Lady be safe and savvy.

A lot has changed since Helen wrote "sex",but  you still don't call a guy to get him to chase youDarlings, we all worry selectively. I do it myself. Some of use worry obsessively about a particular disease that runs in our family, then blithely text or talk on while driving. Others are financially carefully, but date bad men – really bad men. Some women are sexually sensible, but seriously in debt from frivolous spending before they are 40 – or have no savings at 50. Darlings, none of us is perfect, but it is time to be safe and be wise. Life can be sweet, but you have to be savvy.

 
If you recognized yourself above, and who doesn’t – a little — don’t beat yourself up. Just realize that things have to change.
 
You are probably sick to death hearing about the dangers of driving and texting or talking on the phone, unless someone has just almost killed you as they chatted and zoomed by. Unless you live under a rock you have already seen the great video on YouTube. It has discouraged some of my diehard texting and driving friends.
 
The craziness that goes on with phones is almost beyond comprehension. Recently on road trip, I even saw a man driving with an infant his arms. He was not alone. How insane is that? We saw numerous drivers chatting and texting at over 80 miles an hour.  Insane. If you text while driving, please just stop.  It’s dangerous. Pull over to text or call – or better yet wait until you arrive at your destination. I know some of you claim you manage hands-free driving and talking without incident, but statistics say it is distracting. Please use care.
 
Darling, texting and talking while driving are not the only danger from mobile phone abuse. The crime rates are soaring. Use common sense to avoid being sad statistic. No one likes the crowds or noise of city commuting, but closing yourself in a cell phone or iPod bubble makes you a target for assault, robbery, and pickpockets. Be alert when you are in public. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay away from dark allays and deserted buildings – there are more of them every day. Look under and around parked cars as you approach them. Make sure cabs are licensed and get a good look at driver before you hop in.
 
Walk with confidence. Studies show that assailants favour targets who look meek or distracted. Wear shoes and clothes that let move you quickly. Always carry your phone. Do not wear head phones and look clueless as you walk through city streets. Don’t be too proud to have someone walk you to your car at night. Be sure you know the walker.
 
Be aware, you may hurt yourself by talking on a mobile phone while walking. A recent study at WesternWashingtonUniversity says pedestrians on their phones are slower, change direction more, and have a tougher time navigating through traffic compared to people listening to their MP3 players or even talking with a friend walking alongside them.
 
If you worry about getting sick from diseases that run in your family, or if you’re a bit of a hypochondriac, change your habits. Experts tell us that a healthy diet and exercise are effective deterrents to many serious diseases. It is not a guarantee. Many healthy people get sick, but they get well too. So make an appointment with your doctor, and have a chat to put your mind at ease. A positive attitude, healthy lifestyle, and supportive doctor will help to set you free to enjoy life.
 
If you’re financially out of control, don’t make excuses. It doesn’t matter what you earn; you have to start some where to get ahead. Check out www.suzeorman.com  or http://www.jeanchatzky.com  website. They give great advice.
 
I am constantly surprised by the number of smart women who are successful in their careers, but disasters when it comes to their personal finances. It is a dirty little secret many women share. Being a ditz about money is dangerous for your future. It can have all kinds of consequences. I know a successful attorney whose marriage almost fell through. Her fiancé, a successful entrepreneur horrified by her level of debt, demanded she cut up her credit cards on the eve of their wedding or he would not marry her. They have been happily married for more than 20 years. At the time I was shocked; now I see his point. I should mention he did not control or abuse her, and she had funds. He simply wanted to stem the stupendous debt that he took on marrying. She is not unusual.
 
If a taste for bad men is your downfall, you should know while there may be no cure for love, you will never reform anyone with love either. If you habitually fall for men who treat you badly, I suggest you take yourself off the market for a while. Use that time to be around people with good, positive relationships. Learn to make yourself happy. Trust me darlings, happy women are not attracted to bad men – lonely women are. Vital, happy women find men who treat them badly a big bore.
 
 
If you can’t attract the men you want then take look a your “package”. Helen Gurley Brown, the founding editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of Sex and the Single Girl used to say that and she is an expert. By package she meant your looks, image, personality, and status. If that sounds harsh, let’s be fair. Isn’t that what we all look at, before the chemistry and love set in?
 
