Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family Meal- Spaghetti with Tomatoes

Fast, easy and filling.

About 1/4 box of Spaghetti
6 Cups Cherry Tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablesppons olive oil plus more for serving.
Kosher salt and black pepper.
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs( parsley,basil)
Saved Parmesan.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package directions:drain and return to the pot.

meanwhile on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes,garlic,2 tablespoons of the oil,1/2 teaspoon sale and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast,tossing once, until the tomatoes begin to burst, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the tomatoes,herbs and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve with the parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

Teavana Anyone?

In our  recent story about Toronto two of my friends wrote about their love of tea. That reminded and inspired me to write this story about of my love of tea and the place where I shop for my "tea leaves" in not so many words.  For health reasons about 15 years I gave up my caffeine fix and  switched to decaffeinated full time .  I know decaf 100% is the best place to be, but I was missing out on some wonderful concoctions.

Teavana, is an Atlanta based company which opened its first store in Atlanta in 1997.
They now have about 150 stores in the US and Mexico. They offer teas and herbal infusions along with tea pots, tea sets, steepers and rock sugar for teas. They also have tea/milk frothers and other accessories for sale.

They offer white, green, black, oolong,rooibos, herbal and my favorites yerba mate teas.
The sales associates are very friendly and helpful. They are tea experts and suggest which teas blend well together. I am always mixing my teas now.

Applica RHTT8W Russell Hobbs Tea Tray

The Russell Hobbs tea try works really well and you get hot water and tea at the same time. Easy!

Mates( from Argentina,Brazil and other parts of South America) are my favorites.
They are three that you must try,
Java Mate
My Morning Mate and Matevana You will not get the crash or jittery feeling that comes with caffeine, I have not felt the effects. They all smell amazing in the morning and try mixing My Morning Mate and  Jave Mate for a different kick. Java Mate may be the closet you will get to coffee.

Spice of Life(White tea)
The smell, oh the smell. Spice of Life contains oranges, coriander, pistachios, almonds and red peppers. Sometimes I just want to smell this tea, not drink it but just smell it. It is delicious.

Favorite Herbal- Honeybush Vanilla- The best Vanilla Herbal I have ever tasted. I drink an entire mug of this tea every night. It is also a good blend with some of the morning teas, it adds a wonderful touch to sweet to an Earl Gray or Black Dragon Pearls. Full vanilla taste with the right touch of  honey, addictive for a herbal tea!

Black teas-
Black Dragon Pearl( nutty)and Golden Monkey ( a little of the Black Dragon goes a long way) are top of the line teas and are worth the price.  Very rich, I give the edge to Dragon Pearl.
Copper Knot Honcha- Love to have this if I would like something different,be ready for a very full bodied taste.
Earl Gray Creme- Great for every day and mixed with Honey Bush Vanilla.
Thai Tea Blend- I drink this at any time of the day before 6pm, Lovely tea not too strong  but there is something..it is creamy and smooth, love it!
Assam Gold Rain, Almond Biscotti and Cacao Mint are all great ones to try.


Rooiboos Chai- Lovely tea to try anytime of the day.

Those are some of my favorites, stop by a store or order online, it is truly a refreshing experience.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Packing Light. Save some pennies.

I used to be an expert at packing light. On a vacation to Europe years ago that required extensive train travel, my husband and I somehow managed to travel for 12 days with one stowable piece each and bag. My sisters who had travelled the year before our trip, told us we needed to be flexible, we may have to store our bags at train stations and keep them close with us on overnight trips.
That was a long time ago.

Since then I acquired a million different lotions and potions, clothing, shoes to match and it just went out of control. It took me two weeks in advance to plan vacation trip bags.

I want to go back to the way it was, please!

One of my jobs that required plane travel, the costs of checked baggage and 9/11 helped me to narrow my choices but I still struggled. I have made progress though, I got a  have a clear plastic bag packed with all my cosmetics in mini sizes which I keep ready to go. I always tried to have two of everything just in case. Or decanted items into travel size bottles and packed in a clear case.

Flight 001 and Sephora has the best clear cases for travel and they come in multiple sizes.
If you would like to travel with a really nice case in your checked luggage, Stephanie Johnson makes the prettiest make up bags around.

My ultimate fantasy would be to take a tropical vacation and go with a one piece of luggage. Right!
Note: pack a Le Sport Sac duffel and check it on the way home for vacation  or business buys, it is super light,super strong and can hold a ton.

