3 Hot Ideas To Spice Up Your Relationship

A sizzling love life doesn’t just happen, and sometimes you have to work at having better sex. If your sex life is blah and boring, there are ways to spice things up. Here are three ways to improve your sex life and put the pizzazz back into your relationship.

Plan a date night

Some couples find their sex lives are taking a backseat to their careers and family responsibilities. If you’re having trouble finding time for a steamy session of great sex, make a date. Pick out an evening when you can be alone, arrange for childcare if you need it, and plan a night devoted to nothing except pure pleasure!

Since anticipation is part of the fun, smile to yourself as you think about your upcoming “date” with your guy. Set the stage with candles, your favourite romantic music and whatever else helps you to set the mood. Don’t allow the outside world to intrude – this is a special time for just the two of you.

You may feel awkward the first time you try this, or guilty about taking time away from your jobs or the kids. Just remember that you’re putting time into keeping your relationship together, and that’s important to both of you as well as everyone around you.

Don’t be afraid to get naughty

When a couple has been together for a while, it’s easy to slip into the habit of doing the same things over and over. Why not improve your sex life by trying some new tricks? If you’ve had any naughty fantasies, now is the time to turn them into reality—with your honey, of course!

If you’ve been too shy to peek inside a sex shop, maybe now is the time to check one out. See what types of lingerie, sex toys and other items call out to you. If the two of you have never watched a porn film together or tried a flavoured lubricant, maybe now’s the time to expand your sexual horizons!

Explore your fantasies

Have you and your guy shared your own dreams and desires? Maybe the key to greater sex will be bringing some of those fantasies to life! This is also the perfect way to shed your inhibitions and tell each other what really turns you on.

Look for ways to explore your fantasies in real life—without getting into trouble! If you’ve dreamed of having sex in public, pick a dark night when you’re alone together and toss down a blanket in the back yard. If you’re worried about nosy neighbours, how about doing it on the kitchen table or some other “forbidden” spot around the house?

Being in a long, comfortable relationship is no excuse for becoming complacent about your sex life. It’s never to late to try new tricks for better sex! Having greater sex will make both of you much happier.

How to Do the Perfect Mani-Pedi at Home

Getting a weekly mani-pedi at a salon is the ultimate in pampering, but sometimes you’re too busy or just strapped for cash. Whether you’re trying to save time, money, or both, it’s not that difficult to do a mani-pedi at home, provided you have the right supplies. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to turn your bathroom into your own personal beauty salon!

Come clean
The first thing you need to do is remove the old polish from both fingers and toes. All removers are drying, so use as little as necessary.

Next, start soaking your feet. A nice warm soak feels divine, plus it softens the skin and the nails so they will be easier to clip. A bit of bath oil or shower gel helps with softening and smells good, too. We also like a drop of coconut or olive oil.

While your feet are soaking, file your fingernails into shape with a good emery board. If you’re not going to polish, buff to a smooth shine.

For super smooth tootsies, apply a scrub to your feet. You don’t need expensive scrubs, try sugar or salt mixed with a few drops of olive oil. Oats are smoothing and smell great too.

Now it’s time to dry off your feet and start clipping the nails. Clip nails straight across, but don’t go too short.

Buff off calluses and rough spots with a foot file or pumice stone. Apply a cuticle remover or gently push back the skin around the nails of both your hands and feet. Be sure to remove all cuticle remover or other substances from nails before applying polish.

Pedi perfect
Ever wonder why your toes look so smooth and shiny after a salon pedi? The secret is filing down the grooves in your toenails, especially the big one. Use the rough side of a buffing cube to smooth those grooves, then buff to a soft shine.

Always do your toes first, because you don’t want to mess up your nails after they’re done. I’ve found that toes look smoother with the use of a ridge-filling base coat, but you may be able to do fine with the same one you use for your fingernails. When the base coat is dry, apply two coats of polish, then a top coat.

Mani magic
When your toes are done, start on your nails. Apply a base coat, picking one that’s best for your nails. Base coats come in formulas like ridge-filling, strengthening and hardening. Apply two coats of polish and one of top coat.

Tips and tricks
* If your toes overlap, buy those foam toe separators for a neater pedi.
* If you have a small crack or tear, repair it with a quick-drying nail glue before applying polish.
* If you leave smudges of coloured enamel around your nails, apply oil to the area before bathing—the smudges should wash away.
* For an extra fast mani-pedi, apply Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Besides super quick drying, you’ll get a glossy shine. Don’t try to save time by eliminating base coat or using just one coat of polish—you won’t get the salon-perfect effect if you skip steps (and you may seriously stain the nail if you leave off the base coat).

Be patient! Don’t put on shoes or socks until your pedi is totally dry—this can take up to an hour. And don’t do anything with your hands that will mess up your nails. Forget rummaging around your handbag – having your keys and wallet at the handy before starting your mani. And stop playing with your phone until your nails are completely dry!

What’s your best tip for at home mani-pedis?

Sex Advice for Better Sex Tonight!

Could your love life could use a little spicing up? We found these three bits of wisdom from sex therapist Laura Berman, PhD and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. Dr. Berman has shared her secrets for sizzling sex in her book The Passion Prescription. These sex tips should raise the temperature of your sex life!

Love your body
It’s hard to enjoy sex when you have negative feelings about your body. According to Dr. Berman, “Typically, when a woman looks at herself, her eyes go straight to her problem areas. She carries that feeling into the bedroom, and when her partner’s kissing her thighs, she’s busy thinking, ‘God, I’m so fat!’”

To counteract this poor self-image, the doctor’s sex advice suggests that you look at yourself naked in the mirror at least once a week, focusing on your favourite body parts. Touch those parts and say aloud what you like most about them. Cultivate a positive self-image and soon you’ll be eager to toss off your clothes and jump into bed!

Don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting
Being in a long relationship can be cozy and comfortable, but sometimes you can get into a rut and start feeling like the sex isn’t as hot as it used to be. Dr. Berman suggests reliving the wilder, early days of your love affair by trying something new and daring, like scuba diving or a helicopter ride, to get the blood and heart pumping. “Experiencing something new and exhilarating together helps replicate that feeling you had in the beginning of your relationship when you couldn’t get enough of each other.”

Speak up about what turns you on
According to Dr. Berman, “Men want to be your knight in shining armour when it comes to sex – they’re eager for you to tell them what feels good. The problem is, so many women are out of touch with their bodies they have no idea what to say.” Hopefully, you’ve gotten in touch with your own body by trying the self-image booster above and are ready to show your partner what you really like!

Dr. Berman suggests putting your hand on top of his and guiding him to the ways you want to be touched. Want oral sex or have a favourite sex toy? Speak up! “This is the only way he’s going to know what works for you.”

What’s your favourite piece of sex advice?

