Holiday nails!

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It is easy to create the latest trendy nails looks at home with just a few bottles of the new unique metallic and glitter nail lacquers from SpaRiutals. Here are two looks we love for the holidays and the how-to directions to recreate them.

The Reverse French Mani

Start by applying one coat of TrueBond Primer on all nails followed by TrueBond Basecoat.

Apply the  Authentically to all nails leaving a half-moon shape at the base of each nail.

With a detailer brush (or use a small paint brush), fill in the blank half-moon shape on each nail using the SpaRituals colour Living. Allow to dry completely.

Forego using a topcoat to enjoy the matte finish of this nail look.


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Start by applying one coat of TrueBond Primer on all nails followed by TrueBond Basecoat.

Apply SpaRituals colour Spirit to the index, middle and pinky finger nails. On the thumb and ring fingers, apply SpaRituals colour Finding.

Using a detailer brush and the shade SpaRituals colour Finding, create four large triangles pointing towards the middle of the nail on the thumb and ring fingers.

When dry, finish the look with our TrueBond Topcoat.


Get organized for the holidays!

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ScentsiclesMost people need to spruce up their homes for holidays. Home expert Elizabeth Dodson offers simple tips to get your home ready for guests and festive gatherings.

Elizabeth is the co-founder of, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. Her  practical tips will help even the busiest household get organized.

Here are Elizabeth Dodson’s tips              Elizabeth suggests bringing the scent of the season. We like Scentsicles.

Put the kids to work

 It seems that during this busy and fun time of year kids are never home when you need help. This leaves you with a long list of chores, however, now is the time to change this. Give your kids responsibilities that they can do to get the home in tip-top shape. By adding extra hands to the clean-up crew you are guaranteed to be done faster and be less stressed.

Start early

The holidays are a whirlwind of events but if you have guests coming to your home for Christmas, start now. Make a list of the things that need to be done and start as soon as possible. Change the guest room’s bedding, clear out the garage, and clean, clean, clean!

Bring the holiday scents inside

Candles or wall plug-ins, however you want to scent you home, bring the pumpkin, pine, candy canes, cookies and other flavors inside.   For a homemade scent, try cooking cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels with apple cider or red wine for a natural scent, but also a tasty treat when guests arrive.  Baking cookies is also a great way to showcase the holiday season and can offer young children a little treat for their visit. loves Scentsicles

They are natural scents. The fresh cut pine and cinnamon smell perfect for the holidays.


Keep priceless décor out of harm’s way

If you have some passed-down holiday décor that has a special place in your memory and you really want to display it but feel that it might get damaged if put in plain view, try moving these precious items to areas where your guest cannot easily touch them and yet they can be viewed. This is also important with special ornaments on trees. Try moving the most fragile and priceless pieces to the top of the tree so that wagging tails and small children are not able to reach them near the bottom of the tree.

Get your guest bedrooms ready

Holidays usually mean visiting family members. It is a great time to get your guest bedrooms ready for their arrival. Make sure the sheets are clean and you have enough blankets to keep your guests warm. Additionally, place towels in their room for use in the bathrooms. If you are also getting the bathrooms ready, add a few travel-sized toiletries for their stay to let them know you were thinking of making their arrival easy.

Stock up on extra gifts

In those times of potential awkwardness – because someone gave you a present and you did not have one to give back – pick up a few extra gifts. You can find some great neutral gifts for children and adults that can go a long way during the holiday season.  Storing them in a closet for those just-in-case moments is the perfect spot for that exact time you need them. These gifts can also be used as host and hostess gifts as you get invited to other homes for holiday festivities.

Identify food challenges

With family and friends visiting, find out what food allergies or practices they might have to prevent any challenges. If you have family with specific allergies, you can learn to make dishes without those ingredients. If you have vegetarian friends, try new recipes with beans or other hearty vegetables to help these vegetarians get plenty of protein and enough to eat. Some of the population has gluten intolerance or cannot process alcohol, so making sure you have the appropriate dishes for gluten-free eaters and non-alcoholic drinks for those non-drinkers will give everyone an enjoyable experience this holiday season.


What better way to make sure everyone is having a good time than to fill your home with games for all ages? Finding ways to entertain children by putting puzzles together, playing a mean round of ‘go fish,’ or simply reading stories aloud can ensure that the little ones are enjoying themselves. Try charades or Pictionary for great interactive games for adults and older children. If the weather is nice, taking in a touch football game and playing tag or hide and seek outside can get the blood pumping and keep the energy alive in your home.


Stop and breathe. It is the holiday season and it can be a chaotic time with family and friends in your home and more decorations than you can imagine. Remember that the holidays are about being together. Even if you forgot a few tips here and there, you will still be with great family and friends. So if you need a moment, take time to read a book or run to the grocery store and escape the mayhem in your home.  A peaceful drive to the grocery store might go a long way during the holiday season.



How to grow out your hair

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Are you experiencing “haircut regret”? That is when you cut your hair dramatically due to chemical damage or a life-changing experience and then regret it.

