The Top 6 Books All Parents Should Read to Their Children

Reading to one’s children is fundamentally important to their mental and emotional growth and maturity. It can open their minds to things that are around them, introduce them to new ideas, show them beautiful pictures and even be a simple means of entertainment. Children of any age, even very young children, can enjoy good books. Beginning reading at a young age can start an important habit for life. These top six books that all parents should read to their children cover a wide variety of topics and interests.

reading

Goodnight Moon: This book is a classic bedtime story from 1947. Written with simple words, the book features pictures that are a delight to look at and that depict a room that is gradually getting darker as the light is turned off and the moon rises. As the bunny says goodnight to each of the familiar things in his bedroom, readers are gradually lulled to sleep by the simple rhymes.

The Story of Ferdinand: This is another children’s classic from 1936. The black and white pictures draw small eyes to the pages in which an exciting story of a peaceful bull unfolds. Children will learn that it is not just the biggest and strongest who win and are important. In addition, children enjoy seeing a glimpse into the traditional Spanish culture of bullfights.

The Cat in the Hat: This book is one of many popular choices from the fabulous Dr. Seuss. With it rhythm and rhyme, it is a book that children will continue to enjoy as they grow older and learn to read for themselves. It tells of an assortment of amazing events that occur to two young children on a rainy day when their mother is away from home. The Cat and his friends, Thing 1 and Thing 2, are sure to become some of children’s favorite literary characters.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: A classic written by Beatrix Potter, this is a delightful story teamed with adorable pictures. Despite some of the big words used, children are still able to understand and enjoy the heart of this story. They will learn from Peter’s mistakes as he disobeys his parents and explores Mr. McGregor’s garden.

The Wind in the Willows: This is another choice that can grow more delightful as the child grows older. Young children will enjoy having this entertaining tale read to them, while older children will love to explore the story themselves. Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad have many adventures by the riverbank and beyond, which teach important life lessons including humility, honesty and friendship.

Guess How Much I Love You: This is one of the best books for describing a parent’s love for a child. In the book, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare have a contest to see who loves the other more. No matter how much love Little Nutbrown Hare has, his father has more. In addition, the illustrations are beautiful.

These top six books are some of the most delightful books for children. Not only that, but also they teach numerous truths that are vital for every child. Investing in these books and reading them regularly is an investment in a child’s future.

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6 Family Friendly Ski Vacation Towns You Must Visit This Winter

You don’t have to be an avid or expert skier to totally enjoy a winter vacation in a ski resort town. Relaxing by the fireside in a cabin or lodge with beautiful views can ease the winter blues for the entire family. A ski resort town trip can help us appreciate winter and actually look forward to the cold season that so many people dread. They also make great winter holiday trips with all the decorations, food and drinks.
Following are six suggested family-friendly ski resort towns to consider visiting this winter.

#1. Bend, Oregon

Bend, in central Oregon has milder winter temperatures than some places and plenty of winter fun for the whole family. Try Seventh Mountain Resort or Mount Bachelor Resort for great skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating and tubing surrounded by beautiful peaks and valleys. Seventh Mountain has sled-dog rides and professionally guided snow-boarding. Choose a roomy one, two or three bedroom condo with breath-taking views and cozy fireplaces. Mt. Bachelor Resort has special programs just for kids.

#2. Taos, New Mexico

Taos is a town with a rich and interesting history, and you can feel the spirit of the southwest here while enjoying skiing and snowboarding. Two artists stopped here once at the turn of the century to get a broken wagon wheel fixed. They never left. Other well-known artists like Georgia O’Keefe and Willa Cather were introduced to the area by socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan. Adobe inns with Kiva fireplaces are scattered among art galleries and local museums. The Palacio de Marquesa in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is kid-friendly and has lots of amenities like Jacuzzis and pueblo-style fireplaces.

#3. Stowe, Vermont

With a church steeple rising over the quaint colonial town of Stowe, the scenery here in winter looks like a picture post card. Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak makes it the perfect ski resort town. Stowe Mountain Resort has plenty of beginner runs and six distinctive ski areas. Besides sking, tour the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream plant and Shaw’s old-fashioned general store.

