Make the most of the sexy summer time

Heat up the summer like sexy film icon  Brigitte Bardot  “Summer heat, boy and girl meet, but uh-oh those summer nights …” sang the girls and boys on a beach in the musical Grease. The magical sexual chemistry of summer hasn’t changed since the 1950s — summer is still hot, hot, hot!

 
Sunlight makes you sexier – it’s science
To be less poetic and more scientific, “sunlight has a direct effect on the brain’s serotonin production,” according to researchers at the Human Neurotransmitter Laboratory and Alfred and Baker Medical Unit, Baker Heart Research Institute in Australia. “Our serotonin levels increase with increases in luminosity… and   serotonin also regulates arousal,” explains Ray Sahelian, MD, author of Mind Boosters in an article in www.completewellbeing.com.
 
In the same article, Carmen Fusco, an instructor in pharmacology explains that sunlight doesn’t just effect serotonin, but also many other feel-good and mood hormones. “It decreases melatonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine and increases cortisol, serotonin, GABA, and dopamine,” she says.
 
Andrew Goldstein, MD, co-author of Reclaiming Desire claims that a long hot day can make you hot too. “The longer day, shorter night cycle too affects sexual activity. As the day gets longer, the amount of serotonin and dopamine in your brain increases — specifically dopamine, a hormone that stimulates libido.”
 
So instead of moaning about the heat or feeling fat in your itty bitty bikini, why not learn to enjoy summer, unleash your inner goddess and make the most of the sexy summer time.
 
Cool and sexy
Bare summer clothes can leave even normal weight woman feeling puffy and over-stuffed, if they don’t choose carefully. Too tight clothes never look chic and are confidence destroyers. It’s a hard to feel seductive and sultry when are you are self-conscious and uncomfortable.
 
Long flowing maxi dresses are a hot trend, and they are also cool and comfortable in hot weather. Keep the lines long slim. Make sure the fabric is soft and flowing to avoid adding extra volume to your silhouette.
 
Choose a pretty romantic style, a bold gypsy look, or a long slim knit for a chic city look.
 
A high-waisted or “empire-style” dress can create the illusion of a small waist. The skirt will skim over any problem areas.
 
Accessorize!
Have fun with accessories. Summer is the time to indulge your fashion fantasies. Wear a pretty straw hat with a feminine dress, or tie your curls back with a long pretty scarf.
 
Show off bare arms with a bold cuff or an armful of enameled bangles. You can buy great bangles anywhere. I recently spied good-looking sets of gold finish and enamel bangles at Target for less than $20.
 
Store such as T.J.Maxx, Winners and Marshalls will yield armloads of fabulous costume jewelry at a deep discount. Get a stunning bracelet or divine earrings, and make it your “summer signature”.
 
Get a comfy, but fabulous-looking pair of espadrilles. They’ll add a touch of St. Tropez glam to your summer look.
 
Metallic sandals are fabulous for dressing up everything from jeans to simple sun dresses. If you are the more casual type, get a pair of soft strappy flat sandals, like the chic ones Carla Bruni wore in Midnight in Paris.
 
Keep feet smooth with a daily foot scrub. Buy one or mix coarse kosher salt or brown sugar with olive oil and a few drops of your favourite fragrance. Paint your toes a fun sexy coral, hot pink, or robin’s egg blue.
 
Trade your heavy winter bag for a straw tote, if you haven’t bought a new summer bag.
 
Under it all
Buy tops and dresses that have straps wide enough to cover your bra straps. Consider investing in a good convertible bra that will adjust to different styles while still giving you a great shape and support. www.brasymthe.com has many choices.
 
Sultry weather and shape wear don’t mix well. A-line skirts or classic-cut trousers will glide over problem spots.
 
Stock up on cool pretty cotton panties and thongs. Victoria’s Secret has a fabulous selection. Hanro is known for their classic white panties and thongs. Pretty panties make you feel sexy and glam when you get dressed. Never underestimate the power of good lingerie on your morale.
 
Jeans
If you live in your jeans buy a pair in lighter-weight denim for summer. Look for denim with a small amount of spandex or Lycra for a sleek fit. A classic boot cut or slightly-flared leg are most flattering, if you are pear-shaped. 
 
Pair well-fitted white jeans with a pretty bare top, stunning earrings, and metallic sandals — and you are ready for a summer evening fete.
 
I prefer skirts and order them in white denim from L.L. Bean.
 
Shorts
If you are not very slender, wear shorts no higher than mid-thigh. Keep your look classic and clean. Wear shorts with panache by emulating the classic safari or marine styles. If you have fabulous legs, satin evening shorts with metallic sandals can look cute and sexy, but keep the top covered up for a chic look.
 