Business is always easier because you can utilize lots of black clothing. This would work for  certain vacation trips,  change your colors, add swimwear or whatever applies to your activities.

For business Travel or a sightseeing trip to American or  European cities(it can be accomplished!). Anything else, you need to check some luggage!

3 pairs of shoes and that includes the shoes you are wearing for travel. You should have a pair of sneakers for exercise. If you are heading to cold weather wear boots to travel back and forth. One pair of dressy shoes for meetings and dinners. ( all black).
Don't forget to put socks, exercise monitors etc and anything else that you need to store in the shoes. Shoes go around the bottom.

3 tee shirts or light sweaters, gray, black and camel/tan for layering under suits or combining with pants. These should be rolled and put fill them into the open spaces.
1 pair black slacks,1 black dress, 1 black skirt( pencil).
1 white shirts,1 stripe or check shirt, 1 black shirt.  Button up your shirts, keeps them neat.
1 pair dark blue jeans
1 black or brown purse( Le Sport Sac again, it folds into a mini purse).
Pajamas/underwear( in a separate mesh bag). roll and wedge as fillers.
exercise gear( up to you to decide, in order to keep it all in one bag, I opted to exercise 3 days of a one week trip, less to pack)
Make Up bag/accessory bag( 1 necklace, signature ring and brooch) . Wear your watch and one necklace.
Scarf, your touch of color in a print, or solid, orange, pink, red are always nice for a pop of color.
Put chargers,adaptors etc in the zippered area.
Last but not least a good book for reading. Don't forget your vitamins!

All you should have in hand, a laptop case and a stowable bag.

Happy Travels!

Words of Wisdom by EckHart Tolle

"Don't Seek Happiness."
If you seek it you won't find it because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.
Happiness is ever elusive,but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now,by facing what is, rather than making up stories about it.

Eckhart Tolle
Oneness With All Life

London and a few favourite things- Guest Blog

In no particular order and restricted to just a few or else I'll have to write a guide book.

That London is comprised of two cities - the City of London (financial district) and the City of Westminster.

London's dense layout is fascinating. On a map, places appear to be far from each other, however, when you take the time to walk you find that this is not usually the case and the discoveries that you make as you walk can be pretty incredible. In London, like most cities in Europe it pays to explore and be adventurous, as long as you have an A-Z on you, or in this digital age an iPhone / Smartphone that you can use to discover where you are if you get lost.
Try this for size: Piccadilly (Circus) to Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square up to the Mall to Buckingham Palace, via Green Park / St James's Park, to Hyde Park Corner. Turning right you can head into Knightsbridge, continuing straight ahead takes you to Marble Arch and Oxford St. Turning right will lead you back to your starting point.