There has been a rash of sudden and startling short haircuts in Hollywood over the last year. Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence confessed their pixie cuts were the result of hair damage. And not all short cuts are cause for regret. Michelle Williams and Hallie Berry are pixie dos! Halle Berry is a Pixie Do!

                                                                                                         Image Gage Skidmore,

But if you are looking for a way to make your hair grow faster, David Kingsley has some answers. He is a trichologist, aVivn expert on hair and the scalp, and the son of Philip Kingsley who is known as the “Hair Guru. “Hair will only grow at its set optimum speed,” Kingsley said, “and that’s genetically predetermined.” Kingsley was quoted in a recent article in the New York Times, and confirmed that, “the average (hair growth) is about half an inch per month.”

Kingsley emphasizes that diet is important for healthy hair growth, “Make sure you’re getting enough protein, Vitamin D, biotin, iron and B12,” he said. In the same article, he mentioned Viviscal, a supplement that models and celebrities rave about. He said that while it can enhance hair health it won’t actually speed up growth. He also warned not you should not overdo supplements.

If you don’t eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fatty fish, fresh fruit, and vegetables, then a hair supplement might make sense for you.  

Viviscal Extra Strength contains  AminoMar  a marine complex available exclusive to Viviscal supplements. Marine protein has been clinically proven to be beneficial for hair growth and health.  It is “derived from marine protein molecules combined with a blend of Horsetail (Stem) Extract and naturally occurring Silica”. It also contains Biotin, Vitamins H and C, and iron, which are all proven to enhance hair growth. Thinning hair is often a visible symptom of an iron deficiency.

Hair problems can be a reflection of your health. Any sudden or severe hair loss should be reported to your doctor.

The site contains a lot of information about hair loss and its prevention and treatment.



Out damn spot

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Spots and stains are never fun but when you are traveling a mishap to your wardrobe can be a serious inconvenience. Simply Spotless New York’s essential travel collection can save your clothes and perhaps your day.

The kit contains small bottles that are easy to pack and, at two ounces and smaller, will pass TSA regulations.  The kit contains fabric cleaner, linen mist, and laundry cleaner. Meryl Santopietro company’s founder explained, “As an interior designer for more than twenty years, I realized the need for cleaning products as a lifestyle choice”.  The environmentally-conscious products contain a cosmetic-grade level of ingredients which, according to the company, “make the product 30 to 50 percent more effective than other cleaning products on the market”.

I tried the Spot Remover on delicate white cotton. It lifted a spot instantly and dried with no tell-tale ring.

Removing spots to avoid unnecessary dry cleaning is one of the best ways to preserve the life of your fine garments.

Simply Spotless New York’s essential travel collection cost $30. for stores in the U.S. and Canada.



Retro detox

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If you over indulge during the holidays why not try a “Retro-detox”. In the Golden Days of Hollywood, stars often dropped a few extra pounds by eating half a grapefruit and a hardboiled egg for a breakfast and lunch for a day or two. Sweet Scarletts offers delicious red grapefruit from Texas. Half a grapefruit is only 60 calories and is full of Vitamin C. A hardboiled egg contains 80 calories of protein and fat.

Remember a restricted calorie diet or detox is not a long-term solution to weight management.


Silence is golden

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As we officially enter “the busy season” try to remember that silence is golden.

Silence can help restore your peace of mind. Try holding your tongue when you are tired or cross, or when someone offends you or is looking for a fight. Then watch how quickly they lose interest in you. The holidays make many people fractious, anxious, and angry. If you remain calm and above all quiet in the face of hot tempers and frustrated egos, tempers cool faster.

And restore your own energy in blissful silence with a cup of tea, on a yoga mat, or in a hot bath. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel after a few moments away from the din.

Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love because, my darlings that is truly where the sweet life lies.

DolceDolce is free. Please forward us to all your friends. And please follow us on Facebook at . We post new items and tips weekly, except during our posted hiatuses several times a year. Please send us your comments by emailing us at the same address, or sharing in Facebook. We will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!

Until next time, have a sweet week and please follow us on Facebook

We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.

Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

Follow me @graceysays

All contents copyright © 2014


Chatting with Bravo’s Bleona of the Euros

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We loved interviewing Bravo’s newest star, Bleona. She is the most outspoken cast member of Bravo’s new hit show Euros of Hollywood, about a group of Europeans who are trying to make it big in Hollywood.

Bleona is billed in the show’s tagline as “the Albanian Madonna”.  But she soon sets everyone straight: she is not a Madonna copy but an original. As an international pop star she has already sold more than 1.5 million albums and now she is out to make her mark in the U.S.

Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, Bleona made her big American debut performing at the White Party in Palm Springs. The song in the video is her newest single, Famous.

Here is our exclusive interview with Bravo’s Bleona:

DD:  What was the most surprising thing about Euros of Hollywood? Who was the biggest surprise in a good way and also in a bad way? 

BLEONA: I think the most surprising thing people will find on the show is how different our group really is.  American people perceive us [Europe] as one whole entity. And the truth of the matter is Europe is different from America in that we have different cultures, different languages, and different backgrounds.  When they came up with the concept for “Euros of Hollywood,” the production company thought it was going to be easy because it was just a group of Europeans trying to make it in the U.S. Basically, because of our different personalities, it was like it was like throwing a lion, a lamb, a wolf, and a fox in one cage or you’ll get ridiculous confusion!

