Monday, August 8, 2011

There's an App for that! Best in iPhone 4 Women.

About a week after my husband gave me my iPhone I fell in love all over again! I could easily check my email, log on to Facebook, see the weather, set an alarm, and listen to music all with a simple click from my home screen. Oh yeah and make phone calls! Then I discovered apps ... and my love affair went to a completely committed, all time high. Sharing a few of my favorites that just might Rock your world too.

1. MyFitnessPal – FREE  (Personal dietician)
A model is always watching her weight and the best calorie counter on the iPhone, MyFitnessPal, lets you set your daily calorie goal and then record daily exercise and food you eat (over 1,000,000) to make sure you are staying on target. It will also help you when you go out to eat with caloric numbers from popular menu items of PFChangs, CPK, Subway and more. Once you’re logged in you can enter your current weight, height and sex and go on to create your personal profile with how much you wish to gain, or lose. It will calculate for you the number of calories you need to eat and the number you need to burn to meet your goal. No need to write it all down anymore in a food diary, plus you can go back to track your progress from week to week.  Motivation from your phone!

2. TripIt – FREE (Personal Travel Agent)
Traveling for photoshoots and bookings, TripIt puts all your travel plans in one place. To use it open your account online and forward your confirmation emails to with the email you signed up with.  It will automatically scan and consolidate them into one travel itinerary for you. You can see all the details of your TripIt  itineraries whether you are online or airport mode offline. Get maps and directions, link to airlines and dial phone numbers to hotels on your iPhone straight from your TripIt  itineraries. Are you also the master travel agent? Keep all of your family members trip info here, by date. Simply forward their confirmations from your email too, so that you have everyone’s whereabouts at your fingertips!

3. Kindle – FREE e reader
Amazon’s e-reader has been around awhile, but now you can buy the books to read without the Kindle device. The Kindle app allows you to download and read all of their e-books right on your phone. No need to carry the paper version of your favorite book around or another electronic reader, just your iPhone! Don’t forget – Face This is available for only $9.99 on Kindle. Keep instant access on your phone for easy updates when you’re taking photos. P.S. I find the screen size on my iPhone is the perfect distance for eyes in need of a little  aging “focal” help.

4. Evernote – FREE  (“real” memory storage)
As a writer who is self-published, self-promoting and self everything, I am always writing ideas down. I used to jot notes everywhere to jog my memory so that they weren’t lost forever. My iPhone has a built in notes app but it doesn’t sync to the computer so they are stuck on the phone. Evernote syncs with your computer and can save photos, notes and record voice memos. Helps you remember everything … from snapping a photo of the wine label you loved at dinner to that favorite joke someone just told you!

5. MINT – FREE (personal banker/bookkeeper/financial advisor)
Mint  tracks your income, spending and investment balances and transactions together all in one place so you can have access to your entire financial picture all in one place. Mint is connected to almost every financial institution with Internet banking capabilities in a password-protected site. Give your credit card some attention, pre-set budgets, categorize your spending and track progress of your financial goals.

6. Grocery IQ  – FREE (errand boy)
Popular at my house, Grocery IQ saves the need to phone home while you're at the grocery store. When you run out of an item, before throwing it out, just scan the bar code (with your phone’s camera) and it will appear in your list. Mine is synced with my husband and when either of us updates this list we get a notice on our iPhone telling us that the Grocery IQ has been updated. even allows you to store coupons in your phone so you no longer have to remember to bring them to the store.

7. iPeriod – FREE  (Personal Assistant /Menstrual Calendar)
To help you remember when she comes to visit every month there’s an app called iPeriod. A password-protected app with a built in calendar to track your time of the month, most fertile days and an email notification system to warn you of upcoming or late arrivals. No more stuttering when asked at your doctor’s office the time of the start of your last cycle.


Who Called? – FREE 
When you get calls from a number you don’t recognize this app will find out who’s calling by using reverse phone lookup.

Date Check – FREE (private investigator)
Allows you to scan "Sleaze Detector" for criminal records, a "$$$" feature with details about home ownership and other "vital" statistics. There's even a "Compatibility" feature to help you find out the chances of a relationship to sizzle or fizzle.

