Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sea & Hear

Wait, it’s cold outside? Well, it’s not winter here in sunny FL and with this playlist going you will be ready to "spring" into these nautical outfit must-haves! Turn up the volume, and imagine yourself on a boat or on a dock in a floppy hat, sunnies, and shorts. Oh, and speaking of an outfit, while you’re listening to this seafaring mix, why not browse some of my favorite nautical items?

{Splash Dance Top - $42.99}

{Among My Piers Dress - $59.99}

{Transmarine Dream One Piece - $123.99}

{Weaving Pleasantly Bag - $69.99}

{The Mermaid's Necklace - $48}

{Style My Sunshine Hat - $29.99}

{Vintage Nautical Earrings - $8.50}

{Sapphire in You Heart - $34.99}

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Behind These Hazel Eyes

Hazel eyes are considered to be one of the most expressive and one of the most unique. The reason is that hazel eyes can change the color according to the person’s mood - slightly jealous of that! When the person gets angry, the hazel eye color tends to get more greenish, when in a frisky mood, it turns to gray or blue! Not only the mood, but even the color of the clothes influences the hazel eye color. So it’s getting more important to choose the most proper shades for your makeup!

Navy Eye Makeup for Hazel Eyes
If the voguish party makeup look is what you need, go for the navy hues to accentuate your fabulous look. Choose from the versatile navy color palette and it would be better to go for the darker shades as these would guarantee you a more deep eyes impression.

Nude Eye Makeup for Hazel Eyes
The nude eye makeup is undoubtedly one of the permanent leading trends. Use for inspiration the style of Kim Kardashian who preferred nude makeup to her trendy smokey eyes.

Golden Eye Makeup for Hazel Eyes
Copper, silver or golden eye shadow suits every eye color. Hazel eyes belong to the warm group of colors that’s why it will look absolutely fabulous especially with gold.

Some additional tips for Hazel Eyes:

1. Go natural with your makeup. Choose an eye shadow color in the same color family as your eye color. For hazel eyes, this means shades of brown, apricot, tan, khaki and dark green shades. These will bring out the natural color of your eyes and give you a subtle look for daytime makeup.

2. Choose glamorous colors for a night out on the town. Spice up your hazel eyes with eye shadow in shades of bright green, lime green and even gold. Combine these colors for a stunning effect that will make you stand out in a crowd.

3. Walk on the wild side with your makeup. Violet, plum and purple shades of eye shadow will bring contrast to your eyes, drawing out the vivid green shades in your hazel eyes. Bright purple eye shadow is a modern, bold look; using it will draw attention but will also give your makeup a strong visual impact.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Give Your Heart a Break

I am a big fan of Demi Lovato's song "Give Your Heart a Break". To me it speaks volumes of tormented relationships, the fear of trusting love again and the wanting of someone to truly make a difference in your heart.

We all go through our relationship ups and downs. We have all been on cloud nine and for some reason or another lost that love. We have all heard or even said the words, "I'm not ready," to the person we really do love,  but that is just a sign of being afraid of listening to what our heart is telling us we truly want.

Although this song is focused on love, I truly believe it runs deeper than that.

I think it’s safe to say that if you are reading this blog – you want to be happy . . .at least I hope so. The paradox I’ve found in life is this… in order to be happy, we must grow. And in order to grow, we must face our fears and trust others . . . and "give our hearts a break."

So the equation looks something like this: Happiness = Growth = Facing fears = Trust

Which can be simplified to be: Happiness = Trust

I’m going to make the bold assumption that you have been in love. You’ve felt that initial obsession and the warm fuzziness of attachment and dependence that follows. If I might be so brazen, I’m also going to assume you’ve had your heart broken. Life as you knew it came to an end. You probably felt desperate and perhaps even found yourself doing irrational things – standing outside in the rain, holding a boombox blasting the most romantic song you could think of, in order to win your beloved back.

OK, that was John Cusack in the movie Say Anything, not you.

Each person is different. They have different needs, different desires, and, most importantly, different weaknesses. Universal trust quite simply does not exist once you are more than three years old. Yet you miss it, you dream about it. You chase it until you think you find it.