The greenery of the city! It's a bonus that a green space is never far away, whether it's a park (royal or not) or some sort of garden. Driving through Hyde Park in central London in the middle of winter one does not encounter a dead wasteland. When the temperatures begin to warm up, the spaces become covered with bodies in varying degrees of dress, or undress, as they soak up the rays, even during the week.
A few to put on the list
  • Green Park
  • St James's Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Soho Square Park
  • St Paul's
  • Finsbury Circus
  • Fann Street Wildlife Garden
  • Battersea Park
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
The Thames runs through it. Having a waterway to walk along, sit by and have a drink on a warm day is splendiferous and of course is perfect running route. This means that it's possible to see rowers practicing and to take a boat rather than a train / tube / bus if you so feel inclined. The Thames forms the north south divide which is pretty useful to know.
Areas for consideration because they have markets, second hand bookstalls, markets, shopping areas and the like, either pretty much at the water's edge or a short walk away.
  • Southbank - for theatre, music, exhibitions, shopping, eating and drinking. Try the Hayward Gallery, BFI, Oxo Tower, Gabriel's Wharf, the London Eye.
  • Bankside - for the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern. Moving along to London Bridge and Burough Market (a wholesale and retail fruit and vegetable market.
  • Thames Embankment - North of the river, it extends from Battersea Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge. Walk past or visit the Houses of Parlaiment, Cleopatra's Needle, Victoria Tower Gardens and the Savoy (newly reopened).
  • Putney - in addition to being the home to a famous rowing club and being on the route of the Oxford v Cambridge boat rate, there is a wonderful and energising walk along the Putney bank to Richmond. More often than not you'll see rowers practicing in the morning. Be careful of the tide lapping over the banks during high tide.
  • Richmond-upon-Thames - for a boat trip to Hampton Court passing through locks or a walk to Kingston passing Ham House and Marble Hill House along the way. If you're lucky you'll see cows grazing in the pasture.
  • Kingston-upon-Thames - for walks and cycle routes to Hampton Court, Teddington and Richmond. Not to mention boat rides and picnicking, fishing and feeding the ducks in Canbury Gardens.
The variety of modes of public transportation, from buses and the tube to trains (overground and suburban or intercity), the dockland light railway (DLR) and the river boats of course. Oh and not to forget the most recent addition of Boris's bikes - bicycles which can be rented throughout central London. I love the fact that buses traverse residential areas as well, so no one is ever very far away from some form of public transport. We won't mention travelling during rush hour, please.
  • Buses - the famous red double-decker buses
  • Tube - be a mole and travel around the city using the incredibly connected underground lines.
  • Trains - see the light of day on an overground, suburban or intercity train. The latter connects you to any major (minor) city in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • DLR - a monorail system which runs through the docklands (in the east) to the city.
  • Riverboats - a vast array of commuter river boats with connections to and from central London to the east (Greenwich and Arsenal Woolwich) to the West (Hampton Court). It just takes some asking around to find out about them.
Culture Vulture! It's impossible not to mention the cultural activities and entertainment that this true melting pot of a city has to offer. Theatre, concerts, the ballet, street theatre, London Walks - meeting the tastes of everyone from the smallest child to the most elderly person. In the Summer it's not difficult to trip over some free cultural activity wherever you are in the city.
How about the fact that each borough and area is completely different, having its own feel and vibe which means that sometimes crossing the street takes you into a very different and unique ambiance not to mention accent.
  • Islington - located in the London burough of Islington, it is an inner-city district with unique restaurants and shops as well as being the location for Sadlers Wells theatre. A walk along Upper Street is a must.
  • Kensington & Chelsea - a very affluent area in London. It is home to exclusive antique shops, the Royal Albert Hall, the Natural History and Science Museums, Harrods and Portobello Road, as well as Chelsea Football Club.
  • Clapham - a vibrant, lively area with a village-like atmosphere located in south London. It includes the vast green space of Clapham Common. It is quite 'edgy' and a perfect place to find clubs which open late if you do feel like going dancing.
  • Putney - walking along Putney bridge proves wonderful views of the Thames to the east and to the west. In addition to St Mary's Church, site of the Putney Debates of 1647, there are several open spaces such as Putney Heath in which on can relax and enjoy birds singing / whistling.
  • Richmond - If you fancy seeing some deer when in London, heading out to Richmond Park (the largest royal park) is a must. Several hundred of the Queen's deer reside in Richmond Park. Take a wander around Richmond to locate the myriad of historic houses and of course Kew Gardens is one tube stop away.
  • Brixton - located in inner south London, a visit to Brixton is made to experience Brixton Market. The market is comprised of a wide range of ethnic based shops and European delicatessens. It has recently undergone a refurbishment which has resulted in all of the previously available shop spaces to be taken over and produced a long waiting list of businesses waiting to get in on the action. Note that it will now open on Sundays.
The architecture, historic buildings and locations go without saying. Did I mention the vast array of places to eat and drink?


Have we talked about INC?

INC is a private label line that is sold in Macy's Stores.

International Concepts Women's or INC is one of the company's most popular lines for women over 25.

The store also sells product for men,plus sizes,petites or shoes.


The product is sold throughout the US in all Macy's  stores. They exist as  fixtureed shops within the stores. The concept is very similar to that of a specialty store, the product arrives every couple of weeks, the new product moves to the front and old moves back.  It is fast, fun and fresh for customers.
 The selection is always updated and new.
Some of my favorites, items are jeans, liquid leggings, leather jeans and anything dressy for a cocktail or party.
When they adapt a trend, they will do it aggressively. This season it is leopard print and they have started a limited edition concept for bags and accessories.

Animal Print faux fur jkt

Another trend are the faux fur and rabbit hair vests in creme and black, really hip and very sexy too.


They also do classic white shirts, black pants and great sweaters.
If you like trendy, sexy and glamorous, INC is a wonderful line to try.

