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    Friday, December 29, 2006
    IGIGI Clears Up Shape Confusion

    Ever find the perfect outfit in your size and haul it home only to find out it's less flattering on your silhouette than it was on the rack in the store?

    IGIGI's new 'MyShape' calculator, promises to nix the confusion in your shopping experience by helping you to identify the clothes that would best fit your figure.

    The simple four point analysis determines your body shape in a series of multiple choice questions about your shoulders, bust, waist and hips.

    For more information about how the MyShape Calculator can help you find clothes most suitable for your shape, be sure to visit


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    It's New Years Eve... Do You Know Where Your Martinis Are?

    By Jennie Willis

    The party of the year is right around the corner and if we have learned anything over our past holiday experiences, avoiding the exuberant cost and chaos of restaurants and night clubs is an absolute. This only means however the party has shifted to the home and why not? With the right planning you can easily pull off the biggest party of the year without a sweat!

    1. Invitations

    A successful party begins with a proper invitation. The invitation process may take more time and possibly inflict a little more cost but it is a sure way to know the exact number of attending guests. Invitations also eliminate the party crashing folk that would otherwise be sure to arrive! You will also be much better prepared for food, drink, and transportation this way.

    An invitation can be your best friend during these stressful occasions and they are not limited to paper. Who needs stamps when you can use your computer! Create your invitation on-line. There are several websites that will do all of the work for you. Simply create your invitation and e-mail it to all of your guests. It is wise to personally call your invitees to be sure they received the e-mail invite.

    2. The Menu

    When planning a cocktail party you absolutely have to have great food. This does not mean however that it all has to be prepared by you! Search for recipes in your favorite magazines or on-line and find the perfect hors d’oeuvres and petit fours for your party. Then all you have to do is attach these recipes to your invitations!! It's a brilliant idea to help take all of the pressure off of you the host.

    When your guests prepare the food at home you have so much more time to focus on everything else. This idea works better than potluck because you are still in control of the party. You know what food will be attending so you can better prepare for it with appropriate serving utensils, toothpicks, napkins, and trays.

    It is wise to take your plan even further by estimating the service time for your cold and hot dishes. Remember you may only have one refrigerator for you party so beware of the dishes that you choose to serve!

    3. The Bar

    Again another great way to take this party to another level is to specify in your invitations which alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages to bring. Martinis are the drink of choice these days so why not ask your guests to bring a bottle that will contribute to your cocktail recipes?!

    Champagne or sparkling wine is an absolute must for New Years Eve party's so be sure to provide plenty of bubbles for the evening. Although bubble is fantastic on its own, spice it up with a splash of flavored liquor for a new experience. Such cocktails as Champagne cocktail, and Kir Royals make a perfectly festive treat for your guests.

    Don't forget to have plenty of glassware and of course lots of prepared garnish for your New Years Eve cocktails!

    Here are a few martini recipes to help get you started!

    Cosmopolitan Martini

    11/2oz Vodka
    1/2 oz Triple sec
    2 oz Cranberry juice
    1 oz Lime juice or 2 fresh squeezed lime wedges

    Pour into a martini Shaker over ice, Shake vigorously. Strain, Pour into a chilled martini glass, Shake to add ice chips No Ice (Up) Preferred* or over Ice (Rocks)

    Garnish with lime or cranberries or both.

    Lemon Drop Martini

    2oz Lemon Vodka
    1/2 oz Triple sec
    4 - 8 squeezed lemons (Add used Lemons to tumbler)

    Pour into a martini Shaker over ice, Shake vigorously Rim Martini Glass with Sugar
    Strain, Pour into a chilled martini glass No Ice (Up) Preferred* or over Ice (Rocks)

    Garnish with lemon twist.

    Chocolate Martini

    1 oz Vodka
    1 oz Creme de cacao
    Pour into a martini Shaker over ice, Shake vigorously. Strain, Pour into a chilled martini glass - No Ice (Up) Preferred* or over Ice (Rocks)

    Garnish with cherries, cranberries or chocolate sprinkles.

    Espresso Martini

    1 oz Vodka
    1 oz Kahlua or Coffee Liquor
    1 Shot of Espresso
    Pour into a martini Shaker over ice, Shake vigorously. Strain, Pour into a chilled martini glass - No Ice (Up) Preferred* or over Ice (Rocks)

    Garnish with 3 Espresso beans.

    Champagne Cocktail

    3/4 oz Brandy
    1 sugar cube
    Fill remainder of glass with Champagne or Sparkling Wine

    Garnish with lemon twist

    Kir Royal
    3/4 oz Cassis Liquor
    Fill remainder of glass with Champagne or Sparkling Wine
    Garnish with lemon twist

    When you include your guests in the party planning process you can be sure to have all the time and the energy to pull off all the stops. For more helpful tips and recipes visit our site!