How to Get the Most Out of Marriage Counselling

If you and your partner are considering divorce, maybe you should try getting professional relationship advice in the form of marriage counselling first. Also known as couples therapy, this form of marriage guidance can give both of you valuable insights into the troubles plaguing your relationship. Here are some ways counselling could save your marriage.

Identify the problem(s)

You may think the only thing wrong with your marriage is your partner’s long hours at the office or the way he avoids your family, but in most cases, there are issues on both sides, and couples therapy can help you to identify them. Both of you will need to speak up and say what’s bothering you — and listen when your partner does the same. It’s necessary for both partners to agree that there are problems in the relationship as well as acknowledge that they’re part of them.

Be willing to change

It takes two to tango, and it takes cooperation by both parties to repair a damaged marriage. To get the most out of marriage counselling, you must own your part of the conflict and be willing to make the behavioural changes necessary to get the relationship back on track. Each of you must be able to say, “Our marriage is worth saving, and I’ll meet you halfway.”

Have realistic expectations

Some couples expect instant results when they go in for marriage help. Well, sadly things don’t work that way, because you can’t walk into the therapist’s office, toss your credit card on their desk and say, “Fix my marriage now.” Your marriage counsellor does not have a vial of magic fairy dust that they can sprinkle over both of you and instantly solve all of your problems.

Both of you will have to be patient and willing to work on saving your marriage. You must invest time and effort into making your relationship work. Focus on the goal of a lasting marriage in which both partners are happy.

The fact that you’re seeking relationship advice and marriage help is a sign that both of you are serious about staying together and building a new, more solid relationship. A skilled marriage counsellor can help you navigate the stormy waters of a relationship in trouble, but both partners must be willing to put aside past hurts and concentrate on negotiating a more positive partnership. With the right help and a lot of determination, you may be able to make your marriage stronger than ever.

Have you ever tried marriage counselling?

Q&A With Hustler Hollywood’s Theresa Flynt

As Vice President of Business Development and Licensing for Larry Flynt Publications, Inc, Theresa Flynt is the executive behind the company’s chain of Hustler Hollywood stores. Since her dad Larry Flynt made the Hustler brand famous several decades ago, it’s only natural that the company would be a leader in selling the latest and hottest sex toys and accessories.

The Hustler Hollywood stores are friendly places where women and couples feel comfortable shopping for sex toys or other goodies to spice up their sex lives, and Flynt shared with us some of their current bestsellers and how 50 Shades of Grey is changing how women shop for toys and more!

When women walk into a Hustler Hollywood store, what do they usually look at first?

Our stores are designed to seduce the customer by introducing our fun and sexy products slowly as you go through the store. The deeper you go in our store, the naughtier the products get (first you pass the clothes, candles, etc. before you get to toys.)

What are your bestsellers in sex toys and vibrators for women?

Jimmyjane Form 2, Lelo Ina 2, We Vibes for couples play. And we’ve definitely seen an increase in couple’s toys.

Is there one particular sex toy that gets raves from the women who use it?

The Hitachi Magic Wand. Always a classic.

What products would you recommend to a couple that wants to spice up their love life?

The new We Vibe 4.

What sexy lingerie is popular right now?

Corsets! Recently we’ve been selling many reversible corsets as each side has a different colour or pattern.

Are more women buying lingerie for themselves or are more guys buying it for their ladies?

Women are buying for themselves. The success of the 50 Shades of Grey novel has created confident and curious shoppers.  We are seeing a surge in the naughty categories of pearl g-strings, crotchless panties and more.

What are your bestsellers in movies for couples?

Celebrity sex tapes!

How do you like to spice up your sex life?

6 Great Sex Positions to Try Right Now

One of the best ways to heat up your love life is by trying a few great sex positions. For great sex and bigger, better orgasms, nothing beats adding a few new tricks to your repertoire. Isn’t great sex worth a little experimenting?

Here are a few hints on how to have the best sex of your life by trying out a new position or two. These “how to” tips should get your motor running in record time!

The Counter Top

We’ve all seen variations of this position in sexy movies, so why not try it yourself? You lie down on a counter or table and he enters you while standing up. This is a great sex position for both of you because he can go in deep and feel in control while you can still move around.

Doggie Style

This is a great sex position for achieving female orgasm, because the woman is free to move around for optimal control. In this position, the male can pleasure her in many ways by stimulating her G-spot and clitoris with his hand or a sex toy. The secret to giving her a mind-blowing orgasm is to provide stimulation to both areas!

Woman on Top

Another position that gives you more control—for the ultimate orgasm. This position with the woman on top while the partners face each other allows her to control the depth and motion while giving both her and her partner access to her clitoris. Guys enjoy this position because they love the view!

Spooning

Again, the ladies love those positions that offer control over penetration. Spooning offers a tighter fit as well as easy access to the nerve-rich vagina and rectum. This is a great sex position for early morning lovin’!

Pillow Talk

Why not spice up the missionary position by slipping a pillow underneath your booty for an improved angle of penetration? This pelvic lift can help your partner zero in on your G-spot with his penis. How-to hints include experimenting with pillows and folded blankets to find just the perfect amount of lift.

Ankles Up

The downside of the missionary position is the lack of full penetration. You can correct that by lifting your ankles up over his shoulders or placing the soles of your feet on his chest. This lets his penis go inside you as deeply as possible and hit your G-spot for a thrilling orgasm!

Fess up: what are your favourite sex positions?

3 Common Relationship Problems and How to Fix Them

The course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly, and most couples encounter some relationship problems. Fortunately, many of these relationship issues can be solved with a bit of work. Most breakups can be blamed on a small set of conflicts, so here are three of the most common problems and how to fix relationships that are affected.

The problem: bad sex

When sex is good, it’s very, very good. Sex is one of the things that keeps a couple together, so when there are problems, they should be taken seriously. If your chemistry as a couple isn’t working, there are things you should try.

One is finding time for sex, even if it requires making an appointment and hiring a baby sitter. Too many couples let their sex life fall by the wayside as they build a family, but this is sure to lead to dissatisfaction on both sides. Make a few weekly “sex dates” and see if this puts the heat back in your sex life.

Another idea is to make lists of what turns each of you on—and trade them. You may be surprised to learn how creative your partner can be, plus get new ideas for having great sex!

The most important thing is not to ignore it and hope the situation will improve by itself. Open communication is key.

The problem: money

After sex, financial woes are the problem most likely to cause relationship issues. These are lean times for many people, and that can lead to tension within a relationship, especially if one of you is a “spender” and the other is a “saver.” Some couples find out after marriage that they have been raised with wildly conflicting ideas about money.

If you’re having financial problems, they won’t just go away because you hide the bills and try to ignore them. The two of you must sit down and take an honest, non-hostile look at your finances. This is not the time to lay blame, because it’s likely that both of you are partly responsible for your money problems.

