Rich and delicious

Watch a sensual film like Chocolat and then let it inspire your creativity!
Creativity opens up another dimension of your personality and abilities. It shouldn’t have to be something reserved for top chefs, designers, or artists.
 
Research shows we solve all problems better and faster when we engage in creative pursuits. The mind is nimble. The better versed a person is in a variety of subjects, the wider the knowledge base to draw from when solving complex problems – not to mention all the stress-busting benefits. The ancient Greeks were proponents of the well-rounded man and woman, as were the thinkers of the Renaissance.
 
Cultivating your creativity doesn’t have to be restricted to the arts or crafts. If you don’t sew, paint, throw pots, or cook, apply your inner artist to something else that interests you.
 
If you enjoy entertaining there are many interesting books on the art of the table. Colin Cowie's Chic or Effortless Elegance contain simple and elegant table decor and lots of other tips. There are countless books on this fascinating subject, not to mention ideas from catalogs from elegant shops such as Ashley’s, Tiffany’s and others. Setting a lovely table from casual to elegant can be a study in self, just ask Martha Stewart.
 
If you are a budding fashionista with big taste and tiny budget, learning how to care for your clothes, developing an encyclopedic knowledge of fabrics, and even learning how to do simple repairs are great investments in time. Recently, a friend took a sewing course. She has n she has already made a few items from her home and is ready to try her hand at making clothing.
 
Even planning a trip can be creative. It never ceases to amaze me how many people moan about wanting to travel and yet they know little about the places they want to visit. Exercise your creativity by planning a summer trip to the south of France with cooking classes, if Provencal food is your soul food. It may take months or even years to actually make the trip, but why not sink into the experience in the meantime. 
 
Put together a wonderful reading list of marvelous old books; think Hemingway, the Murphy’s, Edith Wharton, Henry Miller. There was a fascinating mix of expat literati and painters who fled to Europe in the 1920s. If Paris and Costa Brava have captured your imagination, books from this period will make these places come alive. Or maybe you are just back, and want to keep something of that wonderful European rhythm and spirit in your life; these tales can bring them alive. The best thing about visiting Europe is all the same old haunts are still there. Trace the steps of those who went before you and immerse yourself.
 
If you are a woman who yawns at the past, try Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee or a collection of short stories by Andrea Lee called An Interesting Woman.
You may prefer cookbooks, buy one by Claudia Rodin. Devour her intoxicating combinations and recipes.
 
Perhaps you find inspiration in art books and DVDs. Immerse yourself and enjoy! If you find reading a chore, try renting atmospheric French films like the sensual Chocolat with Juliette Binoche or Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
 
Before and during a special trip or occasion collect old pictures, menu cards, maps, and books. Scan and copy the sections of books that work best for you. Put together your very own beautiful book. Cover an album with stunning fabric or Japanese paper and add beautiful ribbon markers. If you are a practical, techy type, scan it all and dump it into a device. Find your own style, but the collection process is the same.
 
I love books and folders for projects such as cooking, design, and just about anything else, although when it comes to cooking, I am plain and practical. I have a huge collection of gorgeous and beloved cookbooks. I also print scores of recipes – my own and others – off the computer. I stash them all in loose-leaf books. I keep copies in the computer as they get very dirty in my kitchen and need constant replacement. It is a messy place of creativity and inspiration. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Inspiration comes from many places: books, magazines, photographs and even from quick scribbles and doodles. All these things contribute to a finely-honed point of view.
 
It’s all part of letting ideas and images sink in and become part of you, as opposed to just letting them just flow over the surface. It’s taking time to explore the arts you enjoy. 
 
So many women tell me they used to paint or would like to again. Sadly, they plan to wait until they retire to start again. Darlings, we are all busy. But the benefits of being creative, physically as well spiritually, are so great. Can any of us afford not to exercise our creative instincts? 
 
Maybe this sounds like work to you. If it does, it shouldn’t. I am talking about finding what is interesting and pleasurable, and getting the good out of it.
 
Darlings, life is short, so make it rich and delicious. 
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How to find the perfect bra online

Lingerie maven Tomina EdmarkDo you suspect you are wearing a less than perfect bra, but don’t relish the intimacy of a bra fitting or the time-consuming task of trying on bra after bra. It can be exhausting! But, the right bra can make you look thinner and even feel better.  
HerRoom, the online lingerie shop, has introduced HerRoom’s Know Your Breasts Bra Finder.
 
