Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sweets and Love Delivered By Mother's Day #GIVEAWAY

One of the top online gift giving sites,, has just released several new items to truly delight any mom or grandma -- from those who became moms (or grandmas) for the first time over the past year to those who have been mothering kids for more than 75 years!

I have been sending Mother's Day goodie gifts to my grandma for years. This year she is in a nursing home and I don't know the staff yet and I don't know what she is allowed so I hope to visit with my Uncle this month and bring one of the yummy gifts from Gourmet Gift Basket.

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift, but you want something that's not so predictable? Get her this scrumptious Mother’s Day Brownie Cake! This 12-inch delight will arrive to her door just as fresh as if you had picked it up from the bakery. It also has a special Mother’s Day message for Mom on top, reminding her that you're crazy about her. 

Here is how it arrived. It was 85 degrees outside and it was probably sitting on the porch for about three hours. Looks pretty good.  It came in a box surrounded by bubble wrap. It had shrink wrap around it and a plastic cover and bottom. The only thing that had shifted in probably the heat was the "M"on mom and the "V"in love. It came on Saturday and there is only half left. My husband and daughter LOVE it. The brownie is moist and soft and the frostings soft and fresh. Great gift!

Well...I would order this every day if I could. I loved these cookies. Each flavor is individually wrapped in packages of two and the type of cookie is printed on the wrap. My kids are allergic to peanuts but I love them so it was nice to see they were included but there was no chance of the kids eating them accidentally. They wish they could but I am happy they are all mine. 

There was 2 packets of the Chocolate Chip and the Fudge Brownie Cookies but don't ask me what they taste like because the husband and kids gobbled them up.  I can tell you the Oatmeal Raisin Lemon Sugar and Peanut butter were delicious. The peanut butter were my favorite. My daughter and I shared the Lemon Sugar and thought it was a nice, light, flavorful cookie. They were so nice and buttery! My daughter grabbed the box for her room. She said the box was so pretty and she wanted it for her favorite things. 

Mother's Day Book Ideas For Mom's Of All Ages

For moms-to-be…

Jordan Reid & Erin Williams

Part advice, part journal, part activity book, all hilarious. This irreverent, laugh out loud book is a must have for soon-to-be moms. The perfect for baby showers and Mother’s day this spring!

"Funny as hell.”—Amy Morrison, founder of Pregnant Chicken
"Comfort, solidarity, entertainment, and maybe even total life enlightenment.”—Lauren Smith Brody, founder of The Fifth Trimester

This is by far the funniest book I have ever read whether pregnant or not! It is a laugh out loud book I mean the first chapter says it all....

I love the tips for morning sickness like eating a pound of Sour Patch Kids will not be frowned upon.

There are pages of fun games to play while you wait for the honeymoon phase of  the 2nd Trimester. 

 The second trimester is by far the best. Nausea is usually gone and you are not so uncomfortable yet so have some fun.

Be your amazing self!

By the third trimester we really just want to get it out and that is exactly what the chapter is called.  I love this book full of witty pregnancy activities. Like circling the 3 things on your body that are currently making you insane like "pepperoni nipples" and "cankles".  Readers will love the fill in questions where you can list your craziest dreams and qualities you hope the baby gets from you and the father and so much more.  There are 171 pages of fun!

This is the perfect pregnant mommy gift!

For experienced moms…

Kate & David Marshall
TO PURCHASE; hardcover; $15

From the bestselling authors of What I Love About You, a personalized way to say “I love you” to your child. 

The Book of You celebrates your teen or adult child on a milestone birthday or graduation, or as they embark on marriage or the joys of parenthood. 

With writing prompts, checklists, and space for treasured photos, you’ll compile a collection of fond memories and hopes for the future that will be a cherished keepsake for years to come.

This is one of my favorite kind of books.  My mom died when I was 12 and I am always striving to make sure my kids know all about me since knowing my mom as a person is what I missed most. I knew her as a mom but I wanted to know the woman. I wanted to know what she thought about, what she wished for, what she wanted. The Book of You is a keepsake journal where you write in your answers to prompts provided within the pages. 

 I would have loved to have this book filled out by my mom!

For grandma…

Lesley Stahl

**New York Times Bestseller**

From one of the country’s most recognizable journalists: How becoming a grandmother transforms a woman’s life. In an era when baby boomers are becoming grandparents in droves and when young parents need all the help they can get raising their children, Stahl’s book is a timely and affecting read that redefines a cherished relationship.

“Award-winning broadcast journalist Stahl [investigates] the importance of the role grandparents can play in the lives of their children and grandchildren…. Through the medium of her own experiences, the author delivers a wise and witty book. A welcome guide for new grandparents and their children looking to savor the joys and navigate the pitfalls of grandparenting.” —Kirkus

This book came a day after a conversation I had with a co-worker. She was explaining to me (very much a hands on mom) and two pregnant co-workers that you love your children YES but the love for a grandchild is 10 times as powerful. I couldn't imagine this because I LOVE MY KIDS! I want to be with them more than anyone else in the whole world and the thought of them leaving the nest in the future breaks my heart. After reading Lesley's book I understand what she was saying.  I am nowhere near being a grandparents but this book was a wonderful read. Grandparents these days are younger in age and at heart than grandparents past. They are very often an extension of a parent and the relationship with their grandbabies goes very deep. All will love this book but what a great gift idea for new grandma's! Give it with your pregnancy news!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

7 Ways to Maintain a Young-Looking Face

We all want to look as youthful as possible for as long as possible. We spend money on creams, facials, fillers, and even sometimes plastic surgery. To get some tips for how we can maintain a young-looking face, we went to several great beauty professionals including Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia, who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20. Here’s what they all have to say.

