Letter to Pet Sitter

Dear Pet Sitter:

My husband and I went on a vacation trip and I had a very hard time leaving my furry babies behind. I visited several boarding facilities and ended up hiring a pet sitter and leaving them in the comfort of their home. When I “told” Phoebe and Gibbs that we would be away for some time and a very nice lady would come and take care of them, they decided to writer her a letter with the instructions. Here is the letter my “dogs wrote” to the petsitter:

“Hi, Josie! As you already know, we are Phoebe and Gibbs, the two mom’s angels that you will be caring for.                   IMG_0741

Phoebe: We are really nice doggies :) I (Phoebe) think that Gibbs (my brother) is a little hyper sometimes and he drives me nuts with all that energy. So, I talked to mom and she bought three pretty new tennis balls for you to play with both of us in the backyard. Well, it is mainly him, because he never gives me the chance to get the ball!  Anyway, when you play with him you help him spend a little bit of his incredible energy and help me sleep better because he won’t bug me so much :) The balls are in the laundry room, together with our meds and anything else that we might need.

Gibbs: Actually, Josie, Phoebe, my sister, is a little slow sometimes but she still has it. She makes me work for the ball! I am am faster and love fetching so she just goes along. We (mom, dad and me) were all so proud of her because she beat a bunch of much younger dogs on the Toy Retrieval Contest during the Pooch Pool Party last weekend. She was one-second short for the third place (she did get in 4th!), but I think it was mom’s fault, because she threw the ball too far. Mom even put her video in Facebook and I got a little jealous. But she was really great.

Phoebe: Mom also bought a huge bag of food and made fresh treats for us. We know she keeps the treats in the fridge but we could not figure out how to open the fridge door yet:( We absolutely love her treats and she gives them to the two us after breakfast and after dinner. Well, if we behave. She asks us to sit and than gives us the treats. I eat around 1/2 of my bowl (beige) and Gibbs eats his full (maroon). Please don’t forget to leave us with plenty of water.

Gibbs: She makes us have those gross pills after breakfast, before the treats. I get one of those fish oil pills that mom throws in the air and I catch it. I actually like those ones. Then she gives me ONE pill of Benadryl to help me with my allergies. I can’t have more than one because I got a bad reaction once. Mom has to keep an eye on me because I hide the pill on the very back of my mouth and when she is not looking and spit it out (then she gets mad when she finds it on the floor…) lol. I gotta say though – I am lucky. My sister Phoebe has those huge pills every morning. Two of those white yikes pills (GLUCOSAMINE) to help her feel better and have her joints lubricated and one of the fish oil ones for the fur and general well-being. Now my sister does not chew any pills. Mom has to basically open her mouth and wait for her to swallow. But we know we will be getting the treats after the pills, so we are good. Again, they are all in the laundry room. Mom also left some eye drops because sometimes my allergy makes my eyes (the right one usually) itchy and full of boogers. Mom then puts one drop of the eye drop and feel better right away!

Phoebe: Gibbs leaves his toys all over the place and he does not let me play with them. But that’s ok, I really like to chill and relax. We do not like the heat, so mom and dad.

Please take good care of us.

Sincerely,

Phoebe & Gibbs”

They had a wonderful time with their sitter and I found it to be the perfect solution for us all!

Kaplan MD Lip 20 Treatment

I grew up in Brazil, where we cultivate the natural look, little make-up, fresh and cool skin. Being a beach girl, I had to learn to protect my skin, hair and yes…lips!

When I first learned about Kaplan MD Lip 20 Treatment I was really excited, because it promised to moisturize, repair, and protect with SPF 20 all at the same time, all in one application.

So I decided trying it and believe me – it is all it claims to be!

I love the sheerness of the lip treatment, but still want to get that slight touch of color – and that’s what you get.

After applying, I could immediately feel my lips moist and soft.

Main ingredients: 22 organic plant extracts that provide hydration, skin nourishment and skin soothing benefits; marine collagen & patented tri-peptide; hyaluronic filling spheres.

