Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tips from the Style Pros

While shooting my Spring fashion video last week (see below), I gleaned some great tidbits of fashion advice from my go-to stylist expert, Kate Shifrin, and Jamie and Renata who work at Frances Heffernan (the awesome boutique that provided all the clothes.) I couldn't fit all the info into the video, so here's some bonus insider tips for you to consider here.

1. Pose like Beyonce
Ever see a picture of yourself and think "Ewww, I look so heavy"? Well, no more. Kate Shifrin showed me how to pose like a pro on the red carpet and in this quick video, I'll show you. The trick to looking thin? It's all in the angles.

2. Bling it On
Jamie and Renata want to encourage women to put a little glitz into their everyday outfits. Sequins, rhinestones, and metallics are not just for evening anymore. Whether it's embellished shoes or a big sparkly ring, don't be afraid to dazzle during the day.

3. One is Never Enough
Think multiples this Spring. Layered necklaces are all the rage, but that's not all. Jamie and Renata say that wearing light-weight tees and tanks in all sorts of combinations is really "in" this season.

3. Hello Heels
Jamie, Renata, and Kate all agree that women look best in high heels and wish we'd wear them more often. Heels elongate the leg, tighten the calf, improve posture and make us look thinner. Nude or natural colored heels are especially flattering. I know, high heels aren't always practical, and many of us have sore or injured tootsies. But Jamie says, "wear 'em when you can!" To illustrate the difference they make on a petite (okay, short) woman like me, check out this video.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What to Wear (and NOT wear) this Spring

Wondering how to make the key trends of Spring - florals, short hemlines, ruffles and denim - work for you? In this short video, stylist Kate Shifrin tells us how real women can wear this season's freshest looks, and what to watch out for if you're not built like a runway model (I'm certainly not!) 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Distract the Kids to Get More Couple Time

I wrote this article for the May issue of Make it Better Magazine (right.) Check out their fabulous website at

Remember how spontaneous sex used to be before you had children?

You didn’t have to work around bedtimes, worry about being interrupted, or schedule an appointment with your mate to connect. Most blissful of all, an intimate interlude didn’t come at the expense of a full night’s sleep.

Well, those carefree days are gone. For parents, orchestrating time alone takes ingenuity and planning. Here are some creative ideas to divert the kids and carve out a few precious minutes of couple time.

Daylight Savings Plan
Little kids need constant supervision; the only way to get more time alone is to put them to bed earlier. A resourceful friend of mine used this trick for years—she’d set all the clocks in her house ahead by an hour to get a jump on bedtime.

“Look Jimbo, the little hand is on the eight! Time to get those PJs on, buddy.”

To tire your tots out, have your husband run them around the park a few times after dinner while you shave your legs and spritz on perfume. Trust me, he’ll be happy to do it.

Reverse Psychology
Older kids are too savvy to be fooled by the clock trick. To get them to leave you alone, they need to think it’s their idea.

The “dirty job” technique is effective. Tell your kids you’re going off to do an unpleasant, lengthy chore. “Hey Libby, Dad and I are going to clean out the garage, wanna help?”

Of course she doesn’t. The mere idea of physical labor will act like a force field around the garage, giving you and your hubby some guaranteed privacy in a location that’s ripe for innovation. Tool belt anyone?

Or, try the “I’ll be Back” approach. Say your kids are playing video games in the basement. Stand at the top of the stairs and bellow “I’m coming down there in 10 minutes and then you are turning that thing off and doing your homework!”

They won’t come looking for you or your husband for hours.

A few stolen moments
Just a few minutes of couple time can inject a little spice and excitement into your relationship. Sneak into the pantry and make out, play gin rummy for a massage, or cue up a song from your past and dance around the laundry room like fools.

It doesn’t have to lead to anything. It just has to be fun, romantic, and all about the two of you.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Why Anthony Bourdain (and other opinionated men over 50) are yummy

    This is an excerpt from my True/Slant piece about the appeal of successful, seasoned, sexy men over 50 - especially Anthony Bourdain.

    For the complete article, click here.

    Anthony Bourdain, noted foodie and host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” is performing at the Chicago Theater tonight. Performing isn’t quite the right word; he doesn’t really have an act. As Bourdain said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he’ll “just talk for an hour about what’s exciting (or irritating) at the moment.” Then he’ll take questions.

    How I wish I could go hear him speak! I love men with opinions and the experience to back them up. At 53, Bourdain is certainly a guy who has experienced life. A noted chef, author and gourmand, he has not only been around the culinary block a few times; he’s been around the world a few times.

    While filming the 100+ episodes of his TV show, Bourdain has traveled to some of the most remote (and dangerous) corners of the world. InEcuador he sampled the local delicacy, roasted guinea pig, which he described as “crackly, sweet, fatty, delish.” In 2006, he and his crew were trapped in Beirut when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out.

    Bourdain chain-smokes, he drinks, he swears, he climbs mountains, he stares danger in the face, he’ll eat anything. The guy is dashing, sophisticated ,and rough around the edges all at the same time. And his height (6′4″ ) and full head of hair make him one good looking guy.

    But the most attractive thing about Bourdain is that he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is – even if his opinions are controversial, which they often are. For example, here in Chicago, Bourdain calls our beloved deep-dish pizza “awful, ugly stuff” that doesn’t even qualify as pizza.

    Also, he came right out and said he didn’t enjoy his meal at Grant Achatz’shighly touted Chicago restaurant, Alinea, saying, ”Alinea didn’t thrill me. I was annoyed by the presentation of the food. I found it intrusive.”

    Ah, contention! How refreshing.