The company's bar shampoo makes washing your hair easy and fun.

The solid tear-free shampoo is a round bar housed in an embossed aluminum storage tin and comes in a luscious Coco Banana scent. One bar lasts as long as three eight-ounce bottles so you save room in your shower and in the landfills. My kids love that they can apply it themselves and they get a kick out of the way it lathers up in their hair. Part of the endangered species collection, you can help save a monkey while you wash your child's hair. How cool is that?

If you like One Shampoo, you'll also love One Hair & Body wash in Panda Berry. It comes in a recyclable aluminum canister that has a scratch & sniff sticker on the top of the cover! So you can actually sample the scent without trying to break through the safety seal. And you can help save a panda while you use it. Another reason this is the One hair and body wash you can't live without.

Finally, try One Snow Leopard Lavender Body Lotion, all over your baby's skin and especially on their knees and cheeks. One Baby will donate a portion of its sales to support the sea World/Bush gardens Conservation Fund, swbg-conservationfund.org.

Go to onebathandbody.com for more info on these great products.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

this sud's for you

It could have been a catastrophe last week when we ran out of shampoo. But then I remembered a bottle of Jason Natural Kids Only! extra gentle shampoo in the back of the cabinet that I'd been saving for just this sort of occasion. Both kids love the fact that it lathers up really rich (ok, it takes a little more effort to rinse it out of my daughter's corkscrew curls) and leaves hair silky and shiny, especially when followed up with the extra gentle conditioner. With aloe vera and jojoba oil , it soothes the scalp and adds shine. They love pouring the gel shampoo on their heads and lathering up, then dousing themselves with water and smoothing in the conditioner. Hey, if they have fun in the bath it's totally worth it. Get your Jason Natural products at www.jason-natural.com .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

green with envy

On this Irish day of celebration, you see people decked out in every shade of green. But more than just a holiday tradition, it's actually a huge makeup trend for spring. Here, some great green products to try that'll make your friends green with envy...

Tarte's neutralEYES natural eye palette rocked the runways at spring fashion week. The versatile palette contains 10 Amazonian clay-infused shadows in neutral and universally flattering shades (green included!), emphasEYES™ aqua-gel eyeliner in brown, a double-ended shadow brush & a free sample of lifted™ natural eye primer with Firmitol™. Apply lifted™ first as a long-wear shadow base that also helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by 51% (in just 10 minutes). Then using the double-ended shadow brush to create the look of your choice by using the softly milled shadows (tip: you can also wet them for a more dramatic effect). To complete the look, apply emphasEYES™ aqua-gel eyeliner in brown, which glides on smooth and dries down to a long-lasting finish. neutralEYES™ natural eye palette includes: · 10 Amazonian-clay infused shadows, top row (L-R): matte bone, matte taupe, matte olive green, shimmering bronze, matte deep teal, bottom row (L-R): matte soft pink, shimmering soft peach, matte brown, matte plum, matte navy · emphasEYEs™ aqua-gel eyeliner: brown · double-ended eyeshadow brush. Get more details at www.tartecosmetics.com.

Another runway hit was the overabundance of green nail polish, mostly from Dashing Diva. At the Alexandere Herchcovitch and Ashleigh Verrier shows, veteran nail guru Pattie Yankee painted models' nails with Pier 39, a cool minty green. At the Zero +Maria Cornejo show, she used Greenpoint Grunge. And at Rosa Cha, models strutted their stuff in East Side Envy. Not gutsy enough to wear it? Try your favorite green shade on your toes first then switch to your fingertips when you get used to the green scene. See more great shades at www.dashingdiva.com.

Monday, February 28, 2011

save your smile

This month, we celebrated National Children's Dental Health Month. But just because February comes to an end today, doesn't mean we should stop promoting healthy dental care for our kids. Natural personal care leader Nature’s Gate partnered with RADIUS toothbrushes to offer discounts on both brands’ products via each other’s websites. The goal of the program is to educate and encourage natural product users to take a more holistic approach to their oral care regimens.

“We chose RADIUS as a partner because we share important core values: the desire to both promote the health and well-being of the end user as well as that of the environment,” said Jennifer Schweitzer, Nature’s Gate’s brand manager. “In addition to promoting oral health, both brands incorporate environmentally friendly materials into their products and packaging, including natural, recyclable and post consumer recycled materials.”

Nature’s Gate kids' toothpastes include a cherry gel which, in our house, even holds a candle to the popular Dora and Sponge Bob brands. My kids love the yummy cherry flavor...and it's all natural so it keeps their teeth and gums healthy.

For more info on promoting healthy oral habits for your kids, go to www.natures-gate.com and www.radiustoothbrushes.com.