You should calmly go over the entire situation—bills, debts, bank statements, savings, insurance, investments, pay stubs—and work out a budget. Allocate tasks: one person should be in charge of checking statements and paying the bills, and both should have a modest allowance that they don’t have to account for. If the situation is really dire, you should consider going into financial or debt counselling as a couple.

The problem: trust

If your relationship has been rocked by infidelity, you may not be able to repair the damage. In some cases, the loss of trust in too much of a betrayal to overcome, but there are things you can try in hopes of fixing the relationship. Both of you have to be committed to the idea that your love is worth saving.

If you are the one who was unfaithful, you must show by your actions that you can be trusted again. Don’t give your partner any more reason to doubt you. Always be on time, show respect for your partner and never, ever lie.

If you are the injured party, ask yourself if you can forgive your partner and move on to save the relationship. Avoid jealousy, and don’t throw the past up or overreact to every small slight. If you find that you’re unable to put the hurt behind you, then maybe the relationship can’t be saved.

How have you solved your relationship problems?

7 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Most of us spend a lot of money on skin care products, but you may be ignoring the real secret to healthy skin—what you eat. Some foods are high in nutrients that prevent acne, soften wrinkles and promote clear, younger-looking, radiant skin. Here are seven favourites that can help you glow from within.

Yoghurt

Just one serving each day of this delicious dairy food can make your skin smoother and softer. The secret ingredient is protein, which helps skin become firmer and more resistant to developing lines. The best choice for skin is Greek yoghurt, which can have twice the protein of the regular kind.

Walnuts

Snacking on these tasty nuts can improve your skin’s texture in several ways. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that can improve the elasticity of your skin, plus they’re full of the mineral copper, which can boost the production of collagen. Eating walnuts can also reduce skin inflammation for fewer breakouts.

Soy

If you’ve been troubled by brown spots on your skin, try snacking on edamame or adding soy milk to your latte. Soy has proteins and minerals that can reduce hyper-pigmentation of the skin. Consuming soy can also benefit the hair and nails.

Oatmeal

The best oatmeal for healthy skin is the less processed steel-cut variety because it retains more vitamins. Also, it helps to keep your blood sugar stable by taking longer to break down in your body. This is important because spikes in blood sugar can elevate your body’s level of androgens—the hormones that contribute to wrinkles.

Carrots

Carrots are chock-full of vitamin A, which is not only good for your eyesight, it can help clear up breakouts. Vitamin A helps to prevent the overproduction of cells in the outer layer of the skin, where dead cells can combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, they can slow the development of skin cancer cells.

Dark chocolate

No, chocolate does not cause breakouts, instead it can actually be good for your skin! But look for chocolate with a higher cocoa content, which means more of the good stuff and less butter and sugar. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants called flavonols that can reduce skin roughness and help to protect against sun damage. Just don’t use this as an excuse to binge on chocolate —a few squares a day are enough.

Avocado

This delicious fruit is probably the number one food for healthy skin because the avocado is supplied with essential oils and B-complex vitamins that can soothe and nourish your skin. Especially important is vitamin B3, also called niacin, an anti-inflammatory that can soothe irritated, blotchy skin. Just one avocado can supply more than 25% of your daily need.

What’s your favourite food for healthy skin?

How to Get Whiter Teeth at Home

One thing most of us long for is whiter teeth. We’d all love to have sparkling white teeth like our favourite celebrities, but professional bleaching at the dentist’s office can put a big crimp in your budget. Here are ways to get a brighter smile at home.

Peroxide

Get a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy and mix it with water to make a 50/50 solution. Pour about 30 milliliters of this solution in your mouth and swirl it around for a minute. Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with water.

Don’t be disturbed if the solution starts to foam in your mouth, because that’s shows that it’s working. The hydrogen peroxide combines with oral bacteria to form bubbles. Brush teeth after rinsing.

Peroxide and baking soda

Brushing once a week with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can keep teeth looking clean and bright. Just mix 10 milliliters of peroxide into 15 milliliters of baking soda to form a paste and use it to brush your teeth. After teeth are covered, leave mixture on for two minutes.

You can add a bit of mint-flavoured toothpaste to improve the taste. Adding a dash of salt will help to exfoliate the teeth, but should not be used too often since it’s highly abrasive. Rinse with water and brush teeth again with regular toothpaste.

Teeth whitening kits

If you’re looking for faster results and willing to pay a few bucks to get them, whitening kits are available at pharmacies and online. One favourite is the Bdazzled Teeth Whitening Kit that sells for about $90. This kit promises whiter teeth in 5-14 days with results that last up to two years.

The Bdazzled kit contains two thermo shrink mouthguards, three tubes of Bdazzled gel, one mouthguard case and detailed instructions. The whitening gel is placed in the mouthguard and worn for 30 minutes twice per day for 5-14 days. The number of days the gel is used depends on the severity of the staining.

A less-expensive home whitening solution is the CleverWhite One-Step Teeth Whitening Kit that sells for about $30. This kit also uses trays and gel, and it promises results in just five days. The 10 trays are pre-filled for easy use.

CleverWhite also sells Dissolving Whitening Strips for $24.95. These strips dissolve on the teeth and whiten in 10 minutes. They can be used once or twice a day.

What’s your favourite way to get whiter teeth?

Plastic Surgery Guide: Breast Lift

Most women start out with firm, perky breasts, but things can happen over time that cause them to droop and lose their shape, like pregnancy, breast feeding, losing or gaining weight, heredity and plain, old ageing. If you want higher, more youthful-looking, firmer breasts, you might want to consider this kind of breast surgery.

What is a breast lift?

The sole purpose of a breast lift, or mastoplexy, is to correct sagging breasts and give the bust an uplifted contour. This surgery does not significantly change the size of the breasts. If you want larger breasts, consider augmentation surgery, or to go smaller, a breast reduction.

Is breast lift surgery for you?

The ideal candidate for a breast lift is in good health but has breasts that sag and have lost their shape. The breasts may appear to be deflated and have nipples that point down. They may be pendulous, with an elongated shape.

If you have any of these problems, the look of your breasts can be improved by a breast lift. You won’t regain the bustline you had at 18, but you should see a more pleasing shape and silhouette.

What is the breast lift procedure?

There are a variety of techniques used to perform a mastoplexy, and their use depends on several factors. These include breast size and shape, degree of sagging, size and position of the areolas and elasticity of the skin. The three most common incision patterns are around the areola, around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease or around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the crease.

After the incision is made, the surgeon lifts and reshapes the underlying breast tissue to improve contour and firmness. Excess skin is removed and the areola repositioned to a more youthful placement on the breast. The remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.

The results

Results will be visible immediately after surgery. The incisions will leave permanent scars that will fade over time. The results of a mastoplexy are long-lasting, especially if the patient maintains a healthy weight.