#4. North Conway, New Hampshire

North Conway is in the midst of New Hampshire’s huge White Mountain National Forest. It is a very picturesque town with its pastel Victorian architecture. Thirteen ski resorts are located within a half hour of town. This is a great town for the ski-loving family. There are a total of 250 trails here with very affordable rates. Get a Black Mountain Family Passport for four people for $99 during the week and $119 on weekends and holidays all winter.

# 5. Truckee, California

Truckee, in North Tahoe has eight cross-country and 12 downhill resorts within 10 miles of town. Popular Squaw Valley ski resort was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The area gets an average of 400 inches of natural snowfall each year. Try a guided astronomy hike and a winter lake cruise with the family. Stay at or visit the historic Truckee Hotel which has one of the nation’s oldest ski lodges.

#6. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is the grandfather of all the ski resort towns. Aspen Mountain and its black-diamond terrain offers some of the most challenging skiing of all. It has been famous since 1947. Not to worry, there is plenty of beginner skiing. Family activities and kid-friendly facilities are available at Buttermilk and Snowmass. A winter playground for the rich and famous, there are lots of vacation options in Aspen, making it more affordable than you think.

Chances are, if you don’t ski, you will want to after watching the experts glide gracefully downhill at all of these resorts. You won’t find it difficult to find a gentle instructor and novice-size slopes at them. You will want to make a winter vacation a family tradition.

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3 Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Impress Your Family

Thanksgiving is a time when many families gather together to celebrate. Americans welcome the time to get together with people they love in order to rejoice in our common heritage and give thanks for the abundance this great land offers all of us. Part of any celebration is getting together at the dinner table to eat a delicious meal. The Thanksgiving meal usually centers around foods that are traditionally eaten at this time. This includes ingredients such as turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pecans and green beans that were thought to be eaten at the original Thanksgiving meal. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving meal or just visiting friends and family, you will want to tap into this rich heritage and serve dishes that will impress and delight all who eat them.

Green Bean Salad With Spiced Pecans

Green beans are a delicious vegetable. Make them even more special with the use of classic southern spices. Begin by preparing the pecans. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat the pecans with a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Place the pecans in the oven for about six minutes. Prepare the beans by cutting off the ends and steaming or microwaving them for about five minutes. Make a coating for the green beans with olive oil, salt, pepper and ginger. Add in a cup of chickpeas and top with the pecans.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Bleu Cheese

Mashed potatoes made from white potatoes are traditionally served at Thanksgiving. Offer your guests a more nutritious version that incorporates sweet potatoes instead. Start by boiling six sweet potatoes for about twenty minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes. Peel carefully. Using a ricer, mash the potatoes until they have an appealing texture and no lumps. Add in two tablespoons of butter, half a cup of cream, a quarter of a pound of crumbled bleu cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Mix up all ingredients until they are well blended. Place in a serving bowl and serve to guests.

Cranberry Apple Sauce With Honey

Cranberries and apples are both widely available fall ingredients. Add bright color and gentle sweetness to your holiday table with a sauce that pairs easily with turkey. Start with fresh or frozen cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, make sure to defrost them first and get out any remaining ice crystals. Make the base of sauce by stirring together half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water. Bring both to a rolling boil. In the meantime, peel and core three apples. Granny Smiths and Ida Reds are ideal for this purpose. Chop the apples up into small pieces and add them to the water and sugar mixture. Keep on medium heat for about three minutes. Add twelve ounces of cranberries to the mixture and three quarters of a cup of honey. Let the mixture sit on the heat while stirring for an additional five minutes. Remove from the heat. Add in some acid to help counteract the sweetness by stirring in a teaspoon of a citrus fruit juice such as lemon or lime juice.

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to try out a new recipe to temp your family’s palette and show them new things. Use these recipes to add a fun new twist to your favorite ingredients.

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Splurge or Save?

