Archives for February 2011

February 15, 2011

Fashion Week Recap-Ivy h. Collection

Project Runway fans celebrate! Ivy Higa, who was a contestant on Season 8, presented her collection for Fall/Winter 2011. She started her label in the fall of 2008, and this is the fourth collection that she has presented.

Raised in Hawaii, Ivy used that as her inspiration for her sixteen look creation.  She used color and sequencing to show the journey of Kilauea’s pahoehoe lava sizzling in the volcano, erupting out and then searching its way to the sea.  The deep grey and black colors represented the volcanic rock and the steam escaping into the air. The boiling lava was represented by the bright yellow and the white. The cooling volcano heat was represented by the blues, vibrant cobalt and turquoise.  Pretty and feminine!

Picture by Shawn Punch, and for Shawn’s pictures of the entire collection, go to:

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February 14, 2011

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak has a Valentine special for you !

Writer extraordinaire, Brenda Novak, has a “Valentine’s Offer I know you’re going to “Love”!!

Purchase any of her trilogies and not only will your books be autographed, but you’ll receive a lip gloss as well!

As a Brenda Novak fan, I eagerly anticipate the suspense, entanglement, and non-stop mystery of her captivating stories!

Whether a dedicated follower or new and curious about Brenda’s books, I inspire you to hurry over to Brenda’s website for more information at Here you can conveniently order your books and really enjoy an informative, interesting , and truly delightful site to peruse.

Thanks also to Brenda Novak, for sharing some helpful hints on “How to keep your Valentine”

Happy Valentine’s Day

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February 12, 2011

Quick, Easy, Very Romantic Recipes from Linnea

Love Is in The Details

Some Very Special (and Quick!!) Valentine’s Day Ideas From Linnea Johansson

Are you planning on cooking a romantic dinner date for two? With Valentine’s Day on a Monday this year, it won’t be that easy to spend all day prepping a Valentine’s Day buffet.  I asked my favorite chef and party planner, Linnea Johansson to share some of her ideas on some easy romantic recipes that you could make up the day before or in a jiffy and simply serve up on the big V-day.

Here are some very romantic cocktail and desserts ideas and recipes from Linnea.

Flowers cocktails

Why give roses when you can serve them up? In Linnea’s Frozen Roses cocktail, frozen roses adorn the cocktail and “bloom” when the ice cube melts. These adornments works as a decoration for almost any drink just pop a “rose cube” in and watch it bloom.

To make the Frozen Rose, you simply take fully blooming small garden roses and freeze them with water in an ice cube tray to “rose cubes”. (Wash well first). If garden roses are not available, ask your florist for roses that would be safe for using in a drink, and has been not been treated with chemicals. Place in for example a clear drink such as the on below and watch it “bloom” when the ice melts.

Blooming cocktail
1 oz Xante pear cognac in the bottom of a champagne glass.
Fill up with champagne or sparkling wine
Place a rose cube and let it melt while sipping

Sorbet Bellini for two
Place 1 scoop of lemon sorbet at the bottom of a large martini glass. Fill up with champagne Place candied violet leaves on the top of drink, and enjoy with 2 straws

Flowery ice pop’s a very sexy drinks on a stick, or it would be a great after dinner treat.
1 part Xante
3 parts peach juice
1 dash rose water
3 candid rose leaves per Popsicle. Freeze in Popsicle mold for 12 hours and serve.

They look amazing!!



“French Soda”
Freeze eatable flowers in ice cubes.
Serve the cubes in a water glass, top with champagne and a splash of cherry syrup for flavor and color and serve with a straw

and now for some romantic desserts
Rose Pavlova
The dessert named for a Russian ballet dancer. It is very light and tres romantic with rose flavor.

1 store bought or home-made meringue cake bottom.
2 cups of whipped cream
1/2 vanilla flavoring
2 cups of fresh red berry’s, such as currant clusters, raspberry’s, strawberry’s
3 tbls rose water
1/4 cup candid rose leaves

– place the meringue bottom on a cake plate. Whip the cream until thick. Add the vanilla flavoring.
-place the whipped cream on top of the meringue bottom.
-lightly wash the berries in a colander, dry well. Spritz the berries in rose water and add to the top of the whipped cream.
-finish with the candid rose petals.

Dark Chocolate mousse
 Here’s one of Linnea’s secrets-Nothing makes chocolate taste more delectable then a little salt.
1. In a bowl, place on layer of chocolate mousse, add 1/2 tsp of vanilla
2.Sprinkle a fleur de sel sea salt on the layer

3. Finnish with a layer of whipped cream
Serve in a large kitchen bowl with two spatulas (instead of spoons) and enjoy licking the bowl.