The cost of a breast lift

The cost of breast lift procedure will vary according to the surgeon and the facilities. The surgeon’s fee for a mastoplexy should range from $6,000 to $8,000. Add to this the fees for the assistant surgeon and anaesthetist plus the cost of facilities and follow-up visits. If you have implants done at the same time, the cost would rise to about $12,000.

Risks

As with any surgery done under general anaesthesia, there is the chance the patient will have an adverse reaction. In addition to the scarring, there can be a loss of sensation in the nipple or the breast.

Have you considered having a breast lift?

Elegant Formal Hair Styles for All Hair Types

You may not be walking the red carpet at a gala Hollywood premiere, but at some point, a dressy occasion will come up and you’ll have the need for formal hair styles. Whether it’s a wedding, a work event or a holiday party, you want to do something elegant and glamorous with your locks. Here are a few formal hair ideas for long, curly and short hair.

Long hair

Of today’s style icons, none has the flair of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, when it comes to formal hair styles. This royal beauty wears her long, silky locks down on most occasions, even the most official ones. To add polish, she curls the last few inches for a look that’s polished and sophisticated.

When she does wear her hair up, the Duchess avoids getting too severe by braiding the hair on the sides, then pulling the braids back and wrapping them around a soft, low bun at the nape of her neck. This trend-setter also has been seen wearing her hair half up, half down, with a small bun at the back of her head.

victoria

Short hair

Victoria Beckham usually wears her hair in a short bob that’s longer in the front, and for red carpet occasions, she spices up her style several ways. One style involves curling strands at the crown and around her face for a softer look. Beckham has also been seen with her short hair side-parted and slicked back behind her ears.

Other short-haired sirens dress up their formal hair styles with glam accessories like headbands, barrettes, flowers and combs. Why not add a tiara for extra sparkle?

taylor

Curly hair

One totally feminine and beautiful way to dress up curly hair is to pull the front part away from your face, clip it with an ornament and let the curls fall down your back. Alternately, part it on the side and let the curls fall over your shoulder, or pin up your hair in a romantic bun like Taylor Swift.

Curly hair also works well in flowing movie star styles—think Rita Hayworth or Veronica Lake. If your curls tend to have a mind of their own, tame them a bit by wrapping around a curling iron to form loose, soft waves.

What are your favourite formal hair styles?

5 Hair Colour Ideas to Try Right Now

Are you ready to try some new hair colour ideas? If you’re feeling blah and bored with your current shade, maybe it’s time to kick it up with something exciting. Here are a few current fashion and beauty ideas to try inspired by celebrities.

sofiavergarahair

Go dark

If your brown hair is more mousy than ferocious, maybe it’s time to go darker. Black may be a bit extreme unless you’re very young and have the punk rock ‘tude to go with it, but taking your hair a few shades darker can deliver a bit of added drama. Did you know that both Kristen Stewart and Sofia Vergara were born with fair locks but gained stardom after becoming brunettes?

drew

Lighten up with highlights or ombre tones

Brightening a drab shade of blonde or brown hair with sunny highlights gives extra zip to your ‘do without making a drastic change, like Drew Barrymore has done here with ombre colouring. Start with a few subtle highlights placed where the sun naturally hits your hair, then add more if you love the look. The best thing about highlighting is that you don’t need frequent touch-ups, which is why this is one of the most popular beauty trends.

christina-hendricks

Radiant red

Red is not the easiest hair colour to wear, but when it works, nothing can turn your look from forgettable to frisky like going red. From strawberry blonde to deep auburn, there are many shades of red to choose from, so pick the one that suits both your skin colouring and your personality. Whether your redheaded role model is Rita Hayworth, Jessica Chastain or Christina Hendricks, you’re sure to find going red will heat up your life!

helen-mirren-

Sexy silver

While our mums may have reached for the dye bottle at the first grey hair, women today are feeling younger and better about themselves as they head into middle age. That’s why more confident ladies like Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis and singer Emmylou Harris are flaunting their naturally silver locks. Letting your hair go grey isn’t for everyone, but when it works, it’s fabulous!

naomi

Blonde power

Back in the 50s, Clairol revolutionized the marketing of home hair colour with the ad slogan, “If I have only one life, let me live it as a blonde!” That’s the way many non-natural blondes feel today, and it’s true that nothing turns heads like a mane of shiny blonde hair. The number of legendary ladies who’ve found fame after going blonde is too long to list, from 30’s vamp Jean Harlow to current bombshells like Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts.

What are your personal favourite hair colour ideas?

3 Ideas For Wedding Hairstyles

On your big day, you want to look amazing, so you’ll want to spend some time choosing between wedding hairstyles. This is not the time to experiment with a radical new look, but you do want to glam up the style you already have. Here are a few tips for picking the perfect hairstyle for your wedding.

updo

Up or down?

To wear your hair up or down is the number one question when it comes to wedding hairstyles. The common wisdom held that the updo was the most elegant way to go until recently, when Kate Middleton wore her silky brunette locks cascading down her back for the Royal Wedding. If you love the way your hair looks flowing over your shoulders, and wearing it that way makes you feel beautiful, go for it!

On the other hand, there are definitely pros for the updo, since it gets your hair up and off your face, letting you show off your beauty—and your earrings—to best advantage. For a true princess look, add jewelled combs or barrettes, or weave a tiara into your headpiece. If you can’t make up your mind, wear it half up, half down!

boho bride

Take a cue from your dress

You want your wedding ‘do to coordinate with your gown, so go with a similar theme. If you’ve chosen a boho-style dress, opt for a style that’s not too fussy, such as beachy waves. Add headbands, flowers or even feathers to carry out the look.

If you’ll be wearing a glamorous gown, go for the movie star look, with tons of volume. Try a fabulous updo and top it off with a glittery tiara.

For a dress that’s simple and elegant, you can go all out with lavish curls or softly straightened hair – just avoid anything too stylised. Your hair can be up or down, as long as it flatters your overall look.

short hair bride

Wedding hairstyles for short hair

Just because you usually wear your hair short doesn’t mean you should make a drastic change for the wedding. Give your bob a bit of glitz with a jewelled headband, or use volumising mousse to pouf up your pixie cut. When Anne Hathaway wed soon after cutting her hair ultra-short for her role in the film Les Miserables, this fashion conscious celebrity covered her crop with a super-glamorous headpiece designed specially to work with her ‘do.

Whatever ‘do you choose, make it yours. This is your day, so pick a style that suits you and makes you feel like the most beautiful bride in the world!

What are your favourite wedding hairstyles?

5 Of The Best Celebrity Hairstyles

Don’t we love to look at celebrity hairstyles? At their best, they inspire us to take a photo to our own stylist and say, “Make me look like this!” At their worst, they inspire us to say, “Oh no – why did she DO that?”