When it comes to budgeting, knowing where to splurge and where to save can be difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what is worth the extra money and, especially when you’re on a strict budget, splurging can seem excessive. There are, however, some things that you should spend the extra money on no matter your budget. And sometimes treating yourself to something a little out of your price range just feels good.
Splurge

Skin Products
Your skin is for life, so it’s important to take care of it now. Find a skin care product that works best for you, and don’t be afraid to spend more. Splurge on it now and you’ll be happy you did for years to come!

Hair Products
You do a lot with your hair; dye it, perm it, tie it up, and style it with heat, all of which are damaging to it. Hair products will help keep your hair from damage and keep it soft and smooth. Especially if you have treated hair, splurging may be your best option. Less expensive products may help a little, but splurging on quality products will keep your hair healthier and stronger.

Work Basics
Work clothes are an important part of your wardrobe and, while you can certainly wear some less expensive clothes, work basics are going to be where you splurge. In the end you’ll be happy you splurged on an expensive, well-made blazer rather than having to replace a cheap one over and over. Splurge on your staple items, including blazers, pants, skirts, and a few nice shirts. They’ll last longer and look better, and will be well worth the extra money.

Good Shoes
There are few more important things than good shoes. Good heels, good running shoes, good walking shoes. Buy a good pair of sturdy, comfortable heels, and supportive shoes for days you are on the go or on your feet for long periods of time. Go to a quality shoe store and get sized and fitted, and spend the extra money to keep your feet healthy. Buy supportive shoes now and your body will thank you later.
Budget

Sunglasses
Those $300 designer glasses sure are pretty, but the $20 knockoffs look just as good and protect your eyes just the same. Plus, sunglasses have a nasty habit of getting lost or broken quickly, and you won’t be as heartbroken when your inexpensive glasses need to be replaced. If you’re on a budget, this is one place to save your money.

Purses
You definitely want a sturdy purse that will hold all of your belongings without falling apart, but after a certain point the price just gets excessive. A $50 purse will last you a few years and continue to look great, so there’s no reason to go overboard on a more expensive bag.

Especially when you’re on a budget, splurging on purchases can be difficult. It’s easier to buy cheap and save money in the now, but there are some items where splurging is necessary. Splurging now will save you trouble later, helping keep your skin and hair healthy, or keeping your feet and body from pain on long days out. Remember the long term when making purchases—if a product be beneficial in the future, it may be good to splurge. If not, save your hard-earned cash!

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Moms Are Fashionistas Too!

Motherhood is exhausting! Kids, pets, play dates, school, clean the house, pick ups, drop offs, pay this, cook that. There is just so much to do and there does not seem to be enough hours in the day to do them. No wonder why we always seem so worn down. One thing that seems to get forgotten is our sense of fashion. I know what you’re thinking. “Fashion?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Well, Mama, fortunately fashion doesn’t always have to take a ton of time and effort. Moms can be fashionistas too, and here are 5 easy ways how.

1. Jacket
Since we are always on the go, jackets become a part of the Mommy uniform. We suggest you spend some time (and maybe a little money) when you pick out your next jacket. Why? Because jackets are amazing. They are great because all you have to do is grab it on your way out of the door. And not only do they keep you warm, but they are always there to cover the coffee stain or freshly planted toddler hand print on your t-shirt. Oh, jacket, we love you too!

2. Bathing Suit
Summertime means spending a lot of time poolside. Kids always want to be in the water, and it’s a good way to wear them out. Picking out a great swimsuit means you can look great all season long. You can pair them with a skirt, tunic, or wraparound for different looks. This year, 50′s vintage is in style when it comes to swimwear, so take a look at the one pieces with the bottoms that look like skirts or shorts.

3. Shoes
Sometimes, all a girl needs is a good pair of shoes. They always fit when we’re bloated or gain a few pounds, and they always look great. The main thing you want to remember when you buy a pair of shoes is to make sure they’re comfortable. Put them on and walk around in them just to make sure. You might also want to buy a neutral color if you are super busy. Hey, maybe you could get a pair that matches your new jacket!