When you are looking for love or — more seriously — a mate, you want to be as fabulous as you can be. It’s common sense. You put your best self out there on the market. Then my darlings, when you find a man you want, play a little hard to get. Don’t call him, text him, or haunt his hangouts like Topper. Don’t answer your phone after 7:30 in the evening. If he calls, don’t be too available. Popular girls need at least two or three days notice for dates.
 
You should be busy, elusive, and happy with your own life and career. Note, I did not say you should be a *itch. Not too many men really like a mean high-maintenance woman after a while. Just don’t act like a desperate needy woman sitting by her phone with a copy of Modern Bride — or worse a baby catalog. That’s what sends them running for cover. Doesn’t neediness freak you out too? 
 
Most men are more romantic than you think. They like to pursue and win the queen, so be the queen.  
 
I know I make it sound simple, but you would be surprised at how a little playing hard-to-get can up your game in the love department – especially if you are looking fabulous and feeling happy with your life.
 
Is it a foolproof formula for success? Darlings, nothing is foolproof, but chance and love favour the prepared. You may not be looking for love, and that is fine too. Using common sense, staying safe, and learning to relax are all part of having a sweet life.
 
 
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The catwalk and the kids

Suzanne RogersSuzanne Rogers and Oscar de la Renta are collaborating on “An Evening with Oscar” this April 14th in Toronto. It will be the renowned designer’s first major Canadian runway show in 10 years. Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit ‘HealthyKids International’.  HealthyKids International (HKI) is an initiative of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and an investment in the future health of children around the world.

 
Oscar de la Renta is known for elegance. The most glamorous women in the world wear his clothes. He was born in the Dominican Republic. At 18 he went to Spain to study. He worked for the famous designer Cristobel Balenciaga. From Spain, he journeyed to Paris, where he at worked at the house of Lavin. In New York, Mr. de la Renta designed for Elizabeth Arden. Diana Vreeland, the iconic editor of Vogue, discovered him. Oscar de la Renta finally created his own house in 1965 and the legend was born. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his work. Attending a live runway show created and attended by Mr. de la Renta is experience no true fashionista would want to miss.
 
He is on the board of New Yorkers for Children, an organization which helps foster children, and is the founder and major benefactor of Casa del Nino, a daycare center and orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
 
Suzanne Rogers is taking her passion for fashion to a new level by launching Suzanne Rogers Presents – signature events, specially-designed to support children’s charities.
 
Suzanne answers candid questions about her passion for fashion and children’s charities as well as her exciting event. Find out what drives a fashionista.
 
DD: Why did you decide to do this event?
SR: I have a passion for fashion and also a passion for children’s charities.  So I decided to launch  Suzanne Rogers Presents, annual signature fashion events specially designed to support children’s charities. The series launches with an Oscar de la Renta runway show next April.
 
Canadians love fashion, and my vision is to bring world-class fashion talent to
Canada for fundraising events, with the goal of improving the lives of children. Since fashion brings me great joy, I wanted to channel it into something personal and special to help children.
 
Oscar de la RentaDD: How did you decide on Oscar de la Renta for this event?
SR: When we started talking about the idea of an annual fashion fundraiser, Oscar de la Renta’s name came up over and over again. And then it turned out that he shares my strong interest in supporting children’s charities.  So I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to put on this show in
Toronto and to attend himself. It’s incredible to launch my first event with such a fashion icon.
 
DD: When did you first become aware of fashion?
SR: As a young girl I loved clothes but it has only been in the last eight or 10 years that I have begun to understand style, quality and value.  
 
DD: Who was your first fashion inspiration and why?
SR: Audrey Hepburn comes to mind immediately. Whether in a movie or a photograph in a magazine, the way she wore clothes was so elegant.  And she kept that elegance throughout her life, including all the years she spent working with Unicef.  
 
DD: Why is style important?
SR: Style is a reflection of who you are, an opportunity to show your own personality.  It doesn’t rest with a designer or what is trendy, it comes from within you.  
 