“We are thrilled to launch HerRoom’s Know Your Breasts Bra Finder as it is the only online resource on the market to educate women on their personal breast characteristics. It provides them with recommended bra styles that will complement their individual breast attributes,” announced Tomima Edmark, lingerie and undergarment expert, and founder of HerRoom. “Our finder enables women to optimize their bra search, welcoming them to take an inventory of their breasts and then learn the many bra features that will suit those best.”
 
According to Tomina, “HerRoom’s Know Your Breasts Bra Finder identifies specific characteristics, that women may not realize, affect the perfect bra fit, such as, if your breasts are full or deflated, or if they are self-supporting or pendulous. It asks specific questions regarding breast separation, fullness, position, shape, breast bone prominence, spine curvature, and more, which all play a role in how a bra fits. It also points out potential reasons of why your breasts may be a certain way as an outcome of aging, weight fluctuation, pregnancy, breast-feeding and wearing the improper bra.” 
 
We think this is such a good idea we decided ask Tomina more about how to find the perfect bra. Here is what Tomina told DolceDolce:
 
DD: Why did you invent this?
TE:  I invented the HerRoom Know Your Breasts Bra Finder, because there is more to a bra fitting correctly than just getting the right size. I’ve been in the business for 10 years and reading customer comments helped me figure this out. Breasts are complicated. My hope was to first help women understand what kind of breasts they have, and then to look more closely at bras before buying to get a better fit.
 
DD: Is it possible to find a bra that actually fits, feels good, and makes your clothes look better?
TE: Absolutely. But, the key to this is also buying a quality bra. A lot of women give up and go with a wire-free bra or something like the Ahh bra. These are comfortable choices. But, if you want to look better while feeling comfortable a quality bra with underwire is the best way to do this.
 
DD: Do you have to spend a fortune to find a good bra?
TE:  Being in the business, I have seen bras from all price ranges. The most complaints we get are from women who have purchased one for less than $30. Yes, these less expensive bras break down faster. For a bra that will last longer, here is what you should look for – sides/back are made with a firm fabric (if you can pull the bra and it stretches easily, this will not last), underwire that are well-encased in a quality and dense casing,   Those are two key features that set bras apart in terms of quality.
 
HerRoom invites women to use this new breast analyzer to eliminate the mystery and frustration in finding the perfect bra. Women who complete the Know Your Breast Bra Finder will receive a 10 percent discount on their next bra purchase at www.Herroom.com
 
 
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Rainy weather hair tips

Rainy weather can make hair droop and frizz resulting in the ultimate bad hair day.
Celebrity stylist and Pureology’s Colour Care Ambassador Natasha Sunshine has list of tips to help you beat the rainy day hair blues:
 
For curly girls, boost your shine power by adding a few drops of Pureology’s Precious Oil to your Illuminating Curl styler. This provides damp hair with a conditioning blast and an extra dose of gloss to fight off the frizz that usually accompanies rainy days.
 
For hair that tends to go flat in wet, damp weather, boost your roots with extra volume with Colour Stylist Root Lift and Silk Bodifier from the mid-shaft down. You'll get the shine you crave without the weight and as long as you can keep dry; your hair will hold volume all day long.
 
You may not be able to keep the rain away, but with these easy tips, you can brave the wettest of conditions with confidence in your hair!
 
Additional DolceDolce rainy weather hair tips:
Try a trendy French braid hairdo. They are easy to learn to do, look chic, and will keep your hair of your face on wet days. Trendy head bands and top knots can also work to keep hair neat when the weather is damp.
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Love lace this fall

Lace skirt from QVC Ornamented, detailed, and luxurious are all words to describe fall fashion. Even for day, a touch of elegant lace is an easy update. Try a simple straight skirt in black or splash out in red lace dress.
 
 Lace skirt from Isaac Mizrahi (ISAACMIZRAHILIV ) Floral Guipure Lace A-Line Skirt from QVC $43.86
Long Sleeve Lace Cocktail Dresses by Sentimental NY $128.00
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Get Anna Paquin’s sexy “Sookie” waves

Anna Paquin in  sexy Sookie waves
HBO’s True Blood is the hottest show on television. HBO’s Hair Department Head Stylist Dennis Parker gives step-by-step instructions on how he achieves Anna Paquin’s sexy "Sookie" waves: 
For voluminous waves, I like to start out by applying a volumizing styling mousse from roots to ends to give the hair body and hold.
 