4. Jeans
Jeans are yet another steeple in our wardrobe. If they are not, they should be. Jeans are comfortable and go with nearly everything from t-shirts to hooded sweatshirts to sweaters. Let’s face it Mamas, they look way better on us than our pajama pants and the sweatpants that we tell ourselves it is okay to wear out in public. A great thing about jeans is that they come in a variety of colors. Of course, it is a good idea to have a couple of pairs of our favorite blue denim, but go on and try on a pair of turquoise or pink jeans just for fun! If you like them, add them to your closet!

5. Lingerie
That’s right, Mama. One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make yourself feel sexy. Lingerie is a surefire way to do that. There are a couple of ways to go about it. The first way is to go out and get yourself fitted for a new bra. You would be amazed how many women are wearing the wrong size. Get the bra and a new pair of panties and wear them under your clothes, knowing how hot you are beneath the Mommywear will give you some confidence. Or you can go ahead and buy something really sexy for you and your partner after the kids are in bed. Hey, Mama’s got to have a life too!

There you have it, ladies. Five simple ways to get your fashionista on!

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6 Reasons for Convincing Your Teen Not to Drive Drunk

Despite all the warnings heard in health classes, public service announcements, and by the law itself, teenagers may find themselves in a situation where they must choose whether or not to drive while intoxicated. For the most part, a good parent would hope that his or her teenager would not be found in this situation at all. Still, it is better to be safe than to be sorry and take the extra steps to sit down with your teenager and review reasons why they should always consider another option should this circumstance arise.

In such a discussion, here are six key points to present to your teenager that should appeal to their logic and help them to understand the dire consequences that accompany drunk driving.

Danger to Oneself
The first reasons is likely to be the biggest concern for a parent: a teenager’s safety. Driving drunk presents a huge risk for an accident, and such accidents could very well be fatal. Helping your teenager to understand that their very life is on the line should they drink and drive will help them to see that calling a taxi, riding with a sober friend, or simply calling up the parents is always the better option. Better alive and sorry than dead.

Danger to Others
When someone drinks and drives, they are posing a risk not only to their own safety, but also to the safety of their passengers and others on the road. Even if the intoxicated driver were to survive a crash, there could be devastating consequences that could take the lives of others.

Guilt
Carrying on from the last point, it is important to recognize that taking the life of another human being could traumatize a person’s conscience for their whole entire life. No one wants to live with that sort of guilt, and no one should have to in the first place.

Costs of Repair and Fines
In the case of a wreck, let us not forget the exponential costs that could come with repairs for damages on the driver’s own car as well as any other vehicles affected. The same goes with hospital fees for those injured, increased insurance costs, as well as the heavy fine sure to be imminent for the intoxicated driver responsible.

Affects Future Employment Opportunities
Along with the hefty financial burdens that could very well limit one’s future opportunities, drunk driving leaves a black mark on the driver’s permanent record. Every time a potential employer runs a background check, they will see the charge for driving while intoxicated and it will likely affect their decision to hire.

Destroys Trust
Finally, when a teen decides to drive while intoxicated, it ultimately destroys the trusting bond between them and their parents. As parents, it is important to emphasize that even if they’re illegally intoxicated but choose to call their parents for a ride instead of driving, that at least demonstrates some responsibility and all trust is not lost.

Overall, parents approaching teens on the topic of drunk driving should remember to give the above advice in a way that helps teenagers recognize that they are cared about rather than controlled. Teenagers who know that they know they are loved by their parents are more likely to to make smart decisions.

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6 Lessons All Mothers Should Teach To Their Children Before They Learn to Drive

Getting a driver’s license for the first time is an exciting rite of passage for teens but a source of great anxiety for their mothers. While most teenagers can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a car, many parents are worried about the grim accident statistics often cited for young drivers.

There is reason for concern: teens are involved in three times the number of fatal car accidents as other drivers. However, concerned moms can help their children to become safe drivers by teaching these lessons before their teens take the driving test:

teen driver

1. Buckle up. Lessons learned early in life have staying power when a child ages. Insist that your children never ride without buckling their seat belts while growing up, and remind them of the importance of that practice again when they begin learning to drive. Set an example by always buckling up yourself. Nearly 60 percent of teen drivers who lost their lives in car crashes in 2011 were not wearing seat belts.