But in a blink of an eye it may be gone.

Try the sale racks!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cambria Cove- Beautiful and Unique gifts for you and your family.

This website offers wonderfully quirky, pretty items.
They have received positive reviews by all of the magazines and on line sites in the know and it is easy to see why.

They offer as they say " carefully curated collection of unexpected delights from artisans, designers, and visionary brands from around the world"

I have posted a few of my favorite things from this site. They offer a full description along with a detailed product story of each piece. Happy Shopping!

I love the items under $50 and $75 sections. My favorite tabs are Fashion Travel(Love the electronic accessories),Bath and Body,Gourmet Foods and Delights.

Baby- hooded Towel, so cute!

Brass Charms

Lambo Wireless Mouse

Rachael Roy Kindle Cover.

Pear Soap Set

Bath Pouches

Chocolate Pump

I could list so much more, enjoy the shopping experience.

Home- 3 upgrades that pay, really.

People seem to make the same mistakes when adding upgrades to their homes, I almost always want to scream when I see the same mistakes time and time again.

If you have money to do upgrades, there are three picks with which you will get a solid 60% plus return on your investment. There are many to do lists but for me personally and professionally these are the top 3.

They are


And do one project at a time and complete the job. You never know when or if you will not have the funds to do everything, life changes very quickly.
It helps to add balance to the house, you can paint, add a few plants outside along with other small items.

 In a home these are the areas people will spend about  90% of their time, they will appreciate your upgrades.

Stick with classic kitchens and baths, do not personalise too much, stay away from dark colors, keep it light and bright.
Ensure that you have quality appliances and fixtures. Laminate counters will not earn you an credit, try granite or other options. This can give you as much as 83% back on your upgrade. If you have the square footage an island addition is a great upgrade.

Baths- Upgrade the counter tops and fixtures and your return will be about 70%. For a quick upgrade maybe try Miracle Method, they specialise in surface restoration. Stick with classic fixtures, a jacuzzi is not necessary.

Windows- Utility bills have skyrocketed over the years, an upgrade with energy efficient windows is a plus.  This can earn you about an 81% return on investment.

Short and Sweet those are the 3 to do.

Most Important, do not do it alone, get as much professional advice as you can, it makes a big difference.

Time for the Slopes

It is that time of year, and Conde Nast Traveler magazine has published their readers' poll of the top ski resorts and hotels  in North America.  My favorite part of the poll ? we the readers made the choices, not the team at the magazine.
The ratings were based on several scores including beginner trails,terrain and conditions and ambiance. The choices below were the ones I considered best for the needs of our families.
 They would have scored above 90,  or just below in beginner trails, Activities, Local Dining and Local Ambiance. All of the things we need when travelling with children.

FashionMom picks

Whistler, BC- Scored above 90 in all of my favorite categories.
Vail Colorado
Deer Valley Utah
Jackson Hole, WY
Sun Valley Idaho.
Stowe Vt, nothing above 85 but my only pick for the north east

Top Hotels
My hotel choices were based on those with scores above 90 for Service, Activities and Facilities

Four Seasons Jackson Hole,WY
Mountain Lodge, Telluride Colo
Westin Riverfront Resort,Avon Colo
Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole, WY
Rimrock Resort Hotel, Baniff Alberta

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cargo Leggings - My favorite pick from Banana Republic

I love the flexibity of cargo leggings this winter.

This is something that all fashion moms everywhere can wear this year and next.

My favorite is from Banana Republic.

It costs $89.50

The silhouette is lean and is very slimming to the eye. It has a nice touch of stretch.

The best part is that they will fit easily  into a pair of boots, or  worn with heels or with ballet flats. I am not a fan of cargo leggings with loafers, stick with the ballet flats..

They would look great with a long sweater and belt.


leggings link

Have We talked about Bath and Body Works ?- Favorite Xmas Grab Bag Gift Pick

Bath and Body Works

I love this store because they sell one of my favorite lines, the skin care line from Dr Pat Wexler. And before I go any further, Dr Pat has a 3 in 1 day creme...still with SPF 30. It has the same great regenerating technology which  provides lifting, firming and anti aging help.   I am going to rush through my current jar which lasts forever to get this product! Dr Pat's products are the best!