Even if you have fabulous legs you risk looking ridiculous wearing skimpy gym shorts anywhere but on a running track after age 25.
 
Get your glow on
Try a sunless tanner to cover less than perfect legs or lumpy arms. A light coat of bronze can mask many small imperfections. There are so many good ones. Now you can even spray tan at home. http://www.dolcedolce.com/?tag=flawless-airbrush-instant-body-spray  http://www.dolcedolce.com/?p=5965
 
Be sure to add a little shimmer to legs and shoulders especially at night. Exfoliate daily and moisturize; your skin is on display. Use a mask before a night out. Elizabeth Grant’s Cooling Collagen mask can instantly rehydrate skin, $30.
 
Summer is the perfect time to get an added glow from some well-placed highlights to show off your bone structure.
 
Darlings, don’t melt, simmer — and make the most of the sexy summer time.
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All you need to know about menopause

Womenopause: Stop Pausing and Start Living by David C. Miller and Lovera Wolf Miller is a handbook about modern menopause. The authors provide quizes and concrete suggestions as to how women can attain the best quality of life for the rest for their lives. The book covers diet, exercise, supplements, and hormone replacement. Every woman over 40 should put this book on her must-read list.

 
DD: Why did you write this book?
Doctors: Menopause is our passion. Lovera has been lecturing about menopause since she began private medical practice in California 30 years ago. It is an enduring medical topic with tons of new research every month. How women navigate through their midlife has tremendous long-term health consequences. The majority of information available to women through popular media is incomplete at best, and often, presents views not shared by the leading menopause experts. Our book reflects both the latest medical research and our professional experience.
 
DD: What is the difference between menopause and peri-menopause ?
Doctors: Menopause is the “pausing” of “menstruation” or more simply, the final menstrual period. Many use the term loosely to refer to the menopausal transition years but we always use it to denote the final menstrual period. The 10 or so years leading up to the final period are defined by irregular periods (early, late, heavy, light, skipped) and are called perimenopause. By convention, because the periods are irregular, a woman cannot easily know her final period. Therefore, there has to be one full year of no periods before one can say that the “final” one occurred a year ago. “Peri” means around so perimenopause surrounds menopause — several years before menopause and exactly one year after the menopause. All of the years (hopefully many!) following menopause are termed post menopause. We don’t like the term post menopause very much; therefore, we usually call it the UpSide. During perimenopause, the ovaries lose their rhythmic cycling and secrete estrogen erratically. It is the dramatic high and low blood levels of estrogen that triggers the common menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, hot flushes, hot dreads, night sweats, drenched nightgowns, insomnia, meno-fog, mood matters and the like. These problems may recede during post menopause — but not always. Twenty percent of women suffer from hot flashes indefinitely.
 
DD: How does menopause – or perimenopause – affect mood and concentration? Can you explain the term menofog?
Doctors: Estrogen has immense effects on brain. The withdrawal of estrogen that occurs during perimenopause gives rise to several distinct problems. Estrogen influences important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine that have important roles in mood regulation. The usual perimenopausal mood changes are like PMS only not predictable any more, and persistent. It is not exactly depression that most menopausal women have (although certainly some women who have had problems with depression in the past are significantly more likely to suffer from recurrent depression during perimenopause). We refer to it simply as mood matters.
Estrogen also strongly affects the area of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is intimately involved with memory formation. Post menopausal women who choose to take estrogen retain a normal volume of hippocampal neuronal cells, whereas women who do not take postmenopausal hormone therapy have a demonstrated shrinking of the hippocampus. This correlates with the incidence of dementia in older women. Women who take postmenopausal estrogen have over a 60 percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. We refer to the mild memory lapses that many perimenopausal women experience as “menofog.” Menofog is walking into a room and forgetting why you went there.
 
DD: Does menopause cause weight gain?
Doctors: It is a well established fact that American women gain weight as they age, beginning in their mid-20s. It accelerates during perimenopause and beyond. Weight gain, however, is not an inevitable consequence of menopause, and menopause per se cannot solely be blamed as the cause. The cause, as everyone ought to know by now, is consumption of uncompensated calories — eating more than we burn. Reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity can control this. In our book we hit those very important topics with both medical science and practical advice. As an example, we recommend not dieting. We recommend putting real food into the diet instead. It’s not rocket salad — it’s not complicated; real food is anything God put on the planet for us to eat. Real food does not have any kind of label on it. We recommend everyone ask themselves two questions before they eat anything: 1) Am I hungry? 2) Did my great grandparents eat this kind of food? We recommend committing to a life-long habit of physical exercise. Exercise is better for mood than Prozac, better for sleep than Ambien, and better for the waistline than liposuction.
Estrogen is not a weight loss miracle. Estrogen does, however, reduce belly fat, which turns out to be the most metabolically-destructive kind of fat. If two women eat and exercise exactly the same way, the one who uses postmenopausal estrogen will have a trimmer waistline. If anyone thinks they can be healthy by taking estrogen and just sit on the sofa, sip soda, and eat chips, while watching TV, then they will be sadly disappointed. It won’t work.
 