Love screws that all up. You have found your soul mate, the one person you are compatible with, the person of your dreams. NO! You are with a person, not an ideal. Stop piling stress on them that they simply cannot live up to. They slurp their soup, snore and have guilty secrets of their own, which affect how they trust...

Let them be human. You run the risk of getting hurt, sure. You do not run the risk of getting conned if you see people for who they are.

So, I’m curious… if happiness = growth = facing fears = trust - what fears could YOU face today in order to reach the ultimate trust with someone and give your heart a break?

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Flashback

{Adorable high heal cupcakes at a friend's bridal shower.}
Hello Lovebugs. Have you had a nice week? I certainly have! It seems like I have been surrounded by weddings and babies. Either my friends getting married or they are having babies. Such excitement in the air! I also had the chance to see an ADORABLE baby elephant doing his olympic run to try and make it over a tree trunk, only to find he was still a little too small and needed a helping hand (Or trunk) from his mom to life him the rest of the way over. I'm looking foward to a relaxing weekend.

{Watchin' this little guy do his best to climb over the tree trunk.}

{Who knew I was the proprietor of a Sonny's restaurant!}

{This song has been stuck in my head all week. So soulful!}

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Self-Defense: What Every Woman Needs to Know

Good Morning Sweetheart!

As much as we prefer not to admit it, the fact is that we live in a dangerous world, so it's important for every woman to learn some basic techniques in women's self defense. The key is to avoid potentially threatening situations altogether. Often, this is merely a matter of crossing to the other side of the street and avoiding dimly lit areas or choosing a route where there are more people. Using your eyes and ears to detect and avoid threatening situations is the foundation of any good women's self defense system.

For the past 20+ years I have had one of the most amazing people in my life that will always have a lasting impression on my heart. Jack and I met in high school and have been quite inseparable ever since.

Jack has always been very protective of me and as a the founder of Har-Ki Martial Arts, a non-profit martial arts training center, he is very knowledgeable of self defense.

Jack holds several martial arts black belts, Kenpo Karate*, Tae Kwon Do (Kukkiwon Certified) and has been training in Japanese, Chinese, and other systems of Martial Arts since 1984, and instructing since 1996. Additional studies include, knowledge of Jeet Kune Do, Jujitsu, and military based fighting / CQC. If all of that wasn't enough, Jack has been accepted into the National Martial Arts Hall of Fame for 2008,' 09, '11 - so very proud of all he has and continues to accomplish!

To help you come up with a personal protection strategy of your own, here are some must-know moves to pull out of any threatening situation.

Don't Be a Victim
An important aspect of women's self defense is to avoid thinking or acting like a victim. Walking with a purpose is one simple thing you can do to minimize the possibility of a street attack. Most criminals target easy prey. Holding your head up high and carrying yourself in a bold manner is a basic women's self defense strategy that may cause potential assailants to think twice.

Your Body and Women's Self Defense
Martial artists like Jack are aware that their own bodies are bristling with potential weapons. In a women's self defense her use of knees, elbows and even teeth are essential. A stiletto heel, once removed, can be wielded as a dangerous weapon for striking the face, neck or groin. Knees can be brought up to strike a groin and elbows can be jabbed into the face or neck.

Soft Targets and Women's Self Defense
Another important women's self defense technique is to look for the soft target. Typically, men are stronger than women are; so if you are attacked, you want to hit your assailant hard once and get away. Eyes, nose, throat, groin and solar plexus are all soft targets that are vulnerable to finger jabs and elbow or knee strikes. The instep of the foot is sensitive and contains many nerve endings. If you are grabbed from behind, a good women's self defense technique is to pick up your foot and drive your high heel into your assailant’s foot.

Directness and Women's Self Defense
The best women's self defense technique is to avoid potentially dangerous situations altogether. But if you are cornered by an assailant, you need to strike quickly with devastating force and then get away.