Intensive 3-in-1 Day Cream SPF 30: Lifting, Firming, Anti-Wrinkle Formula - Patricia Wexler M.D. - Bath & Body Works

Bath and Body Works is a part of The Limited Brand group. The line was started and the first store opened in 1990.The company  has stores in the US and Canada.

They are most famous for their Signature line of bath and body products and the famous candles, wall flowers and scent ports, diffusers you name it.
The revolutionized the beauty industry back in 1990.

My Top Gift Grab Bag Pick. I think that this is great for the price. It has a shower gel, body lotion, lip gloss and fragrance mist. There is a choice of different scents,  for just $16.50!  It just looks great,rich and festive!

On to my other favorites!

Dr Pat Wexler Line(Dermatologist)- I did a previous blog post, her products are phenomenal. They contain the revolutionary regenerating formula mmp120.

Dr Pat

Slatkin and Co- Fantastic scents , love the Twisted Peppermint and Winter scents.


C.O.Bigelow- fans of the legendary pharmacy in New York( founded in 1838) can find the entire, and I mean entire skin and body care line at BBW. I love the Lemon Perfume, the Lemon body wash and the Lemon Body Cream. Think I like citrus?
Also try the Menta Foot Creme and I have been using the vitamin boost toner(spray) this winter for my dry skin, it is excellent.

CO Bigelow.

Du Wop- Primerstone is a great base pre makeup and it is not drying for your skin.

Primer Stone

Twisted Peppermint Wall Flower- clean, fresh and wonderful for this time of year.

Warm Vanilla Sugar- warn and sweet, not super sweet.

Try the Gift Link.

The Gift Link! The Best!

There are so many product lines to choose from. Not every store will have all of the products, the full sets are available on line.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Friday! Time to Give Thanks!

These are cocktails that are fast and easy to make at home. No shaker needed. No limes muddled, no mint leaves to crush. I do not have measurements, approximate, mix and enjoy.

A few combinations. Please note Campari is a hate/love. Campari is bitter.
Campari and Soda- Campari, Club Soda and lemon slice
Campari and Ginger Ale- add a lemon slice.
Campari and Orange Juice.
Always start with ice and pour Campari first always about a quarter glass (cocktail glass)

Pimm’s Cup
 From England, Pimm’s Number 1 cup is a blend of dry gin, Liqueur, fruit juices and spices.
Recipe is Pimm’s number 1 cup with ginger ale, lemon lime soda or club soda. Add a cucumber spear. Drink in a highball glass and pour the Pimm's first. You may add slices of lemon, apples or even strawberries.

Khalua and Club Soda
The club soda adds some fizz and tones down the sweet.
Khalua and add club soda last.
Add 2 cherries.

Kir Royale
Blackcurrant liqueur and dry Champagne.  Pour into flutes.
Use Prosecco for along with the liqueur for Kir.

Question of The Week - How do you boost your immune system?

It is a challenging balancing act, our many roles, daughter, sister, mom, wife, finances, family and for some of us working professionals.

How do we manage it all? and still manage to appear balanced and together in public is amazing? Women are amazing. We know what you are going through.
But are we really taking care of ourselves?

Some of us have help, to clean,cook and help us make it through the day. Single Moms I always applaud because you are doing the work of two and it is a job for 4:)!

Are we getting regular checkups? mammograms? Do you have a BP kit and check your BP every day?

What are you doing to stay healthy?

I went back to some things my mom gave me as a child,  which have made a huge difference in my energy levels(Cod Liver Oil, liquid form only in OJ) and I rarely get any colds. You can assume that my daughter is on the same regimen, the colds are not as often as other children. My hubby sometimes tags along :). I try to keep the blood flowing, walking or running, you have to get out and it keeps the colds away. My mother was one of the busiest, most active people on the planet and when her  illness forced her to a wheel chair and she continued to push for her therapy and her mental motivation to walk again never waned,but her body could not keep up until she passed away.  I think about my mom every time I feel the urge not to exercise, her mental toughness, pushes me out the door. Pilates changed my posture, strength and stomach muscles forever. Golf gives you a mental break and teaches life lessons like nothing else in this world. My one issue is getting enough sleep, I have not figured that one out yet!
That is what works for me, What works for you?

Here are some suggestions from Real Simple

Watch your fat- This you know! High fat diets make your immune system more sluggish. Aim for 25 to 30 percent of your calories from fat and from the good fats like Olive Oil, avocados,nuts and peanut butter. Limit the saturated fats like milk(whole),butter,high fat meats and trans fats(partially hydrogenated oils).