1. Get rest.
There absolutely is such a thing as beauty sleep. “Women come to my practice thinking they need an eye-job or a facelift when all they need is sleep. Sleep is a time when we rejuvenate ourselves and cellular turnover is at its height. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep nightly will make a huge difference in how youthful a woman appears especially as she approaches age 30 and collagen production decreases,” says Dr. Brandow. “A woman can speed up aging if they are constantly sleep deprived.”

2. Use an overnight treatment.
If you suffer from breakouts or skin dryness leading to wrinkles or blotches, treating your skin concerns at night, is a way to maintain a youthful glow. “Work closely with your dermatologist or aesthetician who can recommend non-irritating skin treatments specifically addressing your concern,” advises Dr. Brandow. You want to take advantage of overnight options available to boost collagen and heal skin while sleeping.

3. Hydrate
When it comes to anti-aging and putting your most youthful face forward, water is key. Water flushes your system of toxins which helps skin to glow. “Women spend a lot of money on topical creams formulated to boost moisture and hydrate the skin yet, if they integrated more water, even 4, 8 ounce glasses per day, they would see fewer wrinkles and an overall smoother younger skin texture within a month,” says Dr. Adriane Pompa, Miami based board certified dermatologist who specializes in aging skin.

4. Be smart about fillers.
Fillers are used to add volume that diminishes as we age but people have taken it to extremes. There have been many advancements with fillers over the past 5 years offering more options and more sophisticated ways to administer them to achieve a youthful look.

According to Dr. Brandow, many patients believe that filling their cheeks will soften their laugh lines, so they push doctors to administer two to four syringes in their cheek bones and cheek area at once. This can result in swelling and doesn’t necessarily lift their face. Fillers are often done as an alternative to a face lift but, if not spread out over several weeks, it just gives the patient an unnatural look that distorts their face and makes them look odd.  

“My personal preference is to perform the fillers sequentially. For example, I will use one syringe of filler in multiple locations. Then I’ll have patients return in 4-6 weeks and perhaps do another syringe to the same places, or different places, giving them an overall natural look. This leads to a softer, more natural result. The key to doing fillers well are going with small amounts every 4-6 weeks,” explains Dr. Brandow.

5. Get facials.
According to Dr. Adriane Pompa, one facial per month does wonders for skin’s clarity, texture, and ability to produce collagen. “There are many at-home facials available one can do weekly. The key is knowing your skin type and ingredients that address your specific skin concern. Also, you can treat different parts of the face differently depending on skin issue. Let’s say you are prone to breakouts on your jawline, have wrinkles on your forehead and dryness on the cheeks, your dermatologist or aesthetician can recommend a facial plan customized for you.”

6. Consider lasers and light!
Lasers are another tool that blasts away acne scars, evidence of past sun damage and evens out skin giving that flawless, youthful glow. There have been so many advancements with lasers resulting in more immediate results without downtime. Lasers typically cost between $600 - $1200 per treatment depending on the city and type of laser. The advantage with lasers is accuracy. You can treat a specific area without affecting the rest of the surrounding skin.

7. Tone down your make-up.
One way to immediately take 10 years off your look is to revamp your make-up. Consider hiring a professional make-up artist who can teach you how to enhance and even modernize your look. New York make-up artist, Carlo Geraci, who was protégé to Trish McEvoy and Kevin Aucion, explains that a lot of women are doing their make-up the same way they did 20 years ago. That bronzer that you loved in the 90’s when you were 24 may appear harsh and outdated at 44. “Heavy eye liner and strong lip colors may only accentuate wrinkles and fine lines. As women age, less is more when it comes to make-up. Opt for a great hydrating foundation or a touch of concealer, a pinch of blush, a swipe of mascara or a gray or brown eyeliner and a natural looking lip liner topped with a tinted hydrating balm,” he suggests.

About the Experts:
Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.

Dr. Adriane Pompa is a board-certified dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology at University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital who is highly trained in medical dermatology, dermatologic surgery and cosmetic dermatology. In addition to her general practice, she specializes in anti-aging skin care, skin cancer prevention and treatment, and laser use in dermatology.
Carlo Geraci, New York make-up artist has worked alongside Kevin Aucoin, helped launch the Trish McEvoy brand, and was invited by Barneys New York to became the first Beauty Guru, a position created specifically for him. His work has appeared in print and commercial campaigns, New York Fashion Week runways, red carpets, Broadway stages, television, film, and fashion editorials. He has also appeared on the Style Network, CBS News, and Today on NBC.