Jasmine Product Roundup!

I was recently talking with a friend who had just come back from Hawaii, which word-association-wise made me think of the Jasmine flower and how much I love the scent. It’s a known aphrodisiac with major de-stressing properties!

A few years back I was on a photo shoot on the big island and our resort was covered in Jasmine bushes..so much so that the air was literally sweet. I took up the habit of plucking a tiny white bloom off the plant and tucking it in my pocket so I could get my fix no matter where I was (in the wardrobe room, in my cabana, sitting poolside). Whenever I needed a hit I’d take it out and yes…I did inhale!!!

Here, three amazing Jasmine products:

  1. A few drops of C.O. Bigelow Essential Oil in Jasmine Absolute is the perfect soak after a trying day.
  2. I love Harney and Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea and when empty, the gorgeous tin multi-tasks as a vase.
  3. Korres Jasmine Lip Butter, the perfect natural pink hue and it keeps your lips super soft. The scent reminds me of yummy caramels!

Hot Pants! Proskins Slim

Proskins Compression Wear SLIM leggings are being touted as the holy grail in the fight against cellulite and a great way to shape and tone the legs. To see results you need to wear them for eight hours a day for 28 days.

The beauty of them is that they look like a regular pair of leggings but their makeup is vastly different. Advanced technology compression fabric incorporates microscopic capsules containing caffeine, retinol, aloe vera and ceramides that actually improve the overall skin condition leaving legs softer, smoother, tighter. These micro-capsules are released in a controlled way throughout the lifetime of the garment.

Without a change in diet or exercise, independent clinical trials have shown a 76% slimming efficacy, a reduction in the diameter of thighs, and the vast majority of testers saw a reduction in cellulite and felt that their jeans were less tight.

Too good to be true? Not necessarily…but just in case, I think I’ll keep my gym membership! Proskins Slim Full Length Leggings, $120



The Things That Matter

Does your home tell your story?

When I spotted Nate Berkus’ book The Things that Matter I never imagined I’d be blown away by his story and his message.  I was literally transported and didn’t put the book down for 2 days straight!

Most design books are all about the images and Berkus’ book doesn’t disappoint there…but, The Things That Matter is so much more than that. It’s filled with intimate stories of his life that really give you a sense of what this man is about. FYI, he’s a good, kind, smart, funny and easy-on-the eyes man! It’s also filled with gorgeous visuals of his homes through the years, as well as beautiful interiors of twelve others and portraits of the inhabitants, some clients and some just people/homes he admires.

Nate Berkus believes that personal possessions matter, you should surround yourself with things you love and things that have meaning to you. I couldn’t agree more…these “things” are what makes a beautiful house a home with meaning!

Here’s a peek at a few beautiful shots from the book…but it’s the words that will stay with you forever.


Get your Hair Cut…Change the World!

Mark your calendars! If you’re looking for something fun (and worthwhile!) to do on Monday, April 22nd (aka Earth Day 2013) Aveda is planning to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for most money raised for a charity by haircuts in a 24-hour period. With this global cut-a-thon, Aveda hopes to raise $5 million for clean water.

If you’re in the NYC area, stop by the Aveda Institute at 233 Spring Street between 12:00 and 8:00pm for haircuts priced from $20 – $40, specialty blow outs for $10, a silent auction, complementary massage, catered food and more! Not going to be in New York City? Click here to see what’s happening at your local salons.

(photo courtesy of Aveda)

I’m Obsessed! 21 Drops

21 Drops is genius! I wish I’d thought of it myself…but then again I’m not an Advanced Clinical Essential Oil Specialist like Cary Caster, the company’s founder, who studied in Europe where Aromatherapy is widely recognized as a medical treatment. It’s based upon the principle that oils, extracted from various parts of plants, can be inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream where they interact with your body, creating balance and wellness.

Caster has developed 21 unique blends formulated to address different concerns you might have…everything from Moodiness to Lack of Confidence to Grief.

  • #1 “Invigorate” gives you a healthy energy boost.
  • #3 “Strength” boosts your confidence so you can achieve your goals.
  • #10 “Calm” helps you do just that. It banishes the drama so you can deal.
  • #18 “Sleep” soothes and quiets your mind so you can rest.

And check out these colorful rollerball bottles! They’re  gorgeous and sized right to stash in your bag or your pocket for a quick pick-me-up whenever the mood strikes.


Great New Skincare Line! POE

Product Review: POE

As a beauty expert, I’m asked to test new products all the time and I can say without a doubt POE (Purity of Elements) is a new skincare company worth writing about! Founded by a mother/daughter duo (Sheri Poe and Danielle Birrittella) looking for a simpler skincare regimen, there are two basic lines, one preventative and one restorative with anti-aging products for radiant skin at any age.