There are several other ingredients, including octinoxate, octisalate, and octocrylene, which are active ingredients for sunscreen.

It comes in 12 different shades, and honestly, all that I tried on, I simply loved!

These are my favorite shades:

Lip 20 Treatment

As far as application, just use it as a lipstick. I reapply it every time I feel my lips dry (not really a rule on that, because it depends on what kind of environment you are, if you eat or drink, etc).

Kaplan MD recommends to have it applied 30 minutes before going outdoors for maximum sunburn protection.

The packaging is practical and luxurious:

Lip 20 Treatment
Lip 20 Treatment

 

AT the end of the day, I believe this is a great product and use it on a daily basis. What about you?

 

Have You Grown Up Yet?

One of the things that I have always wanted to keep with me is my childish spirit, because it makes me feel light, free and happy. I love laughing, playing games and joking around, and one of my specialties is making fun of myself, not taking my mistakes too seriously.

But life goes on, you know…and even keeping my free and childish smile around, does not really allow me to behave as a child, to live as a child, or for that matter, to DRESS as a child.

Wherever I go, one of my pleasant bad habits is observing people: how they act, what they eat, how they dress. And I have to say…OMG, some people just do not feel like growing up!

What about you: have you grown up?

Some signs that you have not:

1-     You still shop at the youth section: no matter which size you wear, youth sections are for teens. Don’t tell me that clothes there fit you better or are cheaper. It might even be true, but that does make you look behind your age, immature and inappropriate.

2-     You still believe you use the same size as when you were a teen: be real – your body changes, and even though sometimes you are able to close your pants, they do not look the same. There is nothing worse than giving the impression you got your pants from your child or (very) younger sister and just slipped on.

muffin top x
Your body changes…

 

3-     You still use M&M t-shirts. Or Despicable me, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Mutant Ninja Turtle. Or, even those silly (supposedly) funny ones, with those messages that you would not say aloud, but portrait in your tee.

You are not a TEEn anymore...
You are not a TEEn anymore…

4-     You are still using your high-school clothes: just because it closes, it does not mean it fits; or because it was cute then, it is cute now…

5-     You believe that sneakers and flip-flops are appropriate for any occasion. Again, please try to understand: sneakers are for sports and flip-flops for the beach. Well, let’s try to be more flexible: you can use them with shorts or summer dresses in very casual situations (no, your “casual Friday at work does not qualify).

Flip flops are not for the office...
Flip flops are not for the office…

6-     Your handbag looks like a furry alien. No comments necessary.

7-     You use pig-tails. If you are not under 10, please choose another hair style.

Pig-tails only if you are under 10...
Pig-tails only if you are under 10…

Only some of the signs, but I hope you get the message.

You can be casual, fun, daring and full of personality without looking like 13: invest in some neutral good items, such as those perfect fit black slacks, your more than perfect black little dress, white tees, a good pair of jeans a nice flat and a nice pump, a basic handbag I wrote other blogs on essential items to have) and have some really fun pieces, lots of accessories and colorful accent items to make your outfits pop.

Do you look in the mirror and feel like 30 going 13? Clean up and go shopping: you do not need a ton of money, you need to grow up and look for the right items, in the right size, those which will flatter your body type, make you feel fabulous and confident. But more than anything: AGE APPROPRIATE!

The “Pop of Color”

I think of fashion and style as a way to express yourself, your personality and (why not?) your “mood of the day”…

But I also think of fashion as something practical and versatile: most of us do not have time to stand in front of the closet for a long time, try 5 different outfits, fight with the mirror and keep trying until something decides to look gorgeous on us!

So, my practical side loves neutrals: they are everything you need for any situation right? You can use them with anything, dress up and dress down, look professional, clean, basic or chic…you can do anything with neutrals! Yeah…but they can also be boring. Very boring. That’s when I love the “pop of color” idea.