Stay in Motion- walking briskly,cycling,swimming for 45 minutes five times a week cuts down on sick days and enhances your body's defenses by 50 percent. Enough said.

Eat plenty of Protein- The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of the cells in your immune system and they help to create protective white blood cells and antibodies. Women should consume 50 grams of protein a day or get at least 10 to 15 percent of their daily calories from protein.
Lean protein, fish,skinless poultry,eggs,beans,soy products.

Music- Research shows that singing helps to lift a person's mood and the levels of antibodies that protect from invading germs. People who played a a musical instrument and sang along showed greater levels of those antibodies than those who just listened to music.

Pets- petting a dog or cat leads to a spike in secretory immunoglobulin A which helps to protect the body against germs trying to invade it.

Resolve to Relax- Find that time! It may be deep breathing or yoga, or painting or puzzles. Try to do it on a regular basis. The lack of stress releasers inhibits your body's response to invaders.

Probiotics(Danactive,Activia)- Studies have found that pro biotics products have an effect on respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal issues.

Make Late Nights an Exception- Nine hours a night! Your body needs it. Women who are more active have better killer cells(white blood cells that attack germs) than women who felt tired.

Get 3 colors in every meal-Fruits and Vegetables in vibrant colors are rich in carotids, which helps immune cells surround and kill a virus. They also contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Aim for 5 to 9 servings a day.

Fit into your skinny jeans- Studies show that slightly overweight adults have an elevated level of cholesterol. When put on a low fat diet the subjects lost weight and lowered their levels. T Cell function also improved. Losing a few pounds can make a big difference.

Please give us your tips for staying healthy!

Charity Begins Where? Helping those less fortunate.

I know that everyone is on a tight budget especially at this time of the year. We have families to feed,cloth and purchase gifts for everyone.

There are so many people who are less fortunate, a small monetary donation or just volunteering to any of the charities below would make a difference this Christmas and beyond.
Please do not forget our wonderful pets in need. They also suffer when families are in distress.
Shelters are overflowing with animals; please do your best to help.

Please make this a family event.

 Reading Is Fundamental(RIF)
 Volunteer and help run literacy programs in your local area. The organization hands out free books and promotes literacy in all 50 states.

Doctors without Borders
 Provide medical personnel to some of the hardest hit areas around the globe (Haiti and the Cholera situation). Humanitarian relief.

Habitat for Humanity
Creates housing for families in need.

Nothing but Nets
100 percent of proceeds go to bed nets for families in Africa. The nets protect against the mosquito that transmits malaria.

The Nature Conservancy
Protects the lands and waters of more than 30 countries, including the United States, Indonesia and Panama.

Best Friends Animal Society
Amazing work folks!
Houses nearly 1700 displaced animals and works with humane groups to set up shelters and prepare pets for adoption.

Tabby’s Place
Cat Sanctuary -takes in and houses cats with health problems and disabilities.
We have sponsored at least 6 over the last few years. Updates on your pet and their health are sent monthly. Sponsor a cat.
Wonderful hard working team.

Unite For Sight
Provides donated glasses and sunglasses to kids and adults in developing countries. Very easy to give, fill out a form and they will direct you where to send your glasses.

Suitcases for Kids
Aims to supply every foster child in the country with a piece of travel gear. (Lots of kids take their belongings around in black garbage bags). Log on and drop off to a local site.

Nike Reuse a Shoe Program
Send your worn out athletic shoes to this program and they will recycle the materials to make soccer fields, basketball courts and playgrounds across the country.

The Humane Society
Give your old pet bowls, leash and cage to a local animal shelter.
To find out where
Go to the website and click on how to find your local animal shelter.

Dress for Success
Donate your unused professional clothing to women who need an extra push returning to the work force. Volunteer to help with dressing, courses and charity events.
A really great cause. Log on to find your local chapter.

Transform a life.
Give a donation to help someone in a developing country get a loan start, run and or maintain a small business. Kiva matches your donation and once your loan is repaid you can help someone else. A really great feeling, make a difference in lives everywhere.

World Food Programme

Help rid the world of criplling hunger in developing countries and countries in crisis.