Here’s a look at five of our favourite celebrity hairstyles and the lovely ladies who wear them. Are you in the mood to try something new?

Michelle Williams’s pixie cut

This actress had some tough competition from Anne Hathaway and Miley Cyrus, but the adorable blonde has been wearing the style for a while now and always looks totally perfect. We’ve heard that Williams is growing out her hair for a movie role, but can’t help but hope she’ll get her pixie back after it’s over!

leamichelehair

Lea Michele’s trendy fringe

The star of Glee sports a long blunt cut with a thick fringe, setting her apart from most current celebs that have lots of layers. The look works for Michele, and plays up her beautiful dark eyes. Other beauties who know how to rock a fringe include Taylor Swift, Emma Stone and Jessica Biel.

jenniferlopezhair

Jennifer Lopez’s long layer

J.Lo has had long hair for several years now, but she’s never looked better than she does right now, with her lengthy, flowing layers falling over her shoulders. The layers give this style just the type of versatility this multi-faceted fashion icon needs. Other stars with long, luscious layers are Blake Lively, Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon.

solangeknowleshair

Solange Knowles’s gorgeous curls

Beyonce’s baby sister knows how to get her own individual look by flaunting the natural texture of her short hair in tiny ringlets. Other girls with curls we love include Rihanna, Zoe Saldana and Jennifer Hudson. Curls are at their best when bouncy and shiny.

camerondiazhair

Cameron Diaz’s bouncy bob

The blonde beauty claimed to be unhappy with her shorter ‘do, but later fell in love with both the look and the easy maintenance. We will probably see Diaz with long hair again soon, but the shorter style is definitely a great look for her. Kiera Knightley and Julianne Hough have also impressed us with their beautiful bobs.

What are your favourite celebrity hairstyles?

How to Pamper Yourself During The 3 Stages Of Pregnancy

Each of the three stages of pregnancy comes with its own set of problems that can stress you out. Stress is the last thing you need when you’re expecting, both for your sake and that of the baby, so this overview of your pregnancy timeline can give you a few hints on what to expect, as well as ways to pamper yourself each step of the way.

First trimester

The first trimester begins with conception and lasts through week 12. The best way to sum up the first trimester is hormones gone wild! From the moment you first get pregnant, those hormones will start raging through your body, causing a myriad of changes.

The ones you’ll notice right way include tender breasts, morning sickness, headaches, constipation and frequent urination. You’re also likely to experience extreme tiredness, mood swings and cravings for certain foods. You’ll begin to put on weight as your uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby.

If some foods aren’t agreeing with you, try to eat lightly but well. Shop farmers’ markets for the freshest and most delicious produce. Treat yourself to a variety of green vegetables like rocket and kale for salads that will tempt your appetite as well as being great for the health of both you and the baby.

Second trimester

The second trimester is the period from week 13 through week 28, and is likely to be easiest of the three stages of pregnancy. The nausea and fatigue of early pregnancy may dissipate, but as your body grows, you’ll experience more, and different, changes.

Your body adapting to the growing baby inside can lead to aches in your back, groin, abdomen and thighs. You may notice stretch marks on your tummy, breasts and buttocks. Your ankles, fingers and face may show swelling. Darker patches of skin called the mask of pregnancy can appear on your face.

One very serious condition to watch for is a problem with the liver. If you have nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue or jaundice combined with itching of the abdomen, palms or soles of the feet, consult your doctor immediately.

If you hate the way your ankles are swelling, remember the bad example set by Kim Kardashian and stash those high heels for the duration. Walk barefoot whenever possible or wear comfortable flats and sandals. Treat yourself to regular mani-pedis and gentle foot massages so your feet look so fabulous that no one will notice they’re a bit swollen!

Third trimester

The third trimester lasts from week 29 until week 40 (or until you give birth). By now, the size of the baby is putting pressure on your organs, leading to frequent trips to the bathroom as well as problems sleeping. You may also be experiencing swollen ankles, shortness of breath and tender breasts.

On the positive side, a look at your due date timeline serves as a reminder that you’ll be giving birth very soon. On the negative side, you may feel huge, heavy and clumsy. To cheer yourself up, indulge in sensual delights.

Splurge on your favourite candles, oils, creams, lotions and potions. Fill your home with deliciously fragrant flowers. Try relaxation methods like yoga or meditation, and treat yourself to a gentle, prenatal massage. If you feel calm and content in your final days of pregnancy, you’re more likely to have a stress-free birth and a healthy baby!

Which stage of pregnancy was your favourite – and least favourite?

5 Things To Consider Before Having A Facelift

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that smoothes out some of the signs of ageing on the face and neck, including sagging, creases, loose skin, fatty deposits and slack muscle tone. This procedure is often combined with eyelid surgery and a brow lift.

Here are five things you need to know before committing to a facelift.

A facelift is major surgery

This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and takes several hours. In a traditional facelift, an incision is made inside the hairline allowing fat to be excised from the face, neck and jowls. Muscle and deeper layers are repositioned, then the skin is re-draped and the excess cut away.

A facelift requires after care

You don’t get to run into the doctor’s office, get a facelift and go home. Following a facelift, the patient needs to spend time in an aftercare facility where they can be monitored for complications and receive pain medications. The stitches must be removed and time is needed for the patient to resume normal activities.

It’s expensive

In Australia, the simplest procedure addresses only the layers of skin and is called endoscopic facelift. This lift ranges from $6,500 to $12,000. The standard lift, or SMAS (superficial musculo aponeurotic system ) facelift and neck lift generally costs $17,000–$25,000. The most complicated lift is the deep plane facelift, which is priced at $20,000–$30,000.

These costs include fees for the surgeon, assistant surgeon and anaesthetist, hospital costs and follow-up visits. Facelifts are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures and are not covered by insurance.

There are serious risks

Post-surgery problems can include numbness, excessive bleeding and infections. Unfortunately, there are even more serious problems that can be fatal, like respiratory failure due to toxic levels of anaesthetics.  Minimsze the chances of complications by choosing your plastic surgeon carefully and thoroughly investigating the risks before deciding to have a facelift.

There are less drastic solutions available

While a facelift is the best solution for major sagging, there are alternatives to a complete lift. One is a chemical peel that burns off the damaged outer layers of skin to reveal the baby-soft new skin underneath. Another is laser treatment that can remove outer layers of skin and tighten muscles.

Still another is Botox, which is popular in Hollywood for both men and women. Botox weakens or paralyses some muscles and nerves, making for fewer lines and wrinkles. Although there are non-medical sources offering Botox injections, these injections should really only be done by a doctor.

If you have small problem areas and don’t want to go for the complete facelift, there are minor surgeries available targeting certain conditions. Consider a cheek lift, upper brow lift or neck lift to refresh your appearance without resorting to a complete facelift.