I’d really like to thank Linnea for giving us some wonderfully easy and ultra romantic recipes to try! To see more of Linnea’s fabulous ideas and recipes, see her website at and read more about Linnea on my December 13, 2010 blog!

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February 10, 2011

“Pucker Up” with Ramy’s Luck Be A Ladybug Lip Gloss and support Project Ladybug help children with life threatening illnesses!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I’m wearing my Luck Be A Ladybug lip gloss exclusively created by Ramy Beauty Therapy to benefit Project Ladybug.

Project Ladybug, was founded by Philanthropist and star of Real Housewives, Dina Manzo in 2007, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children with life threatening conditions, and helping the families deal with financial and emotional struggles during their child’s treatment.

Project Ladybug’s hope is not only to improve the outcome for these children, but with proceeds from fundraising events, be able to provide birthday celebrations, toys, wigs, clothing, computers, and funds to assist with the hospital bills.

Project Ladybug has partnered with Ramy Beauty Therapy to create the Luck Be A Ladybug lip gloss. In fact, the seductive berry tone shade that I wear, and is also pictured in this article, was actually formulated by Dina Manzo, herself and named “Luck Be a Ladybug.” All proceeds of Luck Be a Ladybug gloss will go to Project Ladybug.

Take a moment to visit :, and purchase a Luck Be A Ladybug gloss ! “Pucker up” and look great, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day you wear your “special” gloss for a wonderful “cause“!

Come on “Glam Gals” ! Enjoy the pride of knowing that your donation is supporting Project Ladybug and bringing hope to a child and his or her family each day! ♡XO

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February 8, 2011

Spotlight On: Shawn Punch-Fashion Photographer

Awhile back I was invited to an industry function.  There wasn’t a lot of room at this locale. As more and more people crowded into the space, it was inevitable that you were going to get sandwiched into the spot that you were standing.  Lucky for me, I was crowded into a corner with a handsome, warm, friendly man with an impressive array of camera paraphernalia and a killer smile.  Having an interest in photography myself, I began a conversation. We hit it off well.

My man with a camera was Shawn Punch. In addition to being one of the nicest people around, he is also multi-talented. Not only is he an incredible photographer, but his drawings are impressive! His interest in fashion and photography as well as his desire to show beautiful creations to the world has made him a reporter with The Examiner. Fashion Week, Red Carpet Events, anything that needs to be covered, he has become the go-to man!

 In a short period of time, Shawn’s hobby of photography has turned him into being one of the busiest fashion photographers around the city! His passion is evident in each event and in every photo.  He now covers more than 100 runway shows and fashion events. This Guyana native schedule for February 8-February 17, 2011 would make anyone’s head spin.  He will be covering Narcisco Rodriquez, Herve Leger, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson, Pamela Roland, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger and the list goes on……..

I am extremely happy that I will be able to show you some of Shawn’s work during fashion week.  For an in depth look at the collections, you will see them on his site,

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February 8, 2011

February—It’s Not Just About Love….Know the Signs of Teen Dating Violence

We all know February is Valentine’s Day. But did you know that the month of February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? Women between the ages of 16-24 are at the highest risk of experience domestic violence.  A survey has shown that 81% of parents either don’t know or don’t believe teen dating violence is an issue. In 2010, for the first time ever, Congress and New York State proclaimed the entire month of February to be Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) invites you to join in helping to raise awareness on this important issue by encouraging statewide youth, families, schools, law enforcement communities, government agencies, elected officials, civic organizations and other interested groups to show support for the organizations and individuals who provide critical advocacy and services and assistance to victims.

Nationwide surveys that have examined teen dating relationships and experiences have specific findings from these surveys to include the following: 30% of teens in a dating relationship have been text messaged 10-30 times an hour to find out where they are, what they are doing and who they are with. In New York State, 12.1% of high school students surveyed report that they were hit, slapped of physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend during the previous 12 months, and 8.6% were physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to. Teen dating violence, including physical, verbal and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and harassment via texting, email or instant messaging has become a reality for many teenagers in which many parents and caregivers are unaware.