DD: How would you describe your own style?
SR: I like feminine and elegant clothes.  My closet is a mix of new and old. One of my favourites is actually a vintage dress.  I love that dress. It is a pink and white taffeta dress with crinoline underneath, and it is covered with pink cabbage roses. I bought it on eBay for $150. The label had been cut off so I don’t know who designed or made it, but I do love that dress. 
 
DD: What are your three fashion must-haves?
SR: A little black dress, a good quality bag, and a single piece of jewellery that you love.  
 
DD: What are your favourite beauty must-haves?
SR: A good moisturizer, lipstick, and perfume.
 
DD: What is always in your hand bag?
SR: Lipstick and perfume! I use Coco.  I have used this Chanel perfume for many years and love its light fragrance.
 
DD: What are three of your best fashion tips?
SR: One: Pay attention to your skin.  There is absolutely nothing better than clear, clean-looking skin. It sets the stage for the rest of your makeup, no matter how much or little you use.
Two: Wear what you feel comfortable in.  You must be yourself.  Make sure your clothes reflect your personality whether that is conservative or attention-grabbing.  If you feel good in them, you will look good in them.

Three: Remember that shoes are an accessory.  For example, a simple little black dress with beautiful Christian Louboutin shoes can be exquisite.  There are many beautiful shoe designers these days so use those shoes to show off your feet and legs.
 
DD: What kind of fashion city is Toronto?
SR:Toronto is a sophisticated fashion city.  There is a great deal of interest in fashion, and international and Canadian designers.  
 
DD: What are your three favourite fashion cities and why?
SR: Toronto because I live here and I see the interest in fashion. New York because of the excitement that exists in the fashion industry there, and of course Paris is wonderful, particularly at this time of year when all the great designers show us what is in stock for the coming season.
 
DD: Where would you like to be in five years?
SR: An interesting question that comes at the right time for me. I have become extremely focused on children’s charities and how I can help, particularly in these economic times.  I hope that in five years I can say that with the help of many people who support me in this objective , we will have raised a considerable amount of money to help children in need.
 
 
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A natural edge

OxylentMost experts agree Vitamin D is vital for good health. It helps boost the immune system, fight cancer, and maintain strong bones. Darlings, no one should skimp on their Vitamin D. It comes naturally through careful and limited exposure to the sun. Experts recommend 10 minutes outside without sunscreen daily for fair-skinned people and 15 for everyone else.
 
But if, like me, you don’t get enough Vitamin D naturally from the sun, you may be interested in Oxylent. One little package contains 1,000 I.U.s of natural Vitamin D3 as well as generous amounts of Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and CoQ10. It also has a host other minerals. The vitamins and mineral in Oxylent are 99 percent bioavailability. It also includes L-Arginine and Catalasse. 
 
There are less expensive ways to supplement Vitamin D and C, so don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist about good value options. Oxylent is a luxe product. But if you already take multiple supplements or anti-aging supplements, you need to try Oxylent. The formula is as impressive as the quality. The taste and convenience are unbeatable. Darlings, it is never too soon or too late to look or feel younger or more vital. Oxylent may be the natural edge you are looking for.
 
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Glow and bask

Aromafloria’s Stressless Body Polish Foaming Salt Glow Winter skin can be dull and lifeless. Dreamy fall and winter days can make you feel dead and draggy. Revive your skin and your skin with a potent exfoliation and aromatherapy treatment from Aromafloria.  
 
Aromafloria products are formulated with organic ingredients and essential oils. Founder Sharon Christie says "I have a passion for smell. It keeps me connected. It keeps me alive. The connection has always been there, for as long as I can remember, and it can be found in every part of Aromafloria and in every product we produce". I too have a passion for scent and her products are divine.
 
Try Aromafloria’s Stressless Body Polish Foaming Salt Glow to polish dead skin and leave it soft and glowing. The scrub is full of Dead Sea salt, Manuka honey, lavender, chamomile, and sage. The scent is instantly relaxing and addictive. It’s $13. Darlings it has never been more important to relax, restore, and replenish. 
 