DD: Can bone loss be avoided or is it inevitable?
Doctors: Bone loss dramatically accelerates at menopause and is a significant public health issue. It turns out that more women die from complications of fractures due to weak bones — 50,000 per year — than die from breast cancer — 40,000 per year. No one seems to take bone health seriously enough. Bone strength is maintained by activity (walking), diet (calcium, and vitamin D), and estrogen. Osteoporosis is completely avoidable.
 
DD: Do women often experience symptoms during peri/menopause that interferes with their quality of life, but because the symptoms are not classic hot flashes, they do not think to seek help?
Doctors: Yes! It never ceases to be amazing how women interpret their menopausal symptoms differently. That is why in our book, we include a “wScore” to get a better handle on bothersome menopausal symptoms that many women do not think to relate to their perimenopausal hormone changes. Many women do not experience what would traditionally be called a “hot flash,” but do report drenched nightgowns. Some women just feel a flush, or an unpleasant warmth across their neck and face, while others experience an emotionally driven hot dread, others just feel the sweating and not the hot part, while still others are not annoyed so much by the heat but rather by the cold crash that follows. Some women are flashing only at night while they are sleeping and only notice insomnia as their menopause symptom. All of these symptoms are part of the vasomotor dysfunction that occurs when estrogen production is erratic. For many women, these symptoms can be quite debilitating, destructive, and greatly interfere with their quality of life.
 
Many other symptoms of estrogen withdrawal (perimenopause) and estrogen deficiency (UpSide) are linked to menopause: particularly vaginal dryness. Estrogen is required for the vagina to retain its’ elasticity, lubrication, and sensory feedback for sexual arousal. Menopause can, through a lack of estrogen, disrupt a woman’s sexual satisfaction and hence disrupt couples’ relationship. Estrogen is a major factor in arthritis, wrinkles, hair loss, urinary bladder dysfunction, and belly fat.
 
One might still say that hormone therapy is not “necessary” because no one ever died from hot flashes or mood swings. However consider the evidence: hormone therapy for menopause, begun during the “window of opportunity” (ages 40 to 60) significantly reduces the risk of heart disease by 40 percent (the #1 killer of women); hormone therapy for menopause reduces stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, and depression. In fact, compared to women who choose not to take hormone therapy, those women who do take menopausal hormone therapy have a 40 percent reduction of all cause mortality. Women who choose menopausal hormone therapy have a greater quality and quantity of life. When hormone therapy is combined with optimal lifestyle commitments, then wow, the best chance of healthy aging occurs.
 
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Wear it now, Wear it this fall

Cosabella black lace bustierSpice up your look with a trendy touch of lace worn as a bustier or camisole. Shape wear can hold you in and up without adding the bulk or extra layers and straps. A lace bustier can dress up a tailored suit and make it chic and sexy. Add a pair of strappy heels and some long crystal earrings, and your plain old suit is ready to shine at all but the most formal evenings. A jacket is handy against the chill of air conditioning, too. Or, pair a pretty lace bustier with a full skirt of taffeta, silk, or even cotton pique. A black lace bustier worn with a full skirt in light pink silk faille will always look beguiling. Get a local dress maker to whip you up one, and you’ll wear it for years! If you like the look, have a similar skirt made up in a jewel tone satin for the holidays.  

 
Dolce and Gabanna bustier Make sure that any bustier you plan to wear as outer wear offers ample support and coverage for your breasts. The aim is look seductive, not slutty.  
 
 This is an item that will look as fresh and fashionable this holiday season as it does this summer.
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Anti-aging essential

The best anti-aging protection we have is still sunscreen. Too much sun exposure causes free radicals that can result in premature lines and wrinkles. It also breaks down collagen and elastin which causes skin to sag. 

The best sunscreens have a high SPF to filter out both UVB and UVA rays. What’s essential: powerful broad-spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays,
And adding anti-oxidants to neutralize free radicals turns ordinary sunscreen into a potent anti-aging weapon
 
The Glytone Sunscreen Spray Mist SPF 50 is a light mist that dries to the touch in seconds, making it comfortable in the hottest stickiest weather. This is easily the most comfortable sunscreen I have ever worn!
 
According to Glytone, the mist contains “a combination of UVA and UVB sunscreens that are “photostabilized” so that they don’t break down with sun exposure while offering optimal broad spectrum protection. Innovative antioxidant technology converts reactive free radicals into non-reactive elements (water and oxygen) for maximum protection against photoaging.”
 