Then, I spray White Sands Liquid Texture Firm Hold Thermal Styling Spray on each individual section that I am about to curl. Liquid Texture has incredible memory to provide long-lasting waves with a flexible hold infused with amazing shine, which is exactly what I need for long hours on set.
 
I follow by using a large round barreled curling iron.
 
I finish the style by running my fingers gently throughout the hair for maximum volume.
 
 
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A woman on Wall Street

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy is a surprisingly engaging romance set in the heart of New York’s financial district.
 
Alex is a bright young woman who begins her career as a Wall Street analyst right before the 2008 financial crisis. She works on the bond desk at the freewheeling firm of Cromwell Pierce, where she endures what is what an initiation into what s essentially financial frat house.
 
Alex adapts easily; she has always been a tomboy who loves the company of men. She is lucky that her new boss Chick takes a paternal shine to her. Chick protects her as she learns the ropes.
 
Soon Alex has earned her acceptance on the bond desk, and even though she is just 23-years old, she is making a huge end-of-the-year bonus. It sounds too good to be true and it is. Soon Alex’s fairytale life hits a snag. She finds out her boyfriend, a fellow bond trader she is secretly dating, is engaged to someone else.
 
Duffy spent ten years on Wall Street and says she wanted to write a book that showed that not everyone in the industry was “a greedy jerk.” While her book is entertaining and good a good read – she fails. She proves that greed is indeed what drives Wall Street. Over and over as she has her characters repeat the mantra “you have to be willing to do anything to work on Wall Street.” She fails to understand that being a nice to the new girl or your own family does not offset the greed, sexism, and generally unsavory behavior of “the street”. Bond Girl is a good read as well as an unintentional eye-opener.
 
 
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Are you in cognitive decline?

 Are you as sharp as you want to be? If not, then you could be in “cognitive decline.” You have to work to keep your brain in top shape the same way you work out to keep your body tuned up.
 
Fear not. Dr. Eric Braverman, the doctor many Manhattan socialites depend on, has a plan to help you stay sharp as a tack. You may have seen the Real Housewives of New York visit his practice.
 
In Younger Brain, Sharper Mind: A 6-Step Plan for Preserving and Improving Memory and Attention at Any Age from America's Brain Doctor , Dr.Braverman gives advice on diet, exercise supplements, medications, and hormone therapy to sharpen memory, improve problem-solving abilities, and avoid cognitive decline.
 
Cognitive decline is metal aging as the mind slows down and problem solving and reasoning abilities decline with aging. Some experts say this can begin as early as age 45, but the average is 60.
 
This book is full of fascinating, useful information for readers of all ages to stay mentally young and sharp.
 
 
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Easy, spicy low-calorie hummus

We get a lot of requests for this classic easy-to-make recipe. 
Hummus may seem old hat, but make it yourself in minutes, and you will be surprised how fresh and tasty it is. Store-bought hummus, even organic, can be full of extra fat, salt, and calories. 
 
Hummus is a perfect quick appetizer. My guests always love it, even the ones who do
not love hummus. Use any leftovers in sandwiches or for a healthful snack.
It’s low-calorie, only 50 calories for a generous 2 tbsp. serving, so enjoy!
 
This lighter recipe that includes a bit of chicken stock to reduce the amount
of oil needed.
 
Add to a food processor, blender, or container for a stick blender:
 
1 can well-rinsed garbanzo beans or chick peas – preferably organic
1 tbsp. Kadoya Hot Sesame Oil (with chili or cayenne, or use regular plus ½ tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste)
1½ tbsp. plain sesame oil
2 tbsp. plain chicken stock
1½ tsp. salt
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic to taste (must be crushed or minced)
Juice of two lemons (squeeze over a sieve to avoid seeds in hummus)
1 handful of washed flat parsley leaves, about 2 tbsp.
Puree until smooth or slightly chunk as you prefer
 
You may have to stop and stir or shake the container. Chick beans are thick. Taste as you go. You may wish to adjust the lemon or the salt, but do not over-salt.
 
Serve with raw vegetables such as sliced cucumbers. I like to add addictive Lebanese pickled turnips from the Middle Eastern shop. Serve lightly-toasted warm mini pitas cut in half with small individual knives and plates. No one nice dips these days.
 
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