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy vday: a little love for little ones

Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers. Make it a great excuse to show your love for your kids. Where to get a gift they'll love? Whether they're tots, tweens or teens, Lester's--the place to find everything from clothing to accessories--is your ultimate Valentine's Day destination. The store sells sweet and stylish treats for Valentine’s Day that are oh-so-adorable--your kids will get a kick out of them. Check out the Love and Kisses Flurr Pajama Pants and Shorts, designed for lots of cuddling time. My favorite is the fleece pajama bottoms with assorted heart and chocolate kiss patches (my three-year-old daughter loves them too!) Available in pink and purple, in sizes girls 2T - 6X, small to extra large ($33 - $45). Go to Lester's stores to purchase.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

happy vday: give him a sleeker you

What will you get for Valentines' Day? Flowers? Chocolate? A spa treatment or two? If you want to drop your husband or boyfriend a hint, or steer him in the right direction, why not suggest a gift that keeps on giving way beyond February 14th: Cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery.

Granted, he should think you're perfect just the way you are. But if you want to pursue the options for a dose of physical improvement, he should be there to offer his support.

When price is no object, think high-end: a complete mommy makeover [avg cost $12,900 as reported on RealSelf.com], from lipo to tummy tuck to breast augmentation, is the ultimate push present.

Seeking faster results at a more moderate investment? Injectibles like Botox [avg cost $500], Restylane [avg cost $700] and Juvederm [$800] can wind back the years and reveal a smoother you.

What's the best way to gift cosmetic surgery and treatments? Says Dr. Richard Rand, Seattle plastic surgeon and RealSelf contributor, "The best thing your significant other can do is to research the very best Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area and set up a consultation, then go with you and find out what would be the best treatments and or surgery to meet your needs. If you decide to go ahead and book a procedure, he can help you with the fees."

RealSelf.com is a community that shares, discusses, and rates more than 200 cosmetic services and procedures and, to date, thousands of reviews—personal stories and real-life experiences – have been posted.

For more information on cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery, go to www.realself.com.

Friday, February 11, 2011

happy vday: light his fire

There's something about candles that invites, relaxes, calms, suggests and ensures a romantic evening is in store. When leading home fragrance expert Laura Slatkin wanted to create her own collection of scented candles, she drew on over a decade of experience in the prestige home fragrance market to develop an unparalleled fragrance experience. The result was NEST, a candle collection ($32 each) uniting rich color, texture and scent to enhance everyday living and provide a respite that sets the mood for love. My picks for Vday: Pink Jasmine (if you're feeling a little flirty) and Moss & Mint (for a clean, fresh, more manly scent). The landmark collection includes the following evocative fragrances:

Moss & Mint Candle: Garden mint, apple blossom, and muguet are infused with a touch of oakmoss and vetiver

Bamboo Candle: Flowering bamboo mingles with an array of white florals, sparkling citrus and fresh green accords

Pink Jasmine Candle: A rare pink jasmine is blended with frangipani flower and peony with under notes of cashmere wood
and white musk

Moroccan Amber Candle: Moroccan amber, sweet patchouli, heliotrope, and bergamot are accented with a hint of eucalyptus

Orange Blossom Candle: Orange blossom, orchid, tiare flower and freesia are combined with tangerine, lemon and musk

Wasabi Pear Candle: Anjou pear and fresh, ozonic watery note are infused with the essence of wasabi

Freesia Kiwi Candle: Freesia, jasmine and muguet are married with kiwi, Asian pear, and cassis

Periwinkle Hyacinth Candle: Periwinkle, hyacinth and lilac are combined with crisp green leaves and cloves

Mahogany Votive Candle: The sweetness of vanilla and caramel praline accents sandalwood, star anise and patchouli

Wild Oats & Bourbon Votive Candle: The essence of bourbon is blended with wild oats and mandarin ginger

Go to www.neimanmarcus.com to make your purchase, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

happy vday: the gift that makes scents

Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers. Show your tween or teen daughter how much you care with a Teddy Bear Fragrance Gift Set, featuring fragrances from Halle Berry, Faith Hill and Baby Phat.

The ultimate expression of affection, the Teddy Bear Fragrance Gift Set combines a plush, cuddly stuffed bearwith a romantic scent. Simply choose the fragrance that best represents the girl in your life and give her this season’s most adoring gift.

  • Halle Berry Pure Orchid: For the alluring romantic, this Floral Woodsy fragrance evokes a mysterious sexiness and intriguing sensuality that leaves a memorable impression throughout the day and night.

  • Halle by Halle Berry: For the effortless beauty, this modern and sensuous Woodsy Oriental fragrance evokes the confidence and beauty of women with an enticing sensorial fusion.

  • Faith Hill True: Faith Hill True embodies the casual sensuality of the passionate and spirited beauty.

  • Faith by Faith Hill: Faith by Faith Hill is a sparkling bouquet with dimension and depth.

  • Baby Phat DARE ME: This captivating scent is the essence of independence, created for the flirtatious, fun-loving girl.

The Teddy Bear Fragrance Gift Sets can be found in most mass merchandisers and drug retailers for $15.99.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Snacks for Super Bowl, from celebrity trainer and wellness guru David Kirsch

Whether you’re a football fanatic or just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, game day celebrations are always full of unhealthy choices. With New Year’s resolutions still fresh on everyone's mind, choosing delicious, healthy appetizers and meals for a Super Bowl party is doable with help from celebrity personal trainer and wellness guru David Kirsch.