 
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Happy haunting

Do you live and die for Halloween? Then you will enjoy Encyclopaedia of Haunted Places: Ghostly Locals from Around the World by Jeff Belanger, founder of Ghostvillage.com. The book is organized by country, region, and city. It’s full of interesting tales that include a haunted Boston hotel that was converted to a dormitory. The students saw apparitions. It is now a well-heeled condo. And then there is the spirit-filled resort island in Thailand where spirits sometimes watch over the locals and tourists. 

There are many more quirky and sometimes scary tales as the spooky tour goes around the world. Some ghosts are benevolent watchers and others are not so easy to live with. The book also includes interviews with real life ghost hunters and a directory of paranormal experts.

This is a fabulous hostess gift for a Halloween party or a dedicated fan of paranormal.
 
Happy haunting, all you sexy little witches.

 

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Lotions and potions

I grew up on the quick kitchen fix. We used sugar scrubs, honey facials and egg white face masques. When I was baby beauty addict surreptitiously reading all the super market tabs, there was not a movie star worth her salt who did not have homemade secrets to offer.  

Now it seems that all that has changed. Today’s stars don’t DYI, they have experts to mix the homely remedies. Narine Nikogosian is the skin guru to Jessica Alba, Charlize Theron, and Alfre Woodard among others. Her book, Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin is packed with recipes for cleaners, scrubs and creams to suit all skin types and solve many common problems. Nigosian’s recipes are easy to mix up and don’t call for exotic ingredients. 
 
It’s interesting to note that Nikogosian trained in nursing with a concentration in dermatology in her native Armenia and Russia before coming to the U.S. I can tell you the women of the former Soviet Union know their stuff when it comes to skin care. I still dream of my weekly facials in Moscow; those ladies worked magic with their healing hands and homemade potions.
 
Will this book have you tossing out your bathroom cabinet’s contents for homemade goodies? Probably not. And remember don’t put anything on your skin that you are allergic to. That said, Nikogosian’s book is a trove of useful and fun advice that can save you money and improve your skin. This is a fabulous holiday gift for the young beauty addicts in your life.
 
 
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An essential kitchen reference

Tips Cooks Love and over 500 tips, techniques, and shortcuts that will make you a better cook by Sur la Table and Rick Rodgers is the latest in the Sur la table series. But unlike the previous books, this is a compact little book. In spite of that, it is packed with gems of knowledge. I wish someone had written it when I was learning to cook. Rodgers is an expert teacher, cookbook author, and consultant who knows his stuff. The alphabetically-arranged guide has tips on everything from ripening avocados, to icing cakes, to grilling a perfect steak. This is one of the best books of its type I have ever read; every one of the over 300 pages holds a useful tip. This the perfect book for the ambitious home cook or aspiring beginning chef.

 

 

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Marinated salmon with ponzu glaze

Marniated salmon with ponzu glazeThis simple low-cal salmon dish is great for busy days. Fish filets can be placed in the marinade still frozen and left to thaw overnight or all day. The fish and asparagus are roasted together it the oven for an easy meal. There is no messy clean-up. The fish is unwrapped for the last 5-6 minutes for a lovely glaze. Serve with rice or salad.

 
3-4 ounce of a thick salmon filet per person, 1¼ -1½ inches thick.
Preheat oven 400f/200c
 
Mix together in plastic bag or container:
1 tbsp. Ponzu sauce (citrus seasoned soy sauce)
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tsp. sesame oil with cayenne, or 1 tsp. sesame oil plus ½ tsp cayenne
2 tbsp. sake, dry vermouth, or tequila
Add fish to marinate
Wrap the fish and marinade in parchment or wax paper then foil
 
1 bunch of well-rinsed asparagus
Cut off the stems where they snap naturally
Toss in 2 tsp. of olive oil
Add kosher or sea salt and pepper
Place in wax paper on and wrap in foil
 
Roast both for 20 minute in hot oven
Set timer and unwrap the salmon for the last 6 minutes of cooking for a lovely glaze. Correct seasoning on the asparagus by adding a little Ponzu sauce and black pepper.
 
For this recipe I used Partida Reposado Tequila.
I also used Kikkoman Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce and Dressing.
 
 
 
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