Remember ladies, knowledge is power! You will have more confidence if you know where and how to strike if you need to defend yourself. Don’t be a target! Don’t be a victim! Stay safe!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's Better Together

Hello Gorgeous! I’m so happy to offer many different and affordable advertising options for you on my blog, so if you'd like to be an I Look Good Today sponsor - I would love to have you join me!

I love to promote  bloggers of all sizes, the handmade community and businesses big and small. So if you think we are the perfect fit, I would be super glad to hold your hand and introduce you to my lovely readers.

My little sweet blog has grown so surprisingly fast since I started it in April 2011, and I am so thankful to have a very loyal and loving readership. I work very hard to have good quality content, mostly about fashion, beauty, self-confidence and my living with a disability.
Important numbers

I Look Good Today is growing each month thanks to my lovely readers and all the new ones coming along, so your business will get a great exposure here!
* 25,271 Twitter Likes
* 1,014 Facebook Followers
* Monthly unique visitors: 25,000
* Monthly pageviews: 40,000
* Viewers ranging from over 163 different countries

Are you ready to start?

Advertising with I Look Good Today is easy! Just check out the prices and sizes offered below and click “Buy now” to purchase. You will be asked to upload your image and link. Feel free to email me at prior if you’d like to make sure your company or blog would be a good fit if you aren’t sure (or if you have any questions regarding the advertising process.)!

If you are purchasing 3 consecutive months contact me for the promo code to get a discounted rate before checking out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Benedetto’s Ris­torante Ital­iano

Buon giorno, Bella! I love my Italian heritage! I grew up in a home filled with a loud, loving family who knew how to cook!

I am very picky when it comes to Italian food. . .probably because I am used to the Italian food my family prepared was made from scratch. Everything from the pasta dough, to the sauce, to the pasta fillings, to the bread, pizza. . .it was homemade. So when peo­ple say they love the Olive Gar­den or other want-to-be Ital­ian din­ing I think - it’s pretty good but it's not my family's food!

Last week my BFF and I stumbled upon a real gem in Italian restuarants - Benedetto’s Ris­torante Ital­iano! I love that the servers are so edu­cated on each dish as well as on top of every need. The food was outstand­ing the chef (also the owner) usu­ally comes out to chat with guests which says “I am proud of the food I cre­ate.”

Everything from the bread with their garlic spread, to the salad to the main course - I had their amazing cheese ravioli in a vodka sauce and tirimisu for desert - absolutely to die for!

If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area - this is a must try! As my family would say - MANGIA!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Little Words

How many times have you been asked "How are you?" and instead of breaking down in tears or screaming to the world that you're truly struggling inside, you muster up all the strength you have left in you, smile and say, "I'm Fine"?

Why do we do that? Why are we not honest with what we are truly feeling inside?

I know for me personally, I have always been the one that people come to with their problems. I am the friend that you cry to, confide your secrets in and lean on for support. When the tables are turned, people are almost uncomfortable with the fact that I am in need of support - it truly is funny to see the look on people's faces. . .wait, Jamie is the strong one, why is she having a weak moment.

I think sometimes we put on that happy face for a multitude of different reasons. Maybe we don't want to burden someone else with our issues. Maybe we think that even though we are dying inside, we still can handle the situation on our own. Maybe we are embarrassed to tell someone what is truly going on. The reasons why are endless, but the outcome is the same. We need help and we are not getting it.

I don't know if you follow country music. Depending on the artist I can be a fan. When I was in high school one of my favorite country music artists was Mindy McCready. I loved her song, "Ten Thousand Angels" - it made me think of a particular guy that I had a crush on. For years she was tormented by substance abuse, failed relationships, issues with the law, and yesterday she was found dead in her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

McCready is originally from Fort Myers, FL, which is a neighboring city to where I had lived for many years, so I always felt she was a hometown star. My heart ached for her family when I heard the news last night.

I never knew her, but have friends that do. I always found it so sad that you can have a person who to the world seemed to have it all - a successful music career, two children, a loving family. . .but it wasn't enough. There was evidently a huge demon inside that made her feel very alone and hopeless.