It was really funny because I guess the producers didn’t expect the differences between us to be that big, but things exploded into a fight the night of the first dinner.

Another big surprise is that no one is really who they say they are in the beginning.  Every character will be perceived very differently in the first two episodes, but the truth will come out in the end.

DD: What would surprise people most to know about you? 

BLEONA: It’s very easy to paint me as the villain because I’m so outspoken and direct. I’m doing me everywhere I go. What people don’t know about me is that besides being a diva, which I am proud of, I’m also a real person, and I do things for myself. It may look like I have a lot of help from a lot of people, but in reality I have a very strict discipline about what I do and who I am. I’m also a real person with a real heart who has supported my family since I was twelve years old. I know I can be perceived in a negative light until people take the time to get to know who I really am.

DD:  What are your three beauty must-haves and why? 

BLEONA: I never go to sleep without removing my make-up.  Remember I started performing since I was five years old, so I’ve been wearing makeup for a long time.  My must-have is my special green drink that my mother makes for me every day.  It’s a power drink that really helps with everything.

Bleona’s breakfast smoothie recipe: 1 pear (can also use 3/4 c. fresh berries, kiwi, pineapple, or papaya) 2″ cucumber or 1 whole Persian cucumber ½ stalk celery 1 small handful greens (romaine, mixed greens, kale, chard, etc.) 1/3 c. lemon juice 2″ peeled ginger 1 Tbsp. flax seed oil 2 Tbsp. Billy’s greens (or other similar green powder, algae complex) 1 Tbsp. Billy’s Vitamin C

1Tbsp protein 1tsp Maca (can add more if needing an extra morning boost and/or weaning off of coffee) 1tsp chlorophyll

1 c. water

Also, Techno shape is a belt that you use when you are on the treadmill. It’s a low intensity pressure therapy, which burns your fat in minutes.  It has pressurized air which increases circulation in your mid side area…. As a result you can lose a lot of inches in your waist. It really works!

DD: What are your fashion must-haves for every day? 

BLEONA: My jewelry! My jewelry is – how I say this in English? – my Achilles heel. If I wear my heels and I have my jewelry, the rest doesn’t really matter.

DD: What is the secret of your fitness routine? 

BLEONA: My fitness routine includes chocolate. I’m just kidding. I’m going to be honest: I can’t stand the gym. I do however get expert advice from fitness professionals, and I try to do some sort of workout every day. Whether it is playing soccer or swimming, I try to do some sort of cardio workout, and when I feel tired, I’ll just do some Pilates.

DD: What is always in your handbag? 

BLEONA: In my handbag you will always find USB cables, a hard drive, and other professional musical devises/tools. It’s funny because when you look at me, you’d think that I just have a ton of beauty products in my bag, but I’m like a guy in that sense.

DD:  What is one thing you want everyone to know about you?

BLEONA: One thing I want everyone to know is that I’m a very honest person, and sometimes because of my honesty I can be perceived in the wrong way. I just want people to be patient and give me a chance to show them who I really am.


Holiday Detox

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The day after Thanksgiving my health club is full of people trying to burn off calories. For many people, holidays can trigger a cycle of overindulgence followed by starvation detoxes. But, according to David Zulberg the author of sgiving Detox, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Zulberg has a plan to help you enjoy holidays without going from feast to famine. Zulberg’s “Turbo Phase” is an alternative to short-term detox plans that drastically cut calories to compensate for binging.

Here are David Zulberg’s Turbo Phase recommendations for Thanksgiving:

On Thanksgiving Day:

Daily Affirmation: “I am staying on track and happy to be taking care of myself”

Begin the day with two glasses of water (cold or hot).

Exercise: At least 10 to 20 minutes of walking

Breakfast: Fruit Meal (Light meal)

Two glasses of water midmorning or glass of water and then a cup of herbal tea

Snack: Low fat yogurt (Substitution method)

Lunch: Salad with tuna topping and low-fat dressing (PV meal – majority vegetable)

Two glasses of water mid-afternoon and/or coffee

Snack: Strips of vegetables (Substitution method)

Dinner: Thanksgiving Meal (V-Plus meal)

The day after Thanksgiving:

Daily Affirmation: “Health is not simply the absence of sickness.”

Begin the day with two glasses of water (cold or hot).

Exercise: At least 10 to 20 minutes of walking each day

Breakfast: Oatmeal or all-bran cereal with low-fat milk (Light meal less than 250 calories) two glasses of water midmorning or glass of water with herbal tea

Snack: Fruit (Substitution method)

Lunch: Salad with chicken topping and low-fat dressing (PV meal – majority vegetable)

Two glasses of water midday

Snack: Fruit (Substitution method)

Dinner: Grilled salmon and sautéed vegetables (PV meal)

Zulberg doesn’t advocate using the plan to gorge and recover. The goal is healthy, balanced enjoyment. The Turbo Phase is designed to help you regain your balance if you overindulge without starving.