Category: Beauty

What to Look For in a Swimsuit

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 by No Comments

Looking for a swimsuit is challenging. Not that I can’t find several cute styles I like. The challenge lies in finding a swimsuit that I like on me.

In years past, I’ve put it off and I end up not having a swimsuit. When we get together around a pool, I sit on the sidelines watching the fun. I have vowed not to do that again this year.

I was inspired by a plus-size model by the name of Tess Holliday.

On a recent swimwear photo shoot, the size-22 model said, “When I’m buying a swimsuit the thing that is most important to me is how I feel in it, if I feel good. It’s great to buy something that may look cute but I want to buy something that makes me feel sexy and I want to feel confident when I’m going out and I want people to stare so you know I want good support, I want fun prints.”

I’m with her on that, but admit she is more self-confident than me. She has found what she is looking for in the new plus-size swimwear collection “Sea” by Monif C which offers a variety of styles for curvy women.

My taste in swimwear in much more conservative than it used to be. While Tess Holiday is fine with showing off those curves in a two piece, I’m still looking for a suit that creates an illusion that I’m in better shape than I am in.

I’m happy to say I have found one suit in the Panache brand that offers everything I’m looking for on Zulily.

Along with the solid panels that provide the visual tapering my silhouette requires, it it comes in a color that looks good on me, and features adjustable straps to ensure both smooth fit and support.

Yes, I tend to be practical, but I still want to look as pretty as possible when I put on a swimsuit. I guess the bottom line is: what you should look for in a swimsuit is what will make you feel like putting it on.

Photo credits: Amazon

Choice of Afternoon Snack Can Make or Break Weight Loss Goals

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 by No Comments

I’m an afternoon snacker. As much as I try not to be, those efforts just don’t last. So instead of playing the “don’t eat a snack” mind games that only make me think about having something to eat even more, I’ve moved on to have a planned stack.

Planning a stack is different than impulsively going to the refrigerator because I’m stressing over meeting a deadline or having to clean house when I don’t feel like it. Now I’ve learned that what I choose as a snack can really make a difference, too.

When it comes to maintaining or losing weight, there’s more to planning an afternoon snack than how many calories it contains. A UCLA Center for Human Nutrition a study showed that snacking on pistachio nuts reduced triglycerides and body weight by comparison to a refined carbohydrate snack.

For this study, the researchers divided participants into two groups. Each group ate an almost identical low-calorie diet for 12 weeks. The only difference was what they ate for an afternoon snack.

One group consumed 220 calories of pretzels, while the other group enjoyed 240 calories worth of pistachios.

If you’ve ever counted calories you know how every single calorie counts, so it defies logic that the 240-calorie snackers would lose more weight than the 240-calorie snackers. But that’s exactly what happened.

Only four weeks into the study, the pistachio group had reduced their BMI by a point while the pretzel-eating group stayed the same.

This is significant. Plus their cholesterol and triglycerides levels showed improvement, too. This study adds fuel to the controversy that a calorie is a calorie, because the pistachio group was actually consuming more calories and showed better results.

The difference was only 20 calories a day, but by the end of the week that’s an extra 140 calories a week and 560 for the four weeks in which they showed these remarkable results.

The researchers conclude that “pistachios can be consumed as a portion-controlled snack for individuals restricting calories to lose weight without concern that pistachios will cause weight gain. By comparison to refined carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, pistachios may have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well.”

For me another plus is that I like pistachios!

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Creative Denim Ideas, Easter Bunny Cones, Gym Bag Essentials, and More

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up offers up creative denim ideas, Easter bunny cones, fitness bag gym essentials, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for single serving chocolate cheesecake brownie baked oatmeal.

A Pumpkin and a Princess shared 40 creative denim ideas.

Almost Supermom showed us how to make Easter bunny cones.

link ru minion cupcakes

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make Despicable Me minion cupcakes.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to turn a dress into a skirt, no sewing necessary.

Pink Heels Pink Truck shared her gym bag essentials.

Mommypotamus shared the secret to strong, shiny hair: gelatin hair masks.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

The Changing Face of Modeling

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 by No Comments

I never dreamed of being a model. Perhaps it has to do with only being 5′ 1.” Back when I was young enough to even think of modeling, being short put me out of the running.

Height isn’t the only restrictive criteria. There’s the skinny as a rail look that most of us couldn’t pull off even when we were 16. For the most part, for decades, the high-end modeling industry has promoted white teenage girls who are very thin.

Some teen age girls are white and some are very thin. The problem with the high-end modeling industry has been that was just about all they were promoting. Not exclusively, but mostly. They just weren’t representing the diverse spectrum of beauty, high-end or otherwise, found in real life society.

The good news is that’s changing. New faces in the industry include black (Aya Jones), biracial (Binx Walton), Asian (Dylan Xue), and plus-size models (Ashley Graham) who was featured in the 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

In a recent interview with Katie Couric, Ashley Graham said, “I think we’re in the curvy girl era.” But when on to say that “curvy girls are here to stay.”

Not only are we seeing plus-size women breaking into the industry, we’re also seeing “in-between” size girls like Kate Upton, Myla Dalbesio, and Crystal Renn. You might say, “That’s in between?” But they are. They aren’t rail thin and they aren’t plus size. They have a little meat on their bones.

Granted, I wish my “meat” looked like that.