An article I read last night about her suicide had mention of her father seeing her the week prior, and that she appeared to be in good spirits. When I hear stories like these I can't help but think of how so many of us do just that. We don't want our family, our friends, our coworkers to worry about us. We want them to all think we are doing just fine and so we put on a happy face.

What if she would have been honest around her family last week? What if instead of acting as if everything was OK, she let herself be vulnerable? Might she be with us today?

I know it isn't easy to be honest with our feelings sometimes. I know for me, sometimes I just want to get through my day. I know the challenges I am facing, and not that I am ignoring them, but I deal the best I can. Look, no one is expected to be strong every single day and we are all entitled to our down moments.

What I think is important here is to have at least one person that you can confide in. That you can call day or night to pour your heart out to. It is equally as import to BE that person to someone else. You truly have no idea of the significance you can make to someone - you might just save their life.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Flashback

{A very lovingly decorated hot chocolate to warm me up on a chilling morning.}
Happy Friday Lovebug! This week was chalk full of meetings attended, presentations prepared for and given and very little down time to myself. One of the things I did do this week was stay up the ENTIRE night Monday night talking to a friend. The conversation was serious and funny . . .and although I felt like I needed massive amounts of caffeine the next day to be fully functional, I had a blast "breaking the night" with my friend. Have you ever done that? Completely lose track of time talking with someone? I am looking forward to the weekend where I can have a little breather - maybe go to a movie or plan a picnic in the park.

{This is why I love my job! You can watch the story here - just be prepared to have a tissue . . .it's a tear jerker!}

{Sephora Collection Colorful Mono Eyeshadow in Wild and Precious. I bought this eyeshadow this week, and can we simply say, I am in love!?  It is a medium-deep taupe brown with plum undertones and silver glitter. }

{A sweet treat from my boss for Valentine's Day.}

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart Struck!

Happy Valentine’s Day Love! This has always been one of my favorite holidays and not just for the romantic gestures. More than anything I think today is all taking extra focus to and pampering yourself! Whether you have that someone special in your life or not, don't let this special day go by without indulging in the things that make you feel great about YOU!

When was the last time you showed yourself some love? Surely you learned the many ways you can love yourself. It starts with being good to you. It’s about honoring who you are on the inside, nurturing your inner spirit, and treating yourself well.

Some ideas about how to love yourself…
  • Cultivate your hobbies and interests… develop your talents and skills.
  • Practice being good to your body and your soul, through healthy diet, exercise and spiritual enrichment.
  • Select friends who lift you up and support you through all sorts of challenges.
If you’re unattached at the moment… are you among those who scoff at Valentine’s Day? Maybe you view it as a worn-out, silly tradition. I've heard the day referred to as a Hallmark Holiday more times than I can count. But if you look past the commercializing of the holiday, what’s so bad about wanting to celebrate love for ourselves and others?

And in the matter of finding real, lasting love… a wise person once said that before you can love another, you must learn to love yourself.

Now, what about once you’re IN a relationship? Do you still remember to love yourself? Or, are you so caught up in giving your all to your boyfriend, husband, children, or other family members, that you put yourself last and least on the list? Or worse… are you even ON the list?

The thing about loving yourself is this - it’s not supposed to stop once you commit to being with another person. Sure, if you’re a wife or mom, you know that self-sacrifice is part of the job description. A typical, loving mother finds that there are only a certain number of hours in the day, and she is lucky to find one or two of these to devote solely to her own needs.

But the truth is that we cannot fill the cup of others’ needs if our own well has run dry. And this is where self love comes in.

No matter how old we are, no matter how devoted to our partners or families… we MUST find time to love ourselves.

So this Valentine’s Day I’ve got some ideas about how to bring back those loving feelings… for YOU! Sure you can hit the town with your honey tonight… send him to work with love notes and little heart-shaped candies. But don’t forget to make some room in your schedule for self-love today too!