Harlem Village Academies

A group of outstanding charter schools accespts volunteers tutors and mentors to work with kids on weekends.
Donate and learn more about education and charter schools.

World Vision

Programs aimed to assist and educate the poor in developing countries on agricultural development,financing and technology.

Feeding America


Largest hunger relief charity in the US. The volunteer page provides links to local food banks in your area.


Ways to help in the post Gulf tragedy.

for those going to Thailand


Visit Thailand Elephant Nature Park and help to care for animals and replant trees in the rainforest. Wow, that would be so amazing.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This is the good fat, for hair ......... Fat Hair! Samy's Fat Hair 0 Calories.

My friend in Canada told me about this product and she was singing its praises.

The name of the product is Fat Hair. Actually it is "Samy's Fat Hair 0 Calories"


Samy Fat Hair Pomade Thickening 1.85 oz.

It is available at Target, Amazon and other stores. In Canada it is available at Shopper's Drug Mart.
She has very fine hair and she can see and feel an immediate difference post blow drying. She uses the  Samy Fat Hair 0 % Fat Amplifying Mousse. It is thicker after blow drying and her hair has a lot of volume.

Samy Fat Hair "0" Calories Amplifying Mousse 7 oz (200 ml)

There is a full product line including Shampoo,Pomade,Thickening Creme,Serum and Hairspray. And the Prices!!
Awesome prices!

Please follow the links and please send reviews after you have tried and used Mr Samy.

My daughter's hair is very fine, I will definitely try it.

Samy Fat Hair Creme Thickening 3.5 oz.

We love Good Fat!

Educational Sites for the Kids- Free

Here are some nice freebies we can use with our children.


Let's get them started early! Nasa's science site for older kids. Teaches about climate change and weather patterns.

Free games, videos and fun for pre school and up. All of our favorites are there, Dora,Diego and the others.
Fun, fun and learn too!

National Geographic


Science new, videos and games on this site( interactive). Arts and Crafts and recipes from around the world. Lots of information about animals too!


ahh, Children's poems about family, friends, animals,death,dance and scary subjects too.
Kids can listen to poems read aloud online or read.

Time Magazine For Kids


 Grades K to 6- Informative news articles written for kids. Lots of downloads for kids to prep for school via the Homework Helper! I love that!


Allows you and your child to stargaze on your computer screen displaying images from the Hubble Telescope. Check out Google Mars and Google Moon for more science lessons.

Spelling City- 1st grade


Parents create individualized spelling lists for kids based on their abilities. A real voice helps along to sound the word out. Lots of games for more fun!


Excerpts from Parents Mag.

Oimoi- Back in Time.

kiki and mr.beaton

I read about this site online and in a magazine recently and I finally had a chance to see it.

I love it.

LV the monkey - coakley cay pattern navy

They primarily offer email stationary along with hard copy invites. They also sell, canvas bags( may I have one in each print?), accessories like Lucite trays, canvas trays,  ice buckets, scarves.
The logos and prints used for the merchandise and cards are one of a kind.
They are a mix of quirky Asian British Colonial meets Palm Beach Lily Pulitzer. Very Tropical, and whimsical.

palm beach palm

They use several animals as part of their designs, elephants, monkeys,sea horses,rhinos in quirky settings and poses. I love it.

muffie the zebra coakley cay chocolate

The product is clean but with a twist, and unique in today's world. It has an old world feel but it is modern too!
The custom ice buckets remind me of a time gone by. 

Check it out at

muffie the zebra and james the fox


double giraffe

mr. beasleyƕs camel

double eloise

Images from Oimoi.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Have we talked about The Republic ? Banana Republic- They offer International Shipping to over 80 countries!!

The sales are legendary. That was what I heard first, " you have to try the sales at Banana Republic". That was a very long time ago and I have been a loyal customer ever since.


Banana Republic is a part of the Gap Empire. The company was founded in 1978. They sell clothing, shoes, accessories,body care for men and women. Their main customers are women, specifically professional women over 25.  They think about women who may be in transition in life and career, they truly do.

The sales associates are phenomenal, friendly and are ready to inform you about the latest sales. The current one ends tomorrow, everything is 25% off in the entire store!

They sell suits, some outstanding party dresses and suits, great cocktail wear, and weekend wear. They have it all!

They offer the best accessory assortment anywhere. Anthropologie,J Crew and B Republic have the some best accessories on the market today.
And the prices! So reasonable.