    About the Author:

    Jennie Wills is a hospitality expert with over ten years experience. Visit for more unique cocktail recipes and party planning tips!

    Article Source:

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006
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    5 Steps to a Beautiful Bedroom

    By Lauren Sia Teh

    1. Know your Bed.

    It's the centerpiece of your bedroom, and deserves to be treated as such. This means making it the focal point of your room, yes, but also that you should make it as comfortable and inviting as possible.

    Consider what the best size of bed is for you. If you sleep alone, you might want to go beyond a Twin (or Single) bed and invest in a Double (or Full) bed- it's 15-inches wider. If space and budget allows, a Queen-sized bed will give you 6-inches more!

    If you share the bed, a King-sized mattress might be the best option for you. A Standard King (also called an Eastern King) is about 18-inches wider than a Queen, making it the widest mattress size of all. A California (or Western King) is 12-inches wider than a Queen and 4-inches longer.

    Be careful when buying bedsheets, and make sure you purchase the right size. You need to be extra careful with fitted sheets, which are cut to fit exact sizes.

    2. Create a bedroom that meets your needs.

    What do you do in your bedroom? Most of us do much more than just sleep in our bedrooms. We dress, read, do yoga, fix our hair, and more. It's important to keep these things in mind when decorating your bedroom.

    If you're a little short on closet space, for example, it might be a good idea to invest in a roomy dresser or armoire with large drawers. Like to read in bed? Purchase a set of sturdy night tables to keep your favorite books close at hand.

    3. Don't underestimate the power of lighting.

    Lighting is one of the most powerful things you can use when decorating the bedroom of your dreams. Nothing can set a romantic, relaxing or soothing ambience more than proper lighting.

    Because it's a bedroom, you probably want to steer clear of too-harsh lighting (making that bright fluorescent bulb a no-no!) Some good and solid (you don't need to go with frilly if that's not your style) table lamps may be all you need on your bedside tables, plus one or two floor lamps near an armchair to light your reading.

    4. Cut the Clutter.

    I know, I's easier said than done. But this is probably the single most important thing you can do for your bedroom (actually for your entire home!) The reason why so many of us love traveling and staying in five-star hotels is because of the lack of clutter they offer.

    Get a couple of empty boxes, and be ruthless with your things. Send some things to the junkyard, have a garage sale with a bunch of friends, or donate it all to Goodwill. Then you can exhale.

    5. Be bold. Be yourself.

    Don't feel you have to stick to any sort of cookie-cutter formula when decorating your bedroom. Your side tables don't have to match. You don't need to coordinate your curtains to your duvet cover. Instead, close your eyes and picture where you want to be when you turn in for the night...and decorate accordingly.

    The best thing about decorating is that you can do it again. And again...and again.

    About the Author:

    Lauren believes that knowledge is power. Learn more about beautifying your home by reading her other decorating tips featured at Decorate for Less.

    Article Source:

    Friday, December 01, 2006
    Jean Paul Gaultier's Size 28 Runway Model Talks to Entertainment Tonight....

    Plus-Size Velvet's Eating Disorder Past

    VELVET d'AMOUR is the plus-sized model who made waves and international headlines last month when she walked the runway at JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER's fashion show in lacy black lingerie.

    Now, our KEVIN FRAZIER is in Paris as Velvet shows him how she makes big women beautiful and how she's hoping to change the perception of beauty.

    "If I'm fat [or] if I'm thin, I feel like I'm beautiful," Velvet tells Kevin. "I think that is more about confidence than how one looks physically."

    But Velvet wasn't always so accepting of her body. When she was a teen, Velvet had tried modeling in the States, but even at a svelte 120 pounds, agents told her she was too big.

    "In order to stay thin, one avoided eating for all necessity," she tells Kevin. "I would have jello, and I would mix it with hot water, and I would drink it before it was set so that I would feel a sensation of being full, when I was quite hungry, in fact."

    But it didn't quite work like she expected. "I was literally so hungry that I was obsessed by food," she says.

    "There was a time when I very much hated my body, when I started gaining weight after I had tried so very much to lose weight," she explains. "In that cycle I would starve myself to death and i would eat tons of food."

    But now, Velvet has a healthier body image and confidence to spare, and it's something she exudes for photographer PASCAL BOISSIER as she poses for a photo shoot. This confidence is something she hopes to inspire in other plus-sized models.

    "Twenty-eight," she says matter-of-factly when asked her size. "Not a size 20 as has been purported on the Internet. Clearly, if you weigh near 300 pounds, you're not a size 20."

    While she does model now, Velvet began as a photographer, and that remains her first love. Kevin caught up with Velvet to watch her work behind the camera as she shot photos of three "BBWs" -- "Big Beautiful Women." And she doesn't shy away from the sexy shots with her plus-sized models.

    "I think part of what is powerful is sexuality and being sexy and feeling sexy," she says.