10 Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day (Or Any Day)

  • Take time out for a hot soak in the tub. Add botanical oils and mineral salts for some scented soothing. You won’t believe how relaxed you’ll feel!
  • Make a mix CD of your favorite love songs… play it in the car on your travels today!
  • Schedule some professional pampering. Nothing like a great new haircut or manicure to help you reconnect with the Goddess within.
  • Plan a “girls’ night in”. Pop popcorn, rent chick flicks, do each other’s hair and laugh the night away!
  • Work in a workout. Whether it’s joining the gym or hitting the trails a couple of times a week, you’ll feel so much better once you finally commit to regular exercise. Love your body!
  • Take a day off from dieting. So maybe you’re sick of salads and tired of the treadmill. Reward yourself for making such a great effort to be healthy. Indulge in a healthy decadent treat!
  • Ask for what you need. Wow, pretty simple, huh? Whether it’s an oil change, a day off or even just a hug…the best way to get something that helps you feel loved is to ask someone who loves you to give it to you.
  • Take a class. Have you always wanted to cook Cantonese… sketch the human form… use a potter’s wheel? Why not indulge that delightful, childlike curiosity? Have a new experience, meet some new people, learn something.
  • Get a massage. Pay a professional, or borrow a book from the library and have your Valentine perfect his technique on your back, neck and shoulders. Return the favor. Ahh… bliss…
It doesn’t matter if you’re single, dating, engaged, married, or whatever. Valentine’s Day is for love, and it all begins with loving yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Be My Valentine

If you need a sweet nail design for Valentine's day, you're going on a date and need a quick and easy nail design at the last minute, or just want a cute nail design, keep reading to find out how to do this design!

You will need a white polish as well as a metallic red polish.

This design is very simple to create! Start off by painting your entire nail with the white polish. You may want to use two coats to make sure the white polish is a nice opaque.

Once your white polish is completely dry it is time to add the metallic red. Carefully paint the tips of your fingers.

To create the heart shape, simply place two small dots close together, and then with a small brush or toothpick pull the paint down to make the point of the heart.

When I found this whimsical nail art design I simply had to try it, and I am soooo glad I did! It is the perfect combination of soft and sweet with a little spunk.

Is this something you will try this Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You Are Way Too Beautiful . . .

Today I am a bit perplexed. Living my life sitting down, I am sure you can imagine the questions and comments I have received about my disability. However I recently received a comment that still has my mind boggled.

I was out to dinner with friends when a couple who was leaving walked by our table. As they approached, what I am assuming to be the husband of the pair, stops, puts his hand on my shoulder and says,

"You are way too beautiful to be in a wheelchair!"

A hush came over our chattering table. With astonishment of the comment, that I propose was meant to be a compliment, I smiled, not truly knowing if I should be flattered or offended, and answered with the only response I could think of on the fly,

"Thank you."

After the couple was out of earshot my friends and I started discussing this random comment. What do my looks and being in a wheelchair have to do with one another? NOTHING!

It is really sad to me what the perception, even in 2013, of individuals with disabilities is evidently supposed to be. Goodness, can you imagine if I was absolutely unsightly and in a wheelchair? Is that what this gentleman was implying that most people in wheelchairs are? I guess so from his comment.

I have always been very aware of my appearance. I have always cared about my looks. Don't misunderstand what I am saying here. I have never been a premadona, so stuck on her looks that she carries an arrogance about her. The kind of concern I am implying is that, I take pride in ME.

As you know, I love fashion. I love makeup. I love trying different hairstyles. I don't focus my outward appearance on my disability. I don't let it define me.

I am truly flattered that others find me attractive, I am. However, I think my true beauty comes from within, as with anyone. It comes from the person that I am on the inside - the caring, friendly, spunky, loving girl that would do anything for those she cares about and who wants to make a difference in people's lives.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh MiO My!

I have never been a water drinker. Growing up, as much as my parents tried to get me to drink it, water was just never my thing. I heard time and again how "there is nothing not to like about water" - I just didn't.

I've tried time and again to live the H2O lifestyle. To choose water with lemon at dinner instead of a Coke.

I can't tell you why I am not a fan - I just am not. As an adult, I know the importance of drinking water and have wanted to do better at drinking at least a bottle a day (Baby steps people, baby steps).