What do you think of facelifts?

10 Best Horror Movies

Whether it’s a psychological thriller or a blood-splashed slasher-fest, we love a good horror movie. We’ve chosen our favourite horror movies for a frightfully fun night in.

Wolf Creek
Australians have nailed the horror genre, with most based on true events including Picnic at Hanging Rock and Snowtown. Wolf Creek is a true classic, contrasting stunning landscapes with gruesome horror – John Jarratt is brilliant as the backpacker killer with a hauntingly evil laugh.

The Exorcist
As if the book wasn’t scary enough, the vision of Linda Blair levitating over her bed, spewing pea soup and turning her head 360 degrees remains a classic horror moment. This 1973 film followed a tormented priest forced to face his own demons as he tried to exorcise the devil from a 12-year-old girl.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Teen-scream films couldn’t get any respect until Wes Craven introduced us to the dream man of our worst nightmares—Freddy Krueger. One of the most memorable images from this 1984 thriller was seeing a young Johnny Depp sucked through his bed straight to hell.

Psycho
Which is more horrifying — the shower scene or being introduced to Mama Bates? Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological thriller changed the genre forever and spawned dozens of imitators. Even when you know what’s going to happen, the acting is top notch and confirms Hitchcock is the master of suspense.

The Silence of the Lambs
This 1991 thriller stills has us on the edge of our seats – just try and watch those Buffalo Bill scenes alone in a dark room. Incarcerated serial killer Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) makes the FBI agent played by Jodie Foster his subject and we can’t stop watching.

Rosemary’s Baby
There are no witches — or are there? This stylish 1967 film directed by Roman Polanski kept audiences guessing right to the end about which characters were the good guys and which had gone to the devil. The ensemble cast delivers solid acting and the plot will keep you interested to the devilish end. Plus Mia Farrow’s pixie cut was the original crop.

The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film about an unhinged man who terrorises his snowbound family still makes for a scary fun-fest. Jack Nicholson’s unhinged performance is one of his best.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Yes, there’s a more recent version, but the scene in the 1956 original where Dana Wynter falls asleep for a few seconds and awakens as one of the pod people sticks in your brain, especially if you’ve ever worked in an office where you felt like the last body left un-snatched.

Friday the 13th
The teen scream slasher flick that launched way too many sequels was pretty darn scary back in 1980 and can still send a chill up your spine—especially when you drive past a lonely lake.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
If being chased all over Texas by a lunatic in a mask made of human skin wielding a chainsaw can’t scare you, what can? This 1974 cheapie launched dozens of imitators—and millions of nightmares.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

Three Trimesters of Pregnancy – What To Expect From Each

A full-term pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and the pregnancy timeline is divided into three trimesters, each of which has its own joys and challenges, from the moment you find out you’re expecting to the moment you give birth. Here’s a look at what you can expect from each part of the three trimesters of pregnancy.

First trimester

The most exciting time in the first trimester is when you find out for sure that you’re pregnant! This period, which lasts through the 13th week of your pregnancy, is the most crucial time for the development of your baby, and also, sadly, the time when things are most likely to go wrong. The baby’s body and organs are growing and developing, and most miscarriages happen during the first trimester.

Your body is telling you that you’re pregnant in many ways, including breast tenderness, nausea, frequent urination and fatigue. Toward the end of the first trimester, you may see the beginnings of a baby bump.

This is the period when you get your first ultrasound and see your baby for the first time. Also, you should be having tests for possible genetic issues.

Second trimester

During the second trimester, you may find some of the maladies of the first three months disappearing, only to be replaced by a new set. Between weeks 14 and 26, you may experience abdominal pain, leg cramps, back pain, heartburn and constipation. The most exciting moment of this period is likely to be when you feel your baby move for the first time.

At this point, you’re definitely going to need maternity clothes!

The third trimester

By now, you’re getting excited about finally giving birth and can’t wait to meet your new baby! The last of the pregnancy stages lasts from 27 weeks to birth, and your uterus has now expanded from 60g before conception to just over 1kg. You have a whole new set of symptoms to deal with, like varicose veins, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath and difficulties sleeping.

Make sure you take the time to plan for your trip to the hospital and have everything ready for the day you bring baby home. By now you should have a due date and may already know your baby’s sex.

Meanwhile, your baby is very busy getting ready to be born. He or she is adding layers of fat to stay warm after birth and is finishing development of the lungs. Preterm labour is still a risk, but the baby’s chances of a healthy birth increase with every week in the womb.

Now is the time to get plenty of relaxation!

5 Tips for Practical Parenting

Nobody ever said that raising kids was easy, at least no one who’s actually raised children! Practical parenting is something you have to learn as you go along, so we’re passing on these five common sense parenting tips. Remember, raising kids is always a work in progress.

1. Encourage open conversation

Start having back-and-forth conversations with the kids when they’re still young. Don’t just ask “How was school?” because the default answer is “Fine,” even if the child got beat up on the playground, found out a best friend was moving away or failed a big test. Ask more in-depth questions like, “What was the coolest thing that happened at school today?”

2. Make reading a treat

There’s an old saying that kids spend the first three grades of school learning to read and the rest, reading to learn. Make sure yours have the fundamentals, then work at instilling a love for reading. Find out what they’re interested in at all stages of their lives and make sure they have access to books about their passions.

If reading is fun for the kids, they’re more likely to devote more time to that and less to TV, games and fooling around on the computer. If your child gets engrossed in a book and wants to stay up late reading, approve—for an extra hour! Whether your child enjoys reading is a major indicator of how successful he or she will be in life.

3. Healthy food comes before junk

Your kids aren’t going to have an appetite for the dinner you cooked if they’ve been gorging on sugary snacks. When they come home from school or inside from playing, offer them healthy treats like chilled cut fruit, veggies with yogurt dip or homemade popsicles with fruit juice. Don’t keep junk food around the house.

4. Try to tell the truth

Maybe not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but as much as you think the child can handle. If you continually lie to your child in order to avoid hurting his or her feelings, how is that child supposed to trust you later in life—like the teen years? If you’re about to get a divorce or grandma’s dying from cancer, you can’t keep something like that a secret forever.

5. Accentuate the positive

Some parents are so afraid that their children will be injured or disappointed by failure that they turn them into little hothouse plants. This is not good for either of you, because kids learn by making mistakes—and so do parents. Encourage your child to spread his or her wings and explore the world!

What are your best practical parenting tips?

Trying to Get Pregnant? 6 Tips To Help Make It Happen

Getting pregnant isn’t always easy or simple. Even if you and your partner are both in good health, you may find pregnancy just doesn’t happen right away. Sometimes women in their thirties find that their fertility isn’t what it was in their twenties. Don’t put pressure on yourself, as there are options in having children.