The Bad Decision Blocker – 99 cents (Worth every penny!)
You know he’s not good for you, but you can’t resist calling or texting him. The Bad Decision Blocker app, hide’s his contact information for up to one week to eliminate the temptation to contact that bad boy or ex by putting his number on lockdown. And it can’t be reversed until the time is up. Only works if you don’t know his number by heart, but before blocking a contact, you must delete any text message conversations and all previous call history that exists with Mr Wrong. (The app can’t do this for you) 


Baby’s First App – 99cents 
You’d pay 5Xs more for this built in entertainer. Useful for waiting rooms, restaurants and planes ... you can entertain your little one and help them learn with this app.  With a touch of the screen your toddler will hear and see letters, numbers, animals, colors and shapes. Another similar iPhone app to check out is Toddler Cards for $1.99

Family Car Games   $1.99 (Are we there yet?)
Entertaining backseat passengers for hours, this app gives instructions for 100 no-equipment needed, family games to play anywhere while you are waiting to pass the time together. After you get the instructions you can put away the phone so there is no fighting over who gets the iPhone (also no car sickness from staring at it!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Skinny on Alcohol

A new study in Europe suggests that not only does alcohol make you fat, but scientists also found that most women who drink have an alcohol-altered body shape with a half-inch larger waistline compared to women that consume little or no alcohol.   

Cutting alcohol out of your diet can be an effective way to lose weight; after all, it’s called a “beer belly” for a reason. In this particular study of over 250,000 Europeans, it was found that women, much more so than men, appear to store the fat gained by long-term alcohol consumption in their abdomens.

Although alcohol contains calories, (7 calories per gram, making it almost twice as calorie-laden as protein or carbohydrates which contain only 4 calories per gram) it is important that you know that alcohol is metabolized differently than carbs. Most of it is converted in your liver to acetate, which is used for energy.  Your body views alcohol as a toxin and it is placed first in your system to be oxidized and used for fuel instead of using the carbs, protein and fat that are present. These sources take a back seat when you consume alcohol because your body uses the increased levels of acetate for energy instead - slowing down your metabolism of fat.

Remember weight loss and weight gain are dictated by calorie surplus or calorie deficit. A light beer is 110 calories. A 5 oz glass of red wine is around 100 calories, but keep in mind some wine glasses hold up to 12 oz. so it really depends on the pour.

With a minor in Math, it is easy for me to go straight to the numbers - so if you consume an extra 100 calories per day than you work off, that will add up to a weight gain of 10 pounds per year. A 5 oz pour before dinner and another with your meal and you’re up to 200 extra calories a day or 20 pounds a year.

If the scale isn’t budging or you’re having difficulty changing your body shape consider treating the wine and beer you’re drinking as a food because it may be making you fat! Anytime you consume more than you burn the extra has to be stored somewhere … as body fat, and most likely around your middle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LBD is your BFF

Last minute invitations can leave us overwhelmed when we step into our closet and try to decide what to wear. Whether it be a black tie affair, a job interview or a fun girls night out there is one wardrobe must have that is always a safe bet and will never leave you unprepared  ...  the little black dress aka LBD. If you don’t own one you love (or two) then it’s time to put it on your shopping list to be forever-ready to say YES to any request without hesitation.

Besides being universally slimming, there’s something about wearing black that makes any girl feel more confident. A simple fact of life, like the sky being blue, is that every woman should own a little back dress. The LBD is classic, never goes out of style and is the perfect choice for every occasion.

If you’re young or a workout queen, choose a dress that reveals your legs and arms! For a more business like look, layer it with a white blouse and turned up cuffs, or black textured tights and pumps. Or throw on a cardigan with a skinny belt or blazer for a more refined look.

Left on it’s own, the simplicity of a little black dress with a string of pearls is breathtaking. The LBD can be fiercely underspoken, but accessorizing is what makes this your wardrobe chameleon. To make it funky add a wide python belt, cropped jacket or metallic flats. If you’re fortysomething and this is your third or fourth LBD, invest more for a high quality, tailored fit. Think of this dress as a reflection of what you’ve accomplished in your life and a statement of what’s ahead of you! Pair it with nude pumps, diamond studs and a bold cuff bracelet for any special event!

For a quick work out to target those areas that you will be showing off in your little black dress - abs, legs and arms!