Don’t take me wrong – I do like color, but sometimes it can be tricky to figure out if a lot of color is appropriate for the place you are going to, or if it will give the wrong impression – such as you are too stylish and creative… I know it sounds crazy, but when you are the only one using bright colors inside a neutral word, you might just feel too colorful and lose your confidence…

So, going back to the “pop of color”…it sounds just right.

You can make your outfit “pop” with: colorful shoes, a bright talk under the jacket, a handbag, a bulky colorful necklace, a scarf…geez, there are so many ways to use that pop of color and make your outfit original, fun and perfect!

So, here are some ideas:

 

1- The scarf:

 

DSC04566.JPG

 

 

photo

 

 

2- The shirt

Bright turquoise shirt underneath a basic neutral jacket.
Bright turquoise shirt underneath a basic neutral jacket.

 

3- The one “pop piece”: jacket, cardigan or tank

Just one piece...it will make the outfit fun and noticeable.
Just one piece…it will make the outfit fun and noticeable.

 

Giorgio Armani Regenessence 3.R Eye Serum

Let’s start by saying that I am a huge fan of Armani as a designer, for his clean lines and sophisticated style.

So, I am always curious about any products that have his name stamped on, and for that reason alone I would try them all. His beauty products are made by L’Oreal and features advanced technology.  It seems that I like every single scent  used in his products are one of my favorite features.

The Regenessence 3.R was inspired by advanced regenerative medicine research by Dr. Lorenz at Stanford and is intended to eliminate puffiness (it contains a specially designed applicator), reduce lines and wrinkles, and transform the eye contour.

Some of the ingredients are: ProXylan, linseed extract and vitamin CP. It also has yeast extract, caffeine and tensor agents.

According to a self assessment of 50 women, the results are great: wrinkles reduced 71% in one hour; in 6 days the skin looks radiant and in one month you gain up to 6 years of youth.

Size: 0.5 oz and price: $80.00, what seems reasonable for the quality of the product.

To test it, I have been using it for 2 weeks now and noticed an improvement of the puffiness and my under-eye skin feels more moisturized. I have not noticed relevant results in the lines and wrinkles though – I believe that right after applying, as it feels smooth and moisturized I can see some improvement in the appearance of my under-eyes skin, but not really impressive results with the wrinkles. Results are different from person to person since all of us have different skin type, complexions – our own skin ID.

The application is easy and the serum is absorbed pretty quickly – the special application gives that immediate “coolness” sensation.

After using it, I feel more “refreshed” than “younger”. Yet, I find it a great product, since puffiness is a common complaint and the freshness coming from the hydration is absolutely delightful.

Regenessence 3.R
Regenessence 3.R

Is tomboy your style?

First of all, let’s make it clear: tomboys are cool. It seems that they always have more fun..

When growing up, I totally considered myself a tomboy ( well, I believe everyone did too!): I did not like dolls, or pink, or ruffles and sparkles. I did not like ballet or cooking classes at school. No. I liked to play soccer, to be the captain of my dodgeball team, to use shorts, tees and sneakers all the time. I liked short hair or it would be on a pony tail anyway.

Yes, a typical tomboy. I hated those fragile girls that would cry for everything. I liked to play with boys. I was strong and they would bring me competition.

Well, I grew up, started modeling and getting involved with fashion. Started loving shoes – all my 300 pairs – as any other girl. Started getting crazy about accessories and a good powerful feminine fragrance.

That said, that are girls like me that radically change the style when becoming an adult, there are some that keep the tomboyish touch, that certain masculine way of dressing. And there is nothing wrong with any of them. It is just style. And what is style other than expressing your personality?

So, if you do not carry that boyish posture anymore, if you are over your tomboy days, this article is for you (sorry, girly girls, but I write to you and about you all the time).

How can you dress like a woman, be feminine and sensual, and yet keep some touches of your old tomboy style?