Studies have indicated the effects of violent relationships can be serious. They put victims at a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, suicide and adult re-victimization. New York State has recognized the significance of addressing teen dating violence and has passed a law that enables teens to obtain civil orders of protection against their abusers, since its inception in July 2008; more than 1,000 teens have needed to seek orders of protection. “This Isn’t Love” campaign is aimed at teaching students the difference between love and the signs of control and abuse. and Domestic Abuse Shelters, such as one of the country’s largest, Safe Horizon are sites to find out more information.  Know the signs, educate and raise awareness……in a month that is supposedly all about love, let’s end the cycle of violence and make sure our teens know the difference between love and abuse!


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February 6, 2011

When Having a Heart of Stone is a Good Thing

For thousands of years, crystals have been revered for their healing, magical, and protective properties. Generations have believed that one could harness the unique beauty and properties of crystals, using their powers not only to alleviate medical problems, but to bring about emotional and spiritual changes as well. Unleashing the crystal’s mystical powers can not only change your life, but bring you everything that you desire.

Of course diamonds are the highest evolved gemstone. Diamonds are considered a mild aphrodisiac, and act as an amplifier to indiscriminately intensify any thoughts or feelings that the wearer may have. And while diamonds may be the universal symbol of love, there are other crystals that are thought to have more romantic and erotic qualities. These crystals can help change how you feel about yourself, allow you to accept and love yourself (the prerequisite to being loved by anyone else!) and make you more open to love. They can attract a soul-mate, or put some zing into an existing relationship.

One of these love stones is Rose Quartz.  Rose Quartz will attract love into your life. These stones have been believed to express love and stimulate passion. Add to this crystal, Jasper, which is the stone of protection and has been called the “supreme nurturer” in Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible. Jasper releases negativity and helps us deal with conflicts.  It is also thought to aide in fertility. The magic and meaning of crystals is truly amazing!

Jewelry designer Ky Bae has taken her captivation and love of stones and crystals to create some beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. Ky, Korean-born and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston educated, began creating her pieces as a hobby.  Her efforts were admired by all who saw them. Each piece is unique in design. They are as unique as the stones and crystals she selects, and as unique as the individual wearing them.

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift that suggests love, harmony, positive thoughts and pureness of heart? Even if it is a gift for yourself to attract more love into your life? Take a look at her heart shaped pendant with Jasper Quartz Crystal. They say that it is the power of the stones and crystals themselves, not the quantity that makes them powerful. Here’s hoping they will release their magic.

You can see more of Ky’s designs at The Plaza Beauty and at

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February 5, 2011

My interview with Celebrity, Fashion, Runway, and Editorial Hairstylist Amoy Pittors

Celebrated hairstylist and owner of the renowned Amoy Couture Salon in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, took some time to talk with me about the latest in hair extensions which happen to be her trademark, trends in hair styles, and some fab new items that will be available early this year on her web site at This is a terrific website, and Amoy’s “Bio” is definitely a “must read”!

Amoy’s forte is hair, which has earned her prominence in the Fashion and Beauty Industry. From styling the hair of celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Alicia Keys, and Sheryl Crow, to name a few, Amoy works on daily clientele at her salon, and has a following of notables including Iman, Mary K. Blige, Kerry Washington, Joy Bryant, and the list goes on.

Amoy is one “on the go” gal, and so pleasant to talk with. The first thing I asked her during our conversation was how do you do it all? She answered, and I quote, “I love being busy!”
~ And busy she is!!

Regarding hair extensions, Amoy said that if you are considering hair extensions, you should call a salon and go in for a consultation ! It’s not a good sign if the establishment that you call does “Not” offer you a consultation. A consultation is essential to not only meet your stylist, but get all of your questions answered before you book the appointment. “After all, Amoy emphasized, you get what you pay for!”

Things have changed since I had extensions put in my hair a number of years ago. Amoy told me that the hair is now 100% human hair, and comes from India. It is generally a darker color, but can be custom colored for the client. This obviously gives a more natural look and feel to the hair, as well as styling versatility.

Amoy also noted that you need at least 4 inches of hair if you are considering getting extensions.

I then asked Amoy what was trending in hairstyles right now, and she said the “Ombre” look was very popular. That’s the “look” with hair darker at the roots, and the lighter colored on the ends. You’ll also be seeing a lot of all one length hair with long bangs making a come back.

It was then, Amoy shared some exciting news with me! Coming soon, on her website, Amoy is going to have clip-on hair extensions and clip-on bangs available for purchase. What a perfect way to try different looks with your hair. Since the longer bangs are back in style, if you have taken the time to grow out your hair to one length, and you’re not sure if you’d like to cut in bangs again, this would be the ideal solution. Can you imagine being able to achieve a whole new look when you’re in the mood, and not have to alter your current hair style!