The changes have come slowly, but they are happening. Everyone walking down the runway doesn’t look exactly the same any more. I think it is good news for models, and for the rest of us on this side of the runway. What do you think?

Photo credits: Hot 97

Kate Middleton Shows Off New Updo

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 by No Comments

On Friday, March 13, Kate Middleton joined her husband, Prince William, his brother, Prince Harry, and others in a somber service that marked the end of the UK’s 13-year combat operations in Afghanistan.

Both William and Harry were dressed in their uniforms embellished with military regalia. The Queen led the service, and others attending included Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

But I have to say, all eyes were on Kate, her baby bump, and stylish updo.

It had been a busy week for Middleton with a London service in honor of Commonwealth Day on Monday, a visit to the Turner Art Gallery in Margate on Tuesday, and fan-girled on the London set of Downton Abbey on Thursday, and then this service on Friday.

That’s quite a schedule for someone in her last month of pregnancy, and truthfully, I’m amazed she can still wear heels to these events.

After all the fuss about her wearing pink earlier in the week, this time the Duchess of Cambridge wore a navy blue Beulah “Chiara” wool coat, paired with a bow-topped hat and blue suede heels.

She looked as stunning as ever, but it seems the real buzz centered around her stylish updo — a twisted chignon, pinned at the nape of her neck. I won’t be surprised to see more how-to videos all over YouTube for this elegant looking style.

I have to confess, my hair is long enough that I’ve tried some of these Kate-inspired updos from time to time, but not with much success. I get turned around trying to watch what I’m doing in the mirror.

However, I have found the answer. Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends would play around with each other’s hair? We’ll a couple of friends and myself, decided to get together and try out hand at a Kate up-do for a mom’s night out.

My hair actually turned out. I loved it. The only problem was that I went home, went to bed, and in the morning, it was a mess. I’m guessing here, but I bet Kate Middleton has someone help her with those updos.

Photo credits: 333dil

Link Round-up: Chocolate Superfood Breakfast, Easter Muddy Buddies, Brow Tips, and More

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a chocolate superfood breakfast bowl, Easter muddy buddies, tips for saving money on food, brow tips, and more.

Muslin and Merlot taught us how to make a tulip pen for spring.

Tone It Up taught us how to make a quick and easy superfood-filled chocolate breakfast bowl.

Create Craft Love shared a recipe for Easter muddy buddies.

Mommypotamus shared tips for saving money on real food.

link ru sweet potato hash

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for sweet potato bacon hash.

Cupcakes and Cashmere gave us the breakdown on how to get beautiful brows.

Makeup and Beauty Blog sang the praises of the Old Navy Rockstar mid-rise skinny jeans.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and A Beautiful Mess

Link Round-up: A Guide to Brooklyn, St. Patrick’s Day Recipes, a Gardening Craft, and More

Posted on Mar 17, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a guide to Brooklyn, home remedies for stomachaches, a craft project, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared 13 St. Patrick’s Day recipes with under 200 calories.

A Beautiful Mess shared a guide to Brooklyn.

Create Craft Love showed us how to transfer print to wood.

link ru irish proverb

Confessions of an Overworked Mom showed us how to make a cute framed Irish proverb.

Mommypotamus shared home remedies for stomachaches.

Pink Heels Pink Truck showed us a cute spring garden craft.

Makeup and Beauty Blog took a look at the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Nudes collection.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Wine Color Makes a Difference with Weight Loss

Posted on Mar 13, 2015 by No Comments

With dieting, it can get really confusing trying to figure out what’s good for us and what’s not. One day coffee is bad and the next it’s good. Grains are good, oh wait, they are bad, too.

When it comes to losing weight wine is bad … or was bad. Now Purdue University researchers are saying the shade of the wine we drink actually makes a difference of whether or not it may help us lose weight.

According to this latest research, we can’t lump all wines in to the good or bad category. Red wine actually contains a compound called piceatannol which binds to bat cells’ insulin receptors and stops them from growing and maturing.

So if you’re trying to lose weight and want a glass of wine, red should be the color of choice. It could help block the growth of new fat cells.

But this is one of those cases where more is not better. It is suggested women limit their wine to one drink a day and the number is two for men.

This isn’t totally new information though. For years, red varieties of wine have been the recommended choice because it contains high concentrations of resveratrol which is found in the skin of grapes.

This compound is said to have various health properties including the fact that it breaks down fats and reduces the amount of fat in your body. Thus, the conclusion is that the high resveratrol content in red wine can help you drop that unwanted weight.

So if you’re on a diet, and would like to have a glass of wine to relax in the evening, choose a red wine. It will help you burn fat. The key, though, is to limit yourself to just one glass if you’re a woman and two for men.

Photo credits: Mick Stephenson

Link Round-up: Meals, Treats, Lipstick Tricks, and St. Patrick’s Day Decor

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has delicious meals, treats, and sides, plus lipstick tricks for novices and St. Patrick’s Day home décor.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make flourless chocolate chip cookies.

Homemade Interest shared a recipe for asparagus goat cheese tarts.

Bunny’s Warm Oven showed us how to make oven-fried buttermilk chicken.

Frog Prince Paperie showed us how to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day.

link ru mac and cheese

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make Greek yogurt mac and cheese.

The Gold Lining Girl shared a recipe for chocolate covered bacon, espresso bean, and fig scones with coffee glaze.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared lipstick tricks for novices.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Chocolate Covered Katie