Here are some tips:

1- If you opt for suits with a more masculine structure (not too much a defined waist, for example), you can maybe use a feminine button down shirt – if ruffles are too much for you, maybe a button down made in semi sheer material, or with a lace detail, or even a feminine color – pairing a neutral color suit with pastel blouse will guarantee that fragile touch, while pairing with a vibrant color such as red, will give the sensual attitude to that boyish suit.

2- That boyfriend jeans with that straight cut tee and your Converse sneakers can get that feminine touch from a cute floral scarf.

Just a feminine touch...
Just a feminine touch…

3- Cargo kind of girl? Mix with a girly tee – with some distinctive details and maybe some ballerina shoes…

Cargos can totally be girlie!
Cargos can totally be girlie!

4- Ripped jeans, tee and a fedora hat? Use some really cool bracelets and some animal print flats!

5- Skinny jeans, jacket and really short hair? What about that vivid lipstick?

Any way you go, there are ways that you can put your feminine said together with your boyish one, be stylish and yet express your personality!

Boyfriend jacket? Ruffle it up!
Boyfriend jacket? Ruffle it up!

I have “two bodies”, so what?

Elle Macpherson is one of my idols, as are Heidi Klum and Charlize Theron. Three breath-taking women. Three fabulous faces and gorgeous bodies: tall, slim, long legs, flawless complexion, expressive eyes and perfect smiles. Sizes: 4-6. Yes, those sizes that all of us dream wearing…

 The catwalks around the world are filled with double zero sized women.

The print and electronic advertising world portray only skinny and perfect bodies, framed with the perfect outfits adorning those dream faces (with just the perfect make-up!).

But, let’s be realistic: women come in all sizes, colors and shapes and most of the times have problems dressing their bodies.

Many brands unfortunately tailor their clothes for that exact market: if you are over 120lbs you will probably fit in NONE of their items.  And go try a size 8…they would not fit a 10-year-old girl! As if that was not enough, the sizes many times go to 12 only.

Actually, many of us, women, have “two bodies”: one size on top, a different one on the bottom. And that, my friend, can make our lives very difficult!

The first step is actually figuring out our sizes, what again, can be challenging. The important point is to be aware of where should the item fit perfectly and where it can be altered or tailored. For example: if you have wide hips and narrow waist, it is very likely that you won’t find a pair of pants that will fit perfectly. In that case, you should find pants that fit your hips – and the waist can be tailored.

The second step, is to find out if you use the same size on the top and on the bottom: sometimes that difference in size can be substantial, and you might need to shop for tops and bottoms in different departments or even different stores – some women might be Petite on top and Misses on bottom, or Misses on bottom and Plus size on top. As I said, we come in every shape and size!

The third step is the most difficult one: once we find out our true size, we must accept it and shop accordingly, so we will get the best fit of each item and outfit.

So, what are the tips to make the best of your shopping experience and get the perfect fitted outfits?

1-    Start by finding your body shape: are you a Pear? Apple? Strawberry? Hourglass? (that will help you to start understanding your proportions)

Body shapes

2-    What is your best feature or the part of our body that you like the most or are most comfortable with? (you will look for styles or details that highlight the best of you)

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 4.31.24 PM

3-    Always try at least 2 sizes: even when you know your size, trying 2 different ones is beneficial – it can show you that a larger or smaller size might fit more nicely in that specific style

4-    Battle your frustration – when we do not find something that fits us all over, we tend to get frustrate with our bodies. We have to keep in mind, that our bodies are not meant to fit the clothes, but the other way around, and there is nothing wrong on having to tailor a little here and there

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 4.37.20 PM

5-    Be open-minded – we have some pre-concepts that make us repeatedly go to the exact same styles, colors and shy us away of trying new things

6-    Try it on! Clothes can look really different when in the hanger…

7-    Don’t let it pull – remember: if the shirt is gaping in the chest line and the skirt is sliding up, try a size larger

Don't let it pull

8-    Different brands run different sizing, have different cuts and fits. Did not like what you saw? Try a different brand!

But more important than all, be confident in your own skin!