Bags- Great bags, leather and other synthetics, but super classy and multi- purpose.
Scarves- Many styles but once again, some unique pieces and reasonably priced.

Shoes- They are on the latest trends but with a classic touch. I saw a pair of super tall tan booties, yum!

My favorite pick for the holidays is their  5 pocket velvet skinny pant. It fits like a glove, has some stretch and guess what? not super low!! I can tuck in a shirt, wear a great belt ! That has been a long time coming, rejoice ladies, rejoice! These pants are amazing. You can wear them all season.

Super Flattering Fit!

with boots- high or low
with ballet flats( black with black flats, maybe black jeweled)
With booties!! Yes!
With a long sweater
With a dress and heels
With black peep toes shoes
With white or black shiny shirt, great necklace, tucked in.
With a white shirt tucked in.
With a open cardigan with a nice tee and scarf.

What else can I list for you??
These are it for the holiday season for ladies on tight budgets and they are 25 % off until Friday!!!  They do come in regular,petite and long.

Link for skinny pants.

Link for Pants

These pants are a must add to any wardrobe!

FashionMom picks- 18 Affordable Classics for Fashionmoms everywhere!

We often read recommended lists of  top clothing and accessory choices for women.
This list below is the most recent from In Style magazine.

Black Opaque Tights
Flared Jeans
 Red Ballet Flats
Striped Shirts
Leopard Scarf
Oversize Watch
Black Jacket
Statement Necklace
Black Dress
Classic Trench

As a working mom or stay at home mom, some things need to be a bit more practical. Some items on the lists we should keep but there are some that we can tweak!
 One item I have read about on past lists is the white shirt.
I have at least 3 white shirts in my wardrobe but I have not worn them in a very long time. I "think" I will wear them one day. They really need to be at Goodwill.
 As the mom of a toddler I  just cannot entertain the thought of what would happen to a white shirt on the average day.

I have seen a lot of moms out there who are so tired and stressed from focusing on their kids and not on themselves. We always put ourselves and outward appearance last. Time to get it together moms!

These are the items we can wear to work and play. They can withstand the puling, food spills and park runs. And we can still look hot!

Here is the list of my picks below along with 7 extra items. I provided links to some of the items from websites around the country  The best part ? It will not make a large dent on your budget! You can mix and match these 18 items all the time. This is all you will need to look pulled together.

 Instead of a full trench try a Cropped Trench- Victoria's Secret

Striped Tee( long or short sleeve)- $29 bucks at the Gap!

Striped Tee from Gap! Great Price!

Ballet Flats- Instead of Red Ballet Flats, try black or another color. Think about your wardrobe before you buy. I have a red pair and I do not wear them very often.

Steve Madden

Ballet FlatsSteve Madden "Kinnetic" Glitter Ballet Flats

Jeans- 2 pairs one in regular length and long length for heels. Instead of flared jeans which may not be flattering to all try boot cut.
Gap Jeans

Cargo Leggings or pants- To wear with boots. Banana Republic

At least 2 necklaces that give pop to any outfit.

Anthropologie necklace for $48.00

A colorful men's size watch.  Tocs sells great watches that last forever and the price!!


A black suit
Talbots has a wonderful "Ponte" line.
Ponte Suit

A black dress- Talbots

A vest for fall or winter. Land's End

Black and Brown boots. If you can afford it tan or gray

Madewell boots

The Suede City Boot

Love these from Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret Boots

Black and Brown pumps( one round toe and one pointed).

Pumps from Victoria's Secret

A Cocktail Ring- To add a special touch to any look in case you don't want to use a necklace.

Get something funky and colorful. The department stores, Macy's,Lord and Taylor have great choices.

A Black shirt- You can do a lot more with this and get away with it. You can add a pair of jeans or black pants and look great to go out!
From one of my favorites, The Limited for just $26.00!

A Navy Blue or Black Blazer

Super Soft Tees for layering and under vests.
J Crew and Gap offers some of the best around.

Earrings- A pair of diamonds or pearl studs.

Beautiful Genuine Fresh Water Pearl 8mm Stud Earrings on 925 Sterling Silver Posts ~ Comes Gift Boxed

Scarves- you need two,   a Leopard Print and a bright solid you can use with everything.

Please note: H&M and Forever 21 offer cheaper options too!

Happy Shopping!

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