In closing, I asked Amoy what a person needed to do to keep their hair healthy and great looking. Right to the point, she replied, ” See your stylist often for regular trims , and use good products!”

Many thanks to Amoy Pittors for this interview and for sharing her expertise with our readers at

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February 4, 2011

Vie d’ Amour…….

“I wish you days of sunshine, nights of poetry and a life filled with beautiful music.”

So said the DJ as he signed off his late night shift…….a beautiful sentiment, and perfect for a Valentine’s Day wish. Lucky for those of us that love fragrance, that Miriam Mirani was tuned into the program. Mirani, no stranger to creating magical fragrances, is the woman behind AQABA, the heavenly mixture of Egyptian Jasmine, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Damask Rose and incense. AQABA is named for the jeweled city on the ancient caravan route upon which luxurious cargos of gold, perfumes and fine silks were passed. The exotic perfume was based upon the legendary love of King Solomon for the Queen of Sheba.  The inspiration of King Solomon’s and Queen Sheba’s love launched 6 amazing fragrances, AQABA Classic for Women, AQABA for Men, AQABA  Spring, Jewels of Blu, Midnight Sun, and Sands of AQABA.  All are rich, warm and complex…….I can’t help but keep smelling my perfume swatches to get a whiff…..

Mirani was born to parents whose cultures embodied traditions of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.  She spent her formative years in the cultural capitals of Salzburg, the Middle East and America. One of her favorite travel memories was through the Sinai Desert, falling in love with the colors and magic of the Nile Delta. At the tip of the Red Sea lay the cornerstones to the ancient world Aqaba. The impression was so powerful that she hoped she would be able to impart and share this dark, mysterious, dazzling and sensual experience through smell. AQABA was born and in this world of watered-down, unoriginal, overly sweetly floral fragrances, it has become a cult staple for those of us who wish to wear something that is original, noticeable and full of character.

“I wish you days of sunshine, nights of poetry and a life filled with beautiful music.”  These were the words that inspired Mirani to create Vie d’Amour for Women, a warm, seductive scent infused with Bergamot, Turkish Rose, Jasmine and Orange Blossom leaves a lasting whisper of Vanilla-Bourbon, Oak moss and Sandalwood.  Heavenly…..and Vie d’Amour for Men captures the essence of masculinity with its fresh spicy aroma with notes of Green Leaves, Cardamom, Thyme, Sandalwood and a hint of leather. They are the modern versions of the love between King Solomon and Queen Sheba, and very seductive scents for both of you.

If you are looking to select the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, skip the flowers and chocolate and look to everyday luxuries that will last. Look for beautiful indulgences that will make a lasting impression, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year.

Scents by Miriam Marani are available at The Plaza Beauty and on her website  Try, test, smell and enjoying………..

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February 3, 2011

The Language of Perfume………

On one of my jaunts through The Plaza Beauty, I was guided through the perfume counter by Alaina Bavelas, who’s knowledge of perfumes will have your head spinning…….With one whiff, Alaina could tell me all about the perfume, it’s fragrance components, base notes, middle notes, heart notes and all these things which I knew nothing about! I knew what I liked, (sort of) but I had really given up on perfumes in the past few years wearing nothing but an occasional musk. Some of this had to do with allergies, but most had to do with the fact that I had no patience at the perfume boutiques at department stores.  I found the heavy smell to be way too much for me, and bolted through them as quickly as I possibly could!

However perfume shopping at the Plaza Beauty is a completely different experience! There are no people spritzing you as soon as you walk in. Work with Alaina and any of the other knowledgeable sales associates and you will learn and discover many different types of fragrance. I’ve discovered that I am more of an exotic girl, versus floral, and lo and behold, as long as I am not being drenched and sprayed in fragrances, my allergies were not a problem. For those of you, like me, who do not know the perfume lingo, here are some of the terms that I learned from Alaina that will aide you in perfume shopping.

Base Notes-These notes, or scents reveal the depth and strength of the fragrance.  They normally last for about 24 hours.

Fragrance Notes –This refers to the ingredients that are commonly used in the composition of perfumes. Fragrances are typically formulated by layering three scents, or notes – top, middle and base.

Middle Notes (also known as Heart Notes) –These scents emerge about 15 minutes after application (once the top notes have faded). These scents last about an hour or more and act as the heart of your signature scent.

Top Notes-These scents are the first impression and smell that you first get from your perfume.  They are a volatile fragrance and last the least amount of time, anywhere normally from 5 to 15 minutes.

And as Coco Chanel said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future!”


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