Don’t overlook makeup as your ultimate accessory for your LBD. Smoky eyes, berry stained lips, or a sleek ponytail! Even CoCo Channel herself, who introduced the little black dress in 1926, would be proud!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prepare Your Hair for the Plunge

Lathering on the SPF while swimming with my kids this entire weekend got me to thinking about how most of us are neglecting the damaging and drying effects the summer and pools have on our hair.

We all know how chlorine and salt water can wreak havoc with your hair. When your hair is dry it is porous and acts like a sponge, so the quickest thing you can do before swimming to protect it, is to get your hair completely wet with plain, clean water. This way your hair is too saturated to absorb anything else like chlorine.
But, the MOST effective way to create a barrier between your hair and harsh pool water is to coat your hair by using a small amount of oil, which is hydrophilic such as coconut oil, baby oil or even olive oil to protect the hair shaft. When you’re done throw it in a braid for a super shiny cool look. Try this cool comb by Rickycare infused with a sunscreen oil to protect and help with the frizzy ends at the beach.
Hair conditioner works too but only if you are in the water for a short time since it eventually gets rinsed away. Try out Bumble and Bumble’s Leave in conditioner. Also, use your kids spray on detangler like the one in the green bottle at the grocery store by L’oreal, not only will it coat the hair cuticle, but it will prevent those nasty snarls. Plus it’s “tear” free and smells good too!
When high PH levels react with the copper found in pool water, the metal bonds to the hair shaft and can turn it green. All of these tips can help prevent that but If it happens, squirt some ketchup or V8 tomato juice on your locks, comb thru and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. The smell is not great, but it works!
Just like getting a sunburn, the sun also contributes to hair damage by drying it out. Sun-scorched hair, fades your color and highlights. Left unprotected it can also cause  breakage and damage your hair as much as the pool water. If you don’t want to wear a hat or scarf be sure to spritz on a leave in conditioner with SPF protectant to shield the harmful rays. A good one to try is Rene Furterer Okara 2-Phase Leave-In Protective Conditioner for color treated hair.  

You can make your own UV protection to use in a spray bottle on damp hair by mixing a Tablespoon of any sunscreen with a cup of water. 

An added note: If you are using lemon to lighten your hair be aware that this is extremely drying and is really just helping the sun damage your hair more quickly.

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from

Monday, July 11, 2011

De-bloat after your Vacation.

After returning from vacation, I noticed that suddenly my favorite jeans felt tighter. It's hard to feel my best when I feel fat. Stepping on the scale - plus 5 pounds, Ahhhhhh yes ...  the bloat. 

Eating out usually means a bit more gluttony, and definitely more sodium - leading straight to water weight. What you don’t want to do is to Starve yourself after your trip because it will slow down your body's metabolism to conserve energy. It will also set you up to overeat. 

It’s important not to freak out and remind yourself that weight loss and weight gain are mathematical equations and in a few days it would be nearly impossible to consume enough extra calories for a real 5 pound gain. 1 lb = 3500 calories AND 5 lbs = 17,500 calories extra

1.  My fist day back I cut back on calories. 
Not very hard to do since I have usually overindulged and felt constantly full on vacation. Bethenny Frankel, author of Naturally Thin, suggests whipping up a big pot of vegetable soup to slim down. Just throw some onions, broccoli and carrots, in a fat free chicken stock and puree to eat with brown rice. 
2.  Fill up with loads of de-bloating foods to tell your body to get rid of all that water. Some natural diuretics are watermelon, asparagus, oats, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, and yogurts containing probiotics ("good" bacteria) can help.
3.  Eat fiber to help clear your colon of any undigested foods and air. Foods like bananas that are high in potassium  have also been shown to beat bloat by causing your body to flush out the water.
4.  Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Sodium intake acts like a water retention magnet so you need to drink enough water to flush all of this from your system or your body will keep trying to save water reserves.
5.  Sweat it outWorking out not only helps burn calories away but you can sweat out unwanted water swelling. Before supermodel Heidi Klum gets in front of the camera she de-bloats with an Epsom salt-rich bath. Magnesium sulphate in the salts draw out the fluids from your body.

6. Plenty of Zzzzzz's. Sleeping raises growth hormone and reduces stress. Stress can increase cortisol levels in your body over time and cortisol inhibits sodium loss through the small intestines. Water will stay where the sodium is which often causes water retention. So focus on getting to bed early and letting your metabolism get in check to help your body recover from the overindulging. 

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from