Here are six ways to help try getting pregnant faster. We can’t guarantee that any or all of them will work for you, but they’re all worth a shot if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Stop the pill early

If you’ve been taking oral contraceptives for several years, it may take your body several months to begin ovulating regularly again. (This is also true for the patch, the ring, Implanon and Mirena IUC.) Because of this, you should stop using contraception for a few months so your body can get fully primed for pregnancy.

Find out when you ovulate

Your body is more likely to conceive on certain days of your cycle than others, so you need to learn what time of the month you ovulate. The easiest way to do this is to buy an ovulation predictor kit, or OPK. The OPK will detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine that will happen about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate.

Schedule sex for just before you ovulate

Once your ovaries shoot out an egg, it will hang around for only 12 to 24 hours, so you need to make sure it will meet up with a sperm during that time. The best way to make sure this happens is to start having frequent sex as soon as your period ends. Your ovulation date and the following two days are the prime times for conception to occur.

Lie on your back following sex

Resting on your back allows the sperm to pool in your vagina and be in the best position to swim for your egg. Having sex before you go to bed is a good way to make conception more likely. Drift off to dreams of being a mommy!

Be ready to test

You’ll want to know as soon as possible if you do succeed in getting pregnant, so buy at least one home pregnancy test and have it ready to go. For the most accurate results, wait to test until the day after you expect your period to arrive. Testing too early can give false negative results, so since you want a positive, don’t rush things!

If you don’t succeed, try again

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get pregnant the first month you try. Statistics show that while more than half of couples that try to conceive will do so within six months and 85% within a year, most do not in just one month. Don’t lose hope.

Do you have any secret tips for trying to get pregnant?

Plastic Surgery Guide To Abdominoplasty

If your tummy isn’t as flat as you would like for it to be, you may have considered having abdominoplasty, or as it’s commonly called, a tummy tuck. While having this surgery can definitely improve the way you look in tight jeans or a swimsuit, don’t expect miracles. Here’s a realistic guide to abdominoplasty.

What a tummy tuck can do

Abdominoplasty can remove excess skin and fat as well as repairing stretched-out muscles resulting from pregnancy, ageing, weight fluctuations or heredity fat deposits. A tummy tuck can give you a smoother, flatter abdomen.

What a tummy tuck can’t do

While tummy tuck surgery can remove some stretch marks, it can’t get rid of all of them.

Abdominoplasty is not the lazy woman’s shortcut to weight loss. For the best results, the patient should already be at a healthy and stable weight before undergoing the surgery. If you’re planning to get pregnant in the future, this surgery should be postponed until afterwards.

Have realistic expectations

If you look at all those flattering photos in ads for plastic surgeons, you’d think that you could emerge from your abdominoplasty with the toned, flawless tummy of a swimsuit model. You need to have realistic expectations and your cosmetic surgeon should talk you through them.

The abdominoplasty procedure

There will be one incision made between the pubic line and the navel that will leave a scar at the bikini line. If you have a large amount of excess skin and fat, another incision will be necessary around the navel in order to reposition it higher on your abdomen. This is also likely to leave a scar.

Abdominoplasty cost

In Australia, a tummy tuck can cost from $6,000-$10,000. None of that will be covered by insurance unless your doctor considers it medically necessary to repair a condition like an abdominal hernia.

Down time after abdominoplasty

The average down time following a tummy tuck (or before you can drive and go back to work or other moderate activity) is 10 to 14 days. Full physical activity like exercise is permitted after six weeks.

Liposuction and other surgery

In some cases, abdominal liposuction can be more successful than a tummy tuck, so speak to your cosmetic surgeon about both options and which, if any, are best for you.

If you are considering getting other cosmetic surgeries like a breast reduction, these can sometimes be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. Discuss your plan with a plastic surgeon.

Would you consider getting a tummy tuck?

How to Create Your Own Pregnancy Diet Plan

Healthy eating is always a good thing, but it’s never more important than when you’re expecting! Having a pregnancy diet plan can make a huge difference in how you feel as well as your baby’s development. Now that you’re eating for two, you need to make every calorie count.

Even if you’ve never given much thought to what you’re eating before, now is the time to start formulating a food plan, one that you can stick to for nine months. Here are a few tips for creating your own personal pregnancy diet plan. You have lots of choices—just choose wisely!

No empty calories

If you’re a junk food junkie, kick that habit now! Fast food, sugary snacks and soft drinks are all full of calories but woefully lacking in nutrients. Purge these from your diet and replace them with healthy foods and snacks.

Build your plan around lean protein

Protein is the “building block” of human cells, which makes getting enough very important for your baby’s development. Aim for three servings, or about 75 grams, of protein each day. Concentrate on lean protein sources like poultry, seafood, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods, plus non-animal sources such as whole grain breads and cereals.

Get variety with your veggies

Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins and minerals essential to your baby’s cell growth, so aim for several servings per day. Try for a mix of green and yellow veggies, and serve some of them raw for extra fibre. Fruits are also fabulous for satisfying your sweet tooth.

Grains are great

Whole grains provide vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, so feel free to enjoy several servings per day of corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, quinoa, and legumes. These complex carbs also have the added advantages of fighting both nausea and constipation. Avoid simple grains like white bread, white rice and baked goods.

Cut down on fats and salt

While you don’t have to ban all fats from your pregnancy diet plan, you should keep a close eye on how much you’re consuming. Watch out for the “hidden fats” like mayo in salads, butter on toast and oil in cooked veggies. You should also cut back on salt intake to discourage those pesky swollen ankles.

Get enough vitamins and minerals

You should be taking a pre-natal vitamin supplement every day as well as eating foods high in nutrients. Be sure to consume lots of iron-rich foods like spinach, soy products and dried fruits. Plus, get the vitamin C you need from citrus fruits as well as kiwi, mango, strawberries, melon, capsicum, tomatoes and asparagus.

With a little planning, you can put together a pregnancy diet plan that’s super healthy for both you and baby!

Our Top 5 Australian Fashion Designers

We love Australian fashion for its originality and unique combination of fun, chic and style, so we thought we’d take a look at our 5 favourite Australian fashion designers.

