Monday, December 22, 2008

Maid of Honor Toolbox – 5 Must Haves For A Sassy (yet Classy) Celebration

27 Dresses hit a little too close to home. Not to toot my own horn but I am the Best Maid of Honor ever. Toot! Toot!! At this point, I have it down to a fine art. The speech that brings tears and laughter to the audience, the bridal shower which I will not only organize and cater but where I will also act as the florist, therapist, stylist and diet coach, the thoughtful keepsake for the bride which she will cherish forever and last, but certainly not least, the bachelorette party that is worth a lifetime of memories and gut-wrenching laughter (and if I have anything to say about it a run-in with the law!)

Do you have a friend about to enter into a lifetime agreement called marriage?? If so, I have tools for you sister!!

Bachelorette Party Activities:

Design Your Own Lingerie Party by Evlove Intimates - The ultimate bachelorette party activity.
To start, pour a glass of wine and select your favorite style (there are 10 to choose from including G-string, boy short, or thong on the bottom and bralet or cami up top). Next choose one of the lush fabrics (modal, lace, nylon mesh). And finally, add the finishing touches or trim (ribbon, braid, satin) and an applique (bow or flower).
In three weeks and you’ll receive your very own, specially designed lingerie set in a silky, lingerie bag.

“I get so much joy out of helping women celebrate their beauty—it’s why I started the company and why I am passionate about my work. I think the lingerie parties have become so popular because they give women a unique opportunity to play lingerie designer and truly create something that is one of a kind!” said owner Jenny Dombroski. “The experience is fun, memorable and best of all the bride gets the perfect gift – one she creates herself!”

Flirty Girl Fitness – These ladies have thought of everything! You can take a pole dancing or strip-tease class, get manicures and pedicures and there is even a bar service. My girlfriends and I learned a choreographed pole dance to Santa Baby. Now that is a girl’s night out!!

Gifts for the Bride:
Cutest Bridal Flip Flops by Girl Two Doors Down’s – adorned with a crystal ring and inscribed with the words, “What’s mine is mine, what’s his is definitely all mine — I do!!”

Eva Longoria wore a pair of these before her big day as did a handful of other celebrities.

Handmade Photo Album by AI Paper Design – A heartfelt keepsake for the bride to be.

I usually present this to the bride at the shower, near the end of the festivities.

As guests come in, they are asked to pose for a Polaroid picture, then they write a piece of advice (on marriage or their thoughts on love) onto pretty paper. The inside of the album consists of envelopes so I attach the photo of the guest (by using photo corners) on the front side of the envelope and their advice goes inside. Someone had better give me one of these for my wedding. I’ve given several and every time I think “I kind of want to hold on to this for when my time comes.”
AI Paper Company
P: (248) 414-7222

T-Shirt Deli – create a cute tank top that reads “Mrs. X” (fill in bride’s new surname). She will love it and she’ll be relieved that she won’t have to spend hours deciding what to wear to the bachelorette party! If you really want to wow the bride, you can print shirts for the bridal party as well. This is not only a cute gesture but it also helps keep track of a large group in crowded places (we all know this only gets more difficult throughout the night as more martinis are consumed and penis paraphernalia is lost!)


Paper Doll – the cutest invitations and albums are found in this charming Wicker Park boutique. They also feature modern stationery and gifts.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flirting with 30 - beauty profile

Okay, so I was thirty, a few weeks ago. Sigh. I like many women am traumatized by the thought of getting older, but I suppose I should count my lucky stars that I get carded more often than not, and I’m often told that I look four or five years younger.

Nevertheless, I have always been a sun worshipper and I am a very expressive person as well. The line across my forehead seems to find me in every photo and lately, every time I glance in the mirror, I have noticed the laugh lines that frame my mouth. This usually ends in a loud “Why me? Why??” as I look to the sky and hold out my hands like a kid standing under a piñata. I am committed to stopping the aging process and minimizing fine lines and sun spots -- I will attempt to do this with a holistic approach to health and careful skin regimen. Jennifer Aniston seems to have found a cure for aging and DAMN it, I will too!

A few years ago I realized that I was too liberal with smiles. I smiled at my boyfriend even when I was annoyed with him, I smiled at the pizza guy, I smiled at dogs, small children and the old lady crossing the street. Living in a big city, this often generates confusion and in many instances, glares. Not only that, but I realized that I was deepening my fine lines and for what? So that the hipster making my latte in the morning would think I was nice (and unlike the people hastily grabbing for their coffees?) No more!! Smile rationing was in full effect and the only people who can see my pearly whites are friends, family, and current gentleman caller. Okay, so I still smile at dogs. I can’t help it.

I learned over the years that if you want to be beautiful it needs to start from the inside. Being a good person is crucial but I am also referring to nutrition. I try to stick to a healthy diet of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. I have drastically cut back on sugar, processed foods and I replaced coffee for green tea. I almost always have a bottle of water in my hand. I am sorry to say, but if you want a porcelain complexion then you have to stay away from booze and smoking, unless of course your idea of beauty is Amy Winehouse.

I decided several months ago to try my very first peel, but, instead of opting for a chemical peel and looking like one of those scary peroxide blondes who looks like she survived a forest fire on her way to work (and wears huge sunglasses even though it's raining outside) , I opted for a subtler approach.

Green Peel®, was developed by Dr. Schrammek and involves a blend of dried, crushed herbs being massaged into the skin. Green Peel does not injure the skin. In fact, most of the herbs contained in Green Peel are known in for their healing, soothing and regenerating effect. Spirulina, one of the herbs found in Green Peel, is estimated to contain 250 vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Helena Spa
P: (312) 545-4108

I did my research and discovered that Helena K offers the most reasonable deal around. Unlike most salons, she will also include the products you need to care for your skin in the days following your treatment. The actual treatment itself takes about an hour and a half. You will feel a light burn during the treatment while the herbs are being rubbed into your skin. I recommend that you get an eyelash tint and eyebrow wax and tint, because for the next 5 days, you will not be able to wear make-up. Helena also includes a marvelous, tinted moisturizing crème to use on your skin for those five days, so hiding in your house is unnecessary.

Day 1
Get your Green Peel toward the end of the day. You might experience a little bit of redness. It is important to stay out of the sun and if you have to be outside, please wear a hat (at the end of the 5 days you can wear sunscreen).

Day 2
Your skin will be absolutely radiant! I had men stopped in their tracks in downtown Chicago. My skin looked incredible! Helena instructed me to wear the tinted cream, which I did, but she also shaped and tinted my eyebrows and she tinted my eyelashes, so I looked really put together despite not wearing foundation.

Day 3 and 4
It is likely that you will see some peeling. Not to worry. Just continue to massage the tinted cream into your skin.

Day 5
Return to Helena for a final visit. She will lightly exfoliate the dead skin. When you walk out you won’t believe how radiant you skin looks. Most spas do not offer this final consultation – just one more reason why Helena is the best.

- For the five days preceding your Green Peel, you must be very careful with sun exposure. If you have to be outside, wear a hat. After the 5 days is up, you can wear SPF.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
- You should not wear make-up for the five days after your treatment
- You should be very careful not to get your face wet for the five days after the treatment (if you can keep your skin dry then the herbs will work that much better – and they will continue to work!)