Recently a girlfriend told me about MiO Water Enhancer. I was skeptical that it would leave a weird aftertaste, but she promised me there were none.

She suggested I try her favorite, Berry Pomegranate. She had a bottle actually with her in her purse. She said she brings it with her everywhere so it is always handy and offered me to try it.

Not expecting to like it AT ALL I pulled a bottle of water out from the fridge and squirted the magenta liquid into my water. I took one sip, then another, then another. I couldn't believe it - I LOVED the taste. 

So what you say? For me this is huge! Now I actually look forward to drinking water, and with no added calories or sugars, it is a perfect solution for me.

It is a little pricey at $4 a bottle, however, if you are like me, a little goes a long way! If you prefer a subtle flavor, only use a couple of drops. If you prefer your drinks tasting like the melted remains of a popsicle, keeping adding. The idea that you can control the level of flavor I find particularly innovative over pre-measured to-go packets. Being a "liquid water enhancer", you also don't have to worry about dissolving issues or powder residue in your glass/bottle which for me personally is a BIG deal. The travel-friendly size is perfect for the car, your purse of even a back-pocket, making it even more desirable. 

So, the next time you are in the drink mix aisle battling between Crystal Light and MiO, go with MiO every time! I can't get enough of this product!!!

Are you a challenged water drinker like me? Does MiO Water Enhancer sound like something you would try?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Flashback

{I cannot tell you how much I ADORE my friend Jaime; and no it is not because we share the same name. She has one of the biggest hearts and I am so lucky she is in my life. This reunion with her made my day!}

Last weekend my BFF and I went to my parent's home for a visit and reconnected with some old friends; some that I hadn't seen since I graduated high school 17 years ago! Talk about a walk down memory lane! Yes we have kept in touch via cyberspace and the phone, but there is just something so special about actually being THERE with the person. It was so much fun laughing about our crazy high school days and seeing where we are in our lives now.

The week itself was very busy. I'm actually off of work today enjoying a "me day" - getting my annual Japanese Hair Straightening done (I promise to share pictures soon!), and with that means I had to get five days of work done in four. I have a huge event next week I'm planning for, so I was kept busy to say the least.

I hope your week was a good one. Any special plans for the weekend?

{Dinner with friends at Macaroni Grill. Although we went to rival high schools I still love them.}

{The Fountain of Inspiration. My BFF and I visited the community college, which is where we actually met, we attended to see what all had changed. This fountain was a new addition and I just love it. If you know me for any period of time, you will quickly learn that I inspirational quotes, so having a fountain with slate pieces with quotes inscribed on them - I loved it!}

{Enjoying a beautiful day in the Garden of Inspiration.}

{I am not the biggest water drinker. I know I need to do better about that for my own good. My girlfriend was visiting and pulled this little baby out of her purse. I asked if I could try a bit in my water. After the first drink, I was hooked. I definitely will be making a run to the store to stock up on these tasty water enhancers!}

{The DELICIOUS  spanakopita at Hungry Greek.}

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'm Clueless

In the 90s one of my absolute favorite movies was Clueless. I loved the silly little sayings like "as if", the storyline was amusing, but the clothes!!! I dreamt of Cher's clothes! Maybe even more so than her clothes, I dreamt of  her closet!!! Do you remember it? I mean who hasn't dreamt of having Cher's awesome "Dress Me" closet app (even in the 90's it was a touch screen app HELLO!) - it wouldn't be a Cher closet without it because she wouldn't be able to get dressed any other way.

Managing your wardrobe can be a chore and a pleasure, right ladies? Questions like, "What did I wear to their last party?" can plague fashionistas who want to maintain their claim to style fame.

Well, there is a tool out there to help you keep track of all those awesome outfit “a-ha” moments. It’s called Stylitics and not only will it help you keep your ensembles organized, it also analyzes your spending habits, offers fun facts about your favorite brands and designers, and even has a calendar, complete with a weather report, that archives your outfits for you so you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of photos, trying to remember whether or not you wore the red dress or the black dress at your last dressy work related event.