    Velvet has found the positive in being big instead of the negative of not being stick thin. "If you want to spend your life hating yourself and being with people who don't like you, that's an option," she says. "But certainly you have the option to love yourself and to live in the moment."

    Article Courtesy of

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    Top 12 Exercises To Get a Tight Booty!

    By Jeanette Jenkins

    Do you want to get a tight tush like J.Lo or a bootylicious back side like Beyonce? Let it be known that these women have great assets because they work for them. Even Latifah loves her new booty that she developed from doing booty specific exercises. I have watched many women transform their back sides by doing booty specific exercises and following a healthy meal plan. If you want to create a Bikini Bottom like Cameron Diaz then do these exercises 3 times a week!

    These are the most effective exercises that I always include in a workout designed to tighten your tush:

    Standing Exercises 1-2 sets, 15-25 reps

    1) Single Leg Squats - bodyweight: Start standing with feet hip distance apart. Lift your left foot 1inch off of the floor and put all of your bodyweight onto your right leg. Send your hips back as if you were going to sit into a chair. Make sure your right knee does not push over your right toe. Drive through your right heel, carrying all of your weight on your right leg and squeeze your right tush at the top. Repeat for 15-25 reps and then do the other leg.

    2) Reverse Lunges - 3lb-8lb dumbbells: Start standing wit feet hip distance apart. Step back 3-4 feet with your right leg and land on the ball of your right foot. Lower your right knee towards the floor until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Drive through your left heel, carrying all of your weight on your left leg and return your standing position squeezing your left tush. Repeat 15-25 reps and then do the other leg.

    3) Squats - 5lb-10lb dumbbells: Place dumbbells on your shoulders and start standing with feet shoulder width apart. Send your hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair. Go as low as you can without pushing your knees over your toes. Push back up to a standing position by driving through your heels and your hips and then squeeze your booty when you get to the top. Repeat for 15-25 reps.

    4) Side Kicks, Round House Kicks and Back Kicks - Do 15-25 reps of each kick. If you are a beginner then I recommend that you ask a kickboxing instructor to teach you how to safely execute these kicks with good form and technique.

    Floor Exercises 1-2 sets, 15-25 reps

    1) Back Kicks on all fours - Start on a mat on your hands and knees. Pull your abdominals in tight to support your back then push your right leg towards the ceiling, creating a 45 degree angle. Squeeze your buttocks when your leg is fully extended and then return your knee to directly under your hip. Repeat this movement for 15-25 reps and then switch to the other leg.

    2) Fire Hydrant on all fours- Start on a mat on your hands and knees. Pull your abdominals in tight to support your lower back and lift your right knee out to the side like a dog lifting there leg to go to the bathroom. Squeeze the outside of your buttocks and then lower your leg. Repeat this movement 15-25 reps and then switch to the other leg.

    3) Shoulder bridge butt squeezes - Start on your back with arms facing down on the ground, knees bent and feet placed about one foot in front of your knees. Drive your hips into the air by pushing through your heels and squeeze your buttocks. Lower your hips about two inches and then press back up squeezing your buttocks. Repeat this motion for 15-25 reps

    4) Single leg shoulder bridge butt squeezes - Use the same form as the regular shoulder bridge above except on slight change. Lift your left foot 2 inches off of the ground and balance all of your weight on the right leg, squeezing the right buttocks each time you lift the hips. Repeat for 15-25 reps then change legs.

    Cardio Exercises 20-45 minutes

    1) Hiking or Treadmill Walking on an Incline of 5.0-10.0
    2) Climbing Stairs or Stair climber Machine
    3) Ice Skating, Rollerblading or Skating Machine
    4) Jogging or 5 sets of 30-90 second Sprint Intervals with 2-3 minutes of recovery

    I have designed a twenty minute Butt and Thigh Blast Workout DVD specifically designed to tighten your tush and it has been hailed by many as their favorite workout. To check out "The Hollywood Trainer Butt and Thigh Blast Workout" that includes all of the standing and floor exercises listed above go to .

    About the Author:

    Jeanette Jenkins, founder and president of The Hollywood Trainer(tm), is a Nike Elite Athlete and the official spokesperson for BET Foundation's "A Healthy BET." Her expertise as a fitness and nutritional consultant has been featured on, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Extra, Access Hollywood,,,, The Tyra Banks Show, the Food Network, VH1, and on the BET network. Her work has been profiled in People, O Magazine, InStyle, Fitness, Shape, Self, Redbook, Glamour, CosmoStyle, and Essence, among other magazines. She writes regular columns for the Los Angeles Daily News, Urban Influence Magazine, Precious Times and just to name a few. She has worked with many celebrities including Queen Latifah, actress Taryn Manning, swimsuit model Amy Weber, and several NFL and NBA athletes. Jenkins studied human kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and holds more than seventeen international certifications covering nutrition and various fitness training methods.

    Article Source:



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