Collette Dinnigan

Collette Dinnigan got her start in the costume department of the Australian Broadcasting Department, but has made her name in chic styles for the modern woman. In 1995, the designer was the first Australian to show her ready-to-wear collection in Paris. Dinnigan’s Autumn/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection is highlighted by slim sheath silhouettes in neutrals of black, white and silver with accents of leather or lace – many of which would make breathtaking bridal gowns – and for something for classic bridal, she also designs a stunning bridal collection. Stunning tailoring and timeless, feminine design is why Collette will always be one of our favourite Australian designers.

carlazampatti

Carla Zampatti

We’re happy to report that the grand dame of Australian fashion designer is still going strong at 71. The Italian-born Zampatti move to Australia with her family as a child and debuted her first limited collection in 1965. Two years later, the designer went national and in 1970, created Carla Zampatti Limited. Zampatti’s career achievements include a chain of boutiques, being the first Aussie designer to introduce swimwear into her collection, a pair of fragrances and even redesigning a car! In 1985, Zampatti partnered with Ford Australia to create the Laser, an auto especially for women. For Autumn/Winter 2013, Zampatti offered a collection that’s classic, ladylike and feminine with lots of black softened by shades of cream and coral. The designer creates for the modern woman, with chic business suits and elegant eveningwear. For four decades, Carla Zampatti has epitomised true style.

zimmermann

Zimmermann

The design team of Nicole and Simone Zimmermann have been delighting savvy fashionistas with their clever cutting and delectable fabrics since 1991. The sisters are especially noted for their body-sculpting swimsuits in trendy graphic prints that are now spotted on beach babes from Bali to Barcelona. The Zimmermann collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 featured frankly feminine dresses in soft, warm natural tones of almond, pale yellow, gold and grey—just the thing for warming up a cool day. The show-stopper of this set was a gown of gold foil with an irregular hem, perfect for showing off your sexy shape!

sassandbide

Sass & Bide

Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke have come a long way since their humble beginnings of selling jeans they had customised from a stall at London’s Portobello Road Market. After relocating to Sydney, the pair unveiled their first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2001. A chance meeting in New York with actress Sarah Jessica Parker led the designers to create a few pieces for Sex and the City, which gave worldwide recognition to the Sass & Bide brand. The Sass & Bide Autumn/Winter collection ranges from floor-length knit dresses to separates of shiny yellow vinyl. The pairing of a rigidly tailored black-and-white striped jacket with those yellow pants shows plenty of sass.

lisaho

Lisa Ho

Success came fast for Lisa Ho, who launched her own brand just weeks after finishing design school, selling her cutting-edge designs at Sydney’s Paddington Market, and becoming one of the most famous names in Australian fashion. Her pieces have been seen on a bevy of celebs including Delta Goodrem, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Wynter, Elle Macpherson and Jennifer Lopez. Highlights from her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection include fitted jackets with A-line or pencil skirts in colours of black, blue and wine. Sadly, Ho’s future is currently in limbo, as the Lisa Ho Group was recently closed down due to being deeply in debt. Hopefully she’ll bounce back and relaunch her brand.

Who is your favourite Australian designer?

5 Tips For Easy Potty Training

Of all the issues parents face, one of the most challenging is potty training. No matter how many articles you read or how many other moms you talk to, each child handles potty training differently and brings a new set of headaches. It can take six weeks—or it can take six months.

No matter how long it takes to toilet train your child, there will be times when you feel like your toddler will be the only kid in high school still wearing diapers! Don’t despair, because your child really will get potty trained eventually. Here are a few toilet training tips to make it less painful for both of you.

1. Don’t push too early

Some parents turn toilet training into a competition, with bragging rights going to the mom who gets her child out of diapers at the earliest age. Refuse to enter this race, because you can’t win. Your child will get toilet trained when s/he is ready, and pushing for potty use too early is likely to incite rebellion.

2. Start small

Don’t expect a two-year-old to climb up on the toilet right away. Start out with a kid-size potty that sits low to the ground and put it where the child spends most of his/her time. Gradually move the potty closer and closer to the bathroom, then work up to a seat on top of the toilet.

3. Bribes work

Some mums have managed to get their offspring to use the potty by offering rewards, like lollies or money—one for pee, two for poop, three if they wipe. Little boys can get extra credit for aiming at the potty rather than the wall. While this ploy is likely to offer immediate rewards, it can also set you up to have an older (and more devious) child demanded rewards for doing homework or eating vegetables.

4. So does praise. Lots of it

Toileting isn’t easy for your kid, either. When he or she succeeds in using the potty, bring on the praise. Act as thrilled as if the child won an Olympic gold medal or the lottery. Clap your hands and cheer. Give the toddler your undivided attention and reward this accomplishment with hugs and kisses.

5. If at first you don’t succeed…

Try putting the child on the potty every 10 minutes until something happens. Sooner or later, your child will have to go. Then go to 15, then 20. With time, your toddler will develop a predictable rhythm. Soon, your potty training days will be over!

What are your best potty training tips?

 

Your Newborn Checklist – Do You Have Everything You Need?

If you’re in the last weeks of pregnancy, you probably already have your hospital bag packed and ready to grab when you go into labour, but what about the things you’ll need when you bring the little one home? It’s easy to forget some of the new-baby essentials, so here’s our checklist of the most important newborn necessities.

Clothing

What you’ll need depends on the season, because if you buy baby a sweater in the summer, it will be outgrown by the time cold weather comes around! There are certain items of clothing that all babies need, like undershirts and onesies. Have plenty of these, because you’re going to need them.

Baby will also need a few nightgowns and stretchy sleepers, preferably ones with zippers. You’ll also want to stock up on pants, hats and socks or booties. A newborn also needs a couple of pairs of “scratch mittens” to keep him from scratching his face with his tiny nails.

For a winter baby, you’ll need cold weather gear like sweaters or jackets, a bunting bag or snowsuit. Be sure to stock up on laundry detergent that’s safe for infants, because you’ll be using a lot of it. Dress-up outfits are optional, but they’re so cute you probably can’t resist buying a few!

Blankets

These take a beating, so have at least three large cotton blankets on hand. You’ll also need about eight receiving blankets that can double as burp clothes.

Nappies

If you’re going to use disposable nappies, you should have two boxes in the newborn size. Don’t buy too many at once, just in case the baby is born too large for that size or outgrows them quickly. Other items you’ll need are a nappy pail, changing pad, ointment or cream for nappy rash and washcloths or disposable wipes.

If you’re going with reusable cloth diapers, buy at least four or five dozen, plus a few waterproof covers and snaps or safety pins to keep the nappies in place. You’ll also need the pail, pad, etc., mentioned above.

Bath and bedtime

For bathing baby, you’ll need an infant tub, washcloths, baby soap, a baby hairbrush and several hooded bath towels. For baby’s crib and mattress, get a few fitted crib sheets, waterproof mattress covers and light blankets.

Don’t forget these!

Two of the biggest newborn must-have items for your checklist are an approved car safety seat and a stroller. Other useful things to have are baby nail scissors, a bulb syringe, a thermometer and an eyedropper. You’ll also need a diaper bag to carry all of your baby stuff around in!

There are other things you can pick up after baby arrives, but as long as you have everything on the newborn checklist, you and baby should be all set for his first few weeks at home! Relax knowing you have everything you need for newborns—at least for now.

Load More
Win a holiday to Bali
Win a brand new Audi