It’s fairly straightforward and Stylitics has a tutorial that is easy to understand. You add items by searching for pieces and adding them to your virtual closet. Once the items are added you can create outfits and insert them into your calendar, for future reference. Stylitics also compiles data like how often you wear a piece and how much money you’re spending on your clothes and accessories.

Does this sound like something you’d use?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

{Striped sweater from Lerner, Khaki pants from NY&Co, fleur de lis earrings gifted from India, Coach boots, Fossil watch}
I’ve started this sentence five times in an attempt to tell you this is another outfit full of favorites. I love this sweater. I love these earrings. And these boots? They get better and better with age. I felt a little Jackie Kennedy in this outfit for some reason, but there’s something very 1960s Massachusetts about this look to me. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lotion Up

Does this sound familiar? The cold weather comes blowing in and we’re forced to deal with dry, flaky skin - yes even in Florida. It’s itchy, uncomfortable and it looks even worse than it feels. While dry skin can start as a small annoyance, if left untreated it can sometimes lead to dermatitis, a more severe condition characterized by red, bumpy skin inflammation.

Fortunately, most dry skin comes from external causes – like cold weather – and can be addressed with a few key products in your skin care arsenal. Here are a few guidelines for ensuring your skin is well taken care of.
  1. Shower sensibly. Long showers can be lovely, but if you stand in the stream for too long while the water is hot, your morning ritual could be working against you. Hot water will wash away the oils your skin already produces. Also, don’t overuse soap when you bathe – it will rob you of soft skin even faster.
  2. Not too wet, not too dry. When you rub on lotion, be sure that your skin is damp before application to work along with the product. As soon as you hop out of the shower is best – your pours will be open and you’ll be wet all over. Just pat down the dry areas of skin before you slather on anything. You’ll trap the moisture better that way.
  3. Use natural products. It’s important to use lotions that are based on natural ingredients. Oils with natural origins are best to gently saturate your skin.
  4. Don’t scratch. Even when it seems impossible, you can’t claw at your skin. Itching will only further irritate your skin. Don’t prolong the problem; treat it.
  5. Exfoliate! Especially in the winter, exfoliating is very important. Dry winter skin is the result of dry skin cell build up. As we tend to relieve this with only applying heavy creams, many of us forget that the most important ritual to healthy skin is to first exfoliate the dry skin away! Increase your exfoliation routine this season to remove the dead skin cells, and then moisturize the new cells, resulting in healthier, moister skin! 
  6. Heat it up. Central heating may keep you toasty but the dry atmosphere can play havoc with your skin. Aim to apply moisturiser daily in the morning to quench dry skin.
  7. Get your beauty sleep. Skin regeneration peaks when you're fast asleep so apply a layer of intensive moisturiser or body butter before bed for overnight nourishment.
  8. Hey tootsie. Give bed socks a soothing update by applying foot cream generously before bed. Don't rub in and make sure you wear cotton socks overnight to soften your tootsies by morning.
  9. Pucker up! Valentine's Day isn't far away so avoid chapped lips and keep them primed for pouting by carrying a repairing lip balm containing shea or cocoa butter with you.
  10. Always use protection. The sun might be missing but you still need the protection of an SPF. Try a clever UV protector with skin brightening properties to cheat a winter glow.
Here are some of my absolutely favorite skin care products:

Monday, February 4, 2013

From Where I Sit: Make A Difference

Good Morning Love. I'm very excited! Over the weekend I was emailed by a fabulous reader that had asked me a question to be answered in my From Where I Sit (You can read some former pieces here, here and here or do a search for From Where I Sit in the search bar in the right side bar to read all of the questions asked so far.) column. The question was this:

"Hi Jamie. I have a daughter who has just begun high school. She is having the worst time with bullying. Unlike you, her disability isn't physical; my daughter is autistic. I wondered how you dealt with this problem during your high school days?"

I've thought about this question all weekend - how am I going to respond? I have answered a similar question here in the past, but I didn't want to simply direct them to an older post because bullying has truly become such an epidemic in our world and my heart aches for those who face it day in and day out!