The luxury of anti-anging: Shiseido and Orlane

Shiseido BIO-PERFORMANCE Advanced Super Restoring Cream is an anti-aging cream, formulated with Rose Apple Leaf Extract to protect skin from harmful environmental aggressors and maintain youthful looking skin.

Super Bio-Hyaluronic Acid N supplies a high level of moisture which helps maintain a positive cycle in the skin.

The main uses for the Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring cream are for lifting (re-shaping) and firming, as well as smoothing deep wrinkles.

It comes in 50 ml  and 75 ml and it retails for  $99 and $124 respectively. The jar is luxurious and it comes with a spatula.

It should be used after have your skin cleansed and balanced (using a softer and serum), twice a day: morning and night. You just have to use a small amount and apply to the five points on the face: mid of forehead. nose, cheeks and chin (blend the cream upward and outward).

It is a rich cream and it has a light pleasant scent.

I have normal skin (not dry, not oily) and the absorption of this product on my skin is pretty quick. It does not feel sticky after application and it gives a fresh sensation – very moisturizing. Shiseido recommends it for any skin type. I liked the glow and shine that it brought to my face almost immediately and could notice some improvement in the firmness after a couple of weeks.

Orlane
Crème Repulpante Antirides Extreme

Orlane Creme Repulpante Antirides Extreme, or Extreme Line-reducing Re-plumping Cream, fights wrinkles and rejuvenates skin.

It is expected to stimulate skin regeneration and treat the wrinkle from the inside, and also provide deep hydration.

It should be applied twice a day: morning and night.
One of its ingredients, Memoxyle®, intervenes in the transmission of inter-cellular messages, rebuilding the skin and helping it say young longer. It also contains black tea and ceramides.

It comes in 1.7 oz and it retails for $250. The jar is beautiful and it also comes with a spatula.

It is a lighter cream, however my skin took a little longer to absorb it completely. I could feel my skin moist and fresh immediately. Over a period of 3 weeks I could notice also a more “glowy” skin and slightly fuller contours.

Bio-Performance Advance Super Restoring Cream
Bio-Performance Advance Super Restoring Cream

Bermuda Shorts – Spring 2013

The “bermuda shorts”, also known as walking shorts or dress shorts originated with the British Army, to be worn in tropical and desert climates. They also got their name because of their popularity in Bermuda (British overseas territory), where the are actually considered business attire for men when made of suit-like material and worn with knee-length socks.

Bermuda Shorts origin
Bermuda Shorts origin

Over time, after Second World War, they became more popular and made also of bright colored materials, and started to be used also on casual occasions.

Nowadays, the bermuda shorts still resemble the old time ones, however have more variations in shape, fabric and colors, and are used by men as well as be women.

They came back as a strong trend for Spring 2013: DKNY, Rachel Zoe, Vera Wang, John Barlett, Rag & Bone, and Diane Von Furstenberg, among others designed some new and fun styles for their collections.

I honestly like this trend a lot because you can dress this kind shorts up or down as needed and make a modern and eclectic statement.

Some styles are slim and fitted (Vera Wang and Suno have some great slim styles), some are very slouchy ( DKNY has some denim ones that have that fun boyish look).

Here are some ideas…

White stretch bermuda shorts - very casual look
White stretch bermuda shorts – very casual look
White stretch bermuda shorts - polished casual
White stretch bermuda shorts – polished casual
White stretch bermuda shorts - cool look
White stretch bermuda shorts – cool look

I love both the slim and the slouchy one and depending on the occasion, pair with flats or wedges and even some platforms if I need a look for evening.

Slouch boyfriend denim - casual day
Slouch boyfriend denim – casual day
Slouchy boyfriend denim - casual evening
Slouchy boyfriend denim – casual evening

I also love the mis of boyish items with feminine ones – I think when you pair them you get a interesting, edgy look.

So, here are some more ideas on dressing the bermuda shorts up or down. You just have to choose the occasion!

Slim black  - casual
Slim black – casual

 

Slim black - work outfit
Slim black – work outfit