I sampled from the restorative kit:

  1. I applied a generous amount of the Mandarin Marine Moisture Mask to clean skin and left it on for 10 minutes. This gel felt cool as it dried and I could actually feel it working. After 10 minutes, I rinsed with tepid water and saw an immediate improvement. Packed with Vitamin C and Ginger Root Extract, it gave me back my healthy glow!
  2. After patting dry, I followed the mask with the H2Poe Hydrating Serum. It’s formulated with Lactic and Hyaluronic Acids, Peptides, Collagen, Antioxidants and other super-charged ingredients for major rejuvenating effects.
  3. Lastly, I topped off the serum with the Radical Renewal Hydrating Cream, a super-moisturizer that not only hydrates but helps reverse damage thanks to ingredients like Retinol, Avocado Oil and Fatty Acids.

Fantastic results! POE Skin Care Collection, $18 – $84, available at www.purityofelements.com.



Taste Test: Chapstick Cupcake Creations…

Product Review: ChapStick Cupcake Creations

Cupcakes are kind of special in our home. Ten year old Emma, takes her baking very, very seriously. A few years ago, she begged me to stop using boxed mixes for cakes and brownies and requested I stock the pantry with proper baking staples like self-rising flour and dutch cocoa powder. Everything had to be made from scratch! She has plans to open her own bakery when she’s grown up and she certainly practices enough now, making her scrumptious treats a few times a week. She even sells them around the neighborhood to raise money for animal shelters and other causes.

When ChapStick Cupcake Creations arrived for review I can’t say I was happy to see them…It had been years since I’d used ChapStick and my pre-conceived notion was that it would be waxy and thick with a medicinal-ish taste, the way they used to be when I was a kid. But Emma was excited to give it a shot…after all, it is cupcake themed.

Boy, was I ever wrong! Both flavors (Cake Batter and Velvet Cupcake) glide on smoothly, leaving a light, protective, moisturizing and delicious film behind. No waxy feeling at all…just slick in a very good way and moist. I particularly love Cake Batter which has a warm, almost butterscotch-y flavor. Emma is partial to Velvet Cupcake which tastes sweet and rich like a Red Velvet cupcake and leaves just a hint of color behind.

Check her out wearing ChapStick in Velvet Cupcake and showing off her latest goods!

ChapStick Cupcake Creations, available at Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens nationwide for a limited time. Get them now because when they’re gone, they’re gone!


Before & After: From Junk Room to Home Office

As I previously posted  in “I’ve Got a Secret…” (read here) I love my home…all except the room I’ve had pegged for my home office. With good southern light and decent wood floors it had the potential to be stylish, but it was greatly hampered by extreme clutter and baby blue walls. I knew if I wanted to use it as a home office I’d need to practice some crowd control and ruthless editing.

My first order of business? Declutter! I made three piles: Donate, Put Away and Yard Sale. Because I started feeling nostalgic while going through it all, it took a lot longer than I anticipated. So many of my things have memories attached–for me, it’s what makes a house a home–but I realized if I was going to make any progress and use this room for its intended purposed I’d need to get moving. I bought large bins and stored the things I wasn’t ready to part with (and maybe never would be). I tucked away beautiful drawings my children made when they were small, sentimental letters and cards I’ve received over the years from loved ones, magazines with stories I’ve written and/or been a part of. I took lamps, mirrors and other accessories and stored them in the attic because periodically I like to switch up my rooms and certain items are keepers. The ones that didn’t tug at my heart will be in my upcoming yard sale.

The only two items from the room that made the cut were my desk from West Elm (for its practicality) and a stained glass window I bought off-season in the Hamptons when my husband and I were dating (because it makes me happy). I pushed them to the center of the room and covered them with some sheets before painting the room in Benjamin Moore’s Calm, a wonderful shade of white that makes me feel at home. To furnish the rest of the room on a budget, I brought in an Ikea bookcase as well as a cozy, charcoal corner chair, creamy white shag rug and green storage baskets, all from Home Goods.

I added a few personal touches like  a family heirloom art deco clock for my desk and some favorite family photos atop the bookshelves…and because I realize the importance of all our senses and I love candles I placed a new favorite, Bath & Body Works Candle in First Bloom. When lit, it fills the whole room with this delicious, “I could be standing in a garden” scent. Amazing!!!


I couldn’t be happier. My home office is clean, organized and best of all, it’s a room I can be productive in. I’m still looking for a few special items to complete the look:

  • a proper pillow for the chair. I’m thinking a green or bright pink.
  • curtains to frame the window. Most likely smoky grey linen panels that hang just shy of the floor.
  • an over-sized, vintage chalkboard for my to-do lists.
  • a comfortable, lived-in looking chair for the desk.


Sephora Artist Color Box

Quality and quantity coexist in this latest collection from Sephora: 24 waterproof eye shadows, 6 lipglosses, 5 eye pencils, in colors you’ll actually want to wear and all for only $34 ($145 value).

Sephora Collection Artist Color Box Makeup Palette, $34, available at www.sephora.com.