Again, rather than talk about how I dealt with this issue, since it was in the above mentioned post, I wanted to focus on what we can all do to make a difference in this situation. 

Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and the like are capable of making a difference, but not them.

The truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. It need not be anything outrageous. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of ‘doing good’.

1. It Need Not Be an Enormous Task

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

You already have what it takes to make the world a better place. Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart. I remember being in high school and dropping a book or pencil and unlike my able bodied friends, I cannot reach the floor to pick up what I dropped. Having someone help me with such a simple task, we so appreciated. Remember, the size of the contribution is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to do it.

2. Start Now

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

There is no one best time to start to make a difference in a person's life. You don’t need to wait until you have the time to share some love; you don’t have to wait until you make more money to share a slice of bread. Little efforts count, and you can start making small contributions today.

3. Your Contribution is Never Too Small

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” – Author Unknown

If you think that everything has been taken care of by somebody and your contribution is not going to make much of a difference, then you’re wrong. Can you imagine if everyone else starts to think the same way?

If you know that someone is struggling with an issue and choose to let someone else step in to help, just think about the opportunity you are missing to be a support in someones life! I understand it is so easy to think, "I don't want to get involved," "It isn't my problem" or "I'm sure someone else will help them." However, you - yes YOU - can be the person that enables them to get through their situation.

In fact, it is our responsibility to seek ways to contribute, large and small. You don’t have to be concerned you’re only capable of making small contributions. What counts is the effort. What could be such a minor act of kindness to you, could be life-saving to someone else!

4. The Greatest Gifts of All

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

Happiness and love are the two greatest gifts you can give. Too often, we’re too indulged in our own gratifications that we forget there are people in this world whom we can make a little happier and feel more loved.

As the saying goes, “To receive, you must first give.” The more you give, the more you’ll receive. Let us remind ourselves that in order to receive more happiness and love, let’s spread more of them first.

5. Empower Other People

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” – Dale Carnegie

You can change the world by helping one person at a time. One of the ways to help someone is to empower the person. But how do you empower a person? Well, one of the ways is to be generous in giving praise and encouragement instead of criticism.

By praising and encouraging the person, you have helped him/her to accomplish what he/she is meant to be, and that would lead to more value being added to the world.

Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person

The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week try to reach to someone that might need a lift - their world and yours will be changed for it!

P.S. If you have a question you would like to ask me about living with a disability, fashion, makeup, etc - leave a comment with your question here or email me at and I promise to answer in an upcoming From Where I Sit piece!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Flashback

{Watching Jess and Nick FINALLY kiss on one of my favorite show's New Girl. I was literally clapping with excitement over this moment and I do believe I screamed FINALLY after it happened - yes I am that girlie!}
Happy Friday Lovely. How was your week? Mine was full of superheros. Sometimes I look at my day-to-day happenings and think. . .Is this real life? As you know, I work for a children's hospital, and with that comes the territory of "never a dull moment." This week we had a special visit from Batman. This is no ordinary Batman. This Batman travels the country visiting children's hospitals and raises money to help support families with children who are ill, have disabilities, etc. - he is a real life superhero to so many. Seeing him pull up in his replica Batmobile was enough to cause a complete stir - I don't know who was more excited, the kids or the adults.

In the beginning of this post I alluded to superheros - plural. This next superhero of my week comes in a much smaller package. She is no caped crusader, she isn't faster than a speeding bullet or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. She does however have the perseverance and courage of the mightiest of warriors. She has a smile that would melt the coldest heart and the wide-eyed optimism that anything is possible. You've met MY superhero here before. She is one of our patients, and this week I scheduled a TV interview all about her. Watching her face light up on camera and hearing her family discuss what the care at our hospital has done for her made my week! She may only be seven years old, but she is the biggest superhero in my eyes!

{So excited for her TV debut! You can watch the video coverage here.}

{I really wish I would have remembered my Catwoman costume!}

{Enjoying a piece of Oreo pie as a sweet pick-me-up.}