It also contains “Patented Delta-Tocopheryl Glucoside, a potent, time-released precursor of Vitamin E, provides continuous antioxidant protection.” This is the perfect product for every day. You can spray it on before dressing and have complete protection that will not ruin your clothes. A good sunscreen used correctly is the best way to avoid lines, wrinkles, and hard-to-remove age spots – as well as potentially life-threatening skin cancer.
 
 www.glytone-usa.com for a physician directory
 
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Summer shimmer

Fake Bake Tan Enhancing Lotion is a rich daily moisturizer as well as a tan enhancer. It contains a touch of mica to make your skin shimmer.

According to Fake Bake, their Tan Enhancing Lotion “will help increase the life of your tan — real or sunless — by conditioning your skin with rich, essential emollients that absorb quickly to replenish moisture giving skin a softer, smoother feel.” So get a glow and shimmer all summer long. The shimmer is very soft and natural, so you can use this lotion day and night. I do.

 
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A healthful, quick pick-me-up

Everyone can use a little energy boost some time, but if you want it be healthful, Hydrive is a new line of good-tasting vitamin and energy drinks. Hydrive has only 30 calories for a 15.5 ounce bottle. That’s lower than many other energy drinks.  After working out, I don’t want to undo my efforts by quaffing a fattening energy beverage.

You can choose from several vitamin-rich formulas. Hydrive Decaf contains B-Vitamins, D-Ribose, and Choline, and is totally free of caffeine and taurine. And it comes in tasty flavours, such as Wild Peach.
Hydrive Extra Strength contains 195 mg of caffeine, 50 mg of Yerbe Mate, and all the vitamins in regular Hydrive.
Original Hydrive comes in delicious fruit flavours. Each bottle of the original formula has 145 mg of caffeine as well as four essential B-Vitamins, electrolytes, and amino acids.
I tried them all and experienced no jitters. I thought they tasted great. Hydrive is great choice a refreshing low-cal pick-me-up before a workout, or on a hectic day.
 
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Beach book!

Tout Sweet: Hanging Up my High Heels for New Life in France by Karen Wheeler is the bittersweet story of a successful beauty and fashion journalist who leaves her glam life to look for love and the "meaning of life" in a French village.

Karen is single, in her late thirties, has a glam job as a fashion editor, a fabulous flat in London, and the man of dreams. When she is jilted, she takes off on a trip to France. The mini-vacation is at the invitation of yet another eligible man. He also disappears from Karen’s life. But on this trip Karen falls in love with the small French village. 

In no time, Karen has bought a house with “lots of potential” and no running water.
She spends the next year renovating her house and her life.
 
Wheeler is not a coy story-teller. She is up front about the pain of rejection in her autobiographical novel. She attempts to make fun of all the clichés about English expats living in France. This part of the book comes off a bit lame, because Wheeler is a bit of cliché herself as an expat living in France.
 
Tout Sweet is about recovering from a lost love and healing a broken heart. Wheeler writes about being broken-hearted in painful detail, but also a sense of wry self-wariness.
 
This is a perfect summer read full of drama and all things French!
 
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Bruschetta – showcase fresh tomatoes and herbs now!

Tasty fresh tomatoes and basilMany people say it wrong. Bruschetta is pronounced brooce-ketta. It’s fantastically simple to make, yet even many restaurants prepare it badly. Bruschetta is toasted bread rubbed with a clove of garlic and dressed with good olive oil, salt, and pepper. Additions of chopped, fresh, or sundried tomatoes, basil, cannelli beans, black olives, and fresh mozzarella — and even pesto sauce — give it its snap.

 
The best bruschetta is the simplest, and now – the height of tomato season — is the perfect time to make it!
 
Store-bought bruschetta is awful. It is always soggy when you get it home, and it’s very expensive.
 
Bruschetta is perfect for BBQs, as you can easily make the toppings in advance and quickly toast the bread on the grill – delicious!
 
Serve more then one type. It is veggie-based, so it is perfect before a meat-heavy meal or when entertaining vegetarian friends.
 
Chop the tomatoes and salt them lightly. Set aside. Cut thick slices of bread and toast them. Rub the toast with a peeled slice clove of garlic, and brush it with good quality olive oil. Spoon the tomatoes onto the bread with a slotted spoon, and top it with finely-shredded basil and fresh pepper.
 
Add if you like:
 
Fresh shredded Mozzarella or provolone. Broil until melted.
A few chopped black olives.
A sprinkle of dried chilies.
Mix drained, rinsed Cannelli beans with the tomatoes and 1 tbsp. of olive oil (optional).
Use sundried tomatoes instead of fresh. Drain the oil.
Prepare the toast and components in advance. Do not dress the toast too much in advance or it will become soggy.
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