David Kirsch has incorporated his lifestyle philosophy – achieving mind, body and spirit balance – into his three best-selling books featuring healthy, delicious recipes and energizing workouts. Try recipes from his extensive collection including low fat dips, hearty protein-packed appetizers and tailgate-inspired main courses, such as:

  • No-Fat Hummus
  • Roasted Pepper & Almond Dip
  • Tuna & Shrimp Kabobs
  • Sesame Chicken Fingers
  • Guiltless Barbecue Burger
  • Turkey Chili
Go to http://davidkirschwellness.com for more info on these tempting dishes and David Kirsch's fitness and wellness program.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

pen palz

My 3-year-old daughter can write most letters of the alphabet. But does she have the patience and attention span to do so? That's another story. For the most part, she is interested when she wants to get her message across. But then there are times she could use a little encouragement.

Introducing PenPalz, not the kind we knew of when we were kids (the ones you contact via pen, paper and stamp). These are creative cuddly plush companions whose sole mission is to encourage children to write and create.

The brainchild of a school teacher looking for a way to make writing more fun and encourage penmanship practice, the collectible plush toys slip on a child’s wrist and remain there to encourage writing and creativity.

Recent studies by researchers are finding that writing by hand engages the brain and can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

Shakes the Puppy Dog, Benji the Turtle and Haiku the Panda each come with a pencil and a literary tie-in that will spark questions and encourage further discussion. PenPalz easily stay on the wrist via an elastic strap and magnetic paws. They have received rave reviews from teachers, especially those of special needs children; occupational therapists and parents across the country. They come with a pencil, but not a sharpener (and if you have preschoolers who don't yet need school supplies, you may not have one handy!) But once sharpened, they get the job done.

My daughter tried it long enough to write her very short name: A-V-A. Then, she decide to forego writing to play with the plush pals (she's sleeping with one now!) That said, I think it's a great idea for kids who are just learning how to write and are intrigued by this creative tool.

Hey, maybe we adults should try them too. In this digital age, we need all the penmanship help we can get! Go to www.penpalzville.com for more info.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

get cleaner coffee

We may choose caffeinated over decaf, non-fat over regular milk, no foam over foam...but here's something you don't often think about when it comes to coffee. How clean is the equipment it's brewed on?

Urnex, the leading manufacturer, of specialty cleaning products for coffee and espresso equipment, offers up everything you need for the best brew.

Featuring an innovative collection of organic coffee and espresso machine cleaning products, Urnex leaves java lovers with a delicious and fresh-tasting cup of Joe. Whether it’s working to prevent coffee oil residues (which lead to bitter
taste) or helping to eliminate water-build up and clog flow in coffee equipment, Urnex is the essential coffee companion.

Cleancaf® Home Coffee & Espresso Machine Cleaner and Descaler − The only organically listed home coffee machine cleaner on the market; Cleancaf® is an odorless, non-acid scale inhibitor and detergent in one. Cleaning away old coffee in primary drip coffee brewers to prevent a bitter coffee taste, it is specially designed to clean coffee decanters and filter baskets and inhibit mineral deposits. Just use them bi-weekly or monthly for coffee you can feel good about drinking. Cleancaf® may also be used on home espresso equipment and to clean a French press. ($5.99 for 3 single use packets.)

Dezcal™ Activated Descaler − Designed to breakdown and remove the mineral build-up that can impact the performance of your coffeemaker, Dezcal™ is a citric acid based, non-toxic, biodegradable descaler solution used to decalcify brewers, espresso machines, pod and capsule machines. Use it two to four times a year. ($7.49 for 4 single use packets.)

Grindz™ Grinder Cleaner − Offering the serious coffee enthusiast grinding beans at home with a burr grinder a chance to clean and maintain their high priced equipment. The Grindz™ Grinder Cleaner is the first product developed to clean the burrs and casings of a coffee grinder without disassembly. Providing quick and easy cleaning, it eliminates all chance of old coffee oil residue co-mingling with fresh coffee –even flavored coffee odors. Use monthly or quarterly for best results. Grindz™ Grinder Cleaner is Star-K Kosher Certified. ($11.95 for 3 single use packets.)

Cafiza® Home Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets − Formulated for controlled solubility, easy rinsing and powerful cleaning of home super automatic espresso machine, Cafiza® Tablets are the only NSF certified home tablet and are conveniently packaged on a blister card. ($9.99 for one blister card with 8 tablets.)

Need a thoughtful gift for a java-loving hostess? Urnex delivers. Give the 1-2 Brew Gift Set. Complete with step-by-step instructions on how to brew a perfect cup of coffee. The 1-2 Brew Gift Set includes: Cleancaf ® Home Coffee & Espresso Machine Cleaner, Dezcal™ Descaler, a sample of Grindz™ Grinder Cleaner, a coffee scoop with bag clip along with space to insert a 12-16 oz. bag of the “giftee’s” favorite brand of coffee ($13.95, without coffee).

Urnex products are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond and at www.urnexathome.com