2. Don’t be a taxi cab. The risk of teen fatalities increases when 16- and 17-year-old drivers have passengers in the car to distract them, according to a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Parents can help keep young drivers safer by not allowing them to drive with other passengers in their cars. Warn your teens to avoid other kinds of “distracted driving” as well, including adjusting the radio or snacking.

3. Put away the cell phone. Many studies have shown that cell phones and safe driving don’t mix. Texting while driving is not only hazardous, it is also illegal in many states. Moms have a responsibility to remind their teens of the dangers and of the laws. Parents also should avoid sending mixed signals to their children by making sure they also never call or text while driving.

4. Don’t drink and drive. More than 9800 people were killed in drunken driving accidents in 2011. Although most teens likely have been warned about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, many young people believe these problems won’t happen to them. Parents can reinforce the lessons by having frank conversations with their teens before allowing them get a driver’s license. Set a good parental example by never driving while impaired and always having a designated driver.

5. Make a pact. Good and bad driving behavior should have consequences. AAA recommends that parents develop both a set of driving rules and a set of penalties for teens when they break the rules. The problems mentioned above — cell phones, seat belts, alcohol use – can be part of this parent-child pact. The guidelines also can include rules about driving in bad weather or checking in with parents. Check out this sample teen driver agreement: http://teendriving.aaa.com/files/file/Parent.Teen.Driving.Agreement.pdf

6. Prepare for an emergency. Make sure teens have an emergency kit in the trunk of the car they will be driving. Jumper cables, a flashlight, and first-aid items can be a big help if the car breaks down or is in an accident. Suggest that your teen also carry a blanket, rain gear, or a coat in the trunk in case of a breakdown in bad weather.

Even though teens may pretend not to care, a mother’s opinion does make a difference. Support your new teen driver by applauding good driving habits and helping them to correct bad ones. Your involvement could be the thing that keeps your child safe.

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You Can Impact Your Child’s Education

As mothers, we want the best education for our children. However, schools are not always equipped to provide everything a child needs to reach his full potential. Participating in your child’s education allows you to fill in the gaps where formal education falls short.

Elementary School

At the elementary school level, it is important to be as involved as possible with the school and the people responsible for your child’s learning. At the beginning of the school year, introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and offer your support. Talk with your child’s teacher about your child’s strengths and any challenges that you have noticed in the past. This information can help the teacher address those needs and provide you with tips on how to help your child at home as well.

Also, be sure to help your child early on with organization and good study habits. Show young students how to pack their backpacks so that materials are easy to find and be sure to label everything with the child’s name so that he/she is able to keep track of his/her materials while at school. Finally, help your child to create a routine for after school time that includes homework, dinner, leisure, hygiene, and rest. Remember that it takes about 6 weeks for a behavior to become a habit, so be consistent and watch as your instruction becomes something that your child eventually takes on as his own.

High School

For high school students, it is not only important to make sure that they are academically prepared for the next step, but that they also have your guidance in deciding what the next step will be and how to get there. Start talking with you high school student about what he/she would like to do for a living and what it will take to reach that goal. For students who want to go to college after high school, pay attention to their strong subject areas, as well as their weaker subject areas to make sure that they line up with the child’s interests. For example, a student who struggles in science might not be the right fit for medical school, but if that student has an interest in the medical field, find out what other options are available that require a manageable amount of science courses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website is a great place to start looking at different career fields and their requirements.

College

For college bound students, provide opportunities for them to practice their test taking skills to avoid test anxiety and stress over standardized testing. Websites such as www.actstudent.org and www.sat.collegeboard.org are good sources for practice tests and information about the ACT and SAT exams. The Princeton Review is also a good source for classroom and/or online test prep and they offer various options for students all over the country. Some high schools even offer a PSAT prep course, but sometimes space is limited, so watch for information on this program and register early.

By working together with your child’s school officials, helping your child develop good study habits, and providing options to help prepare them for the next steps after college, you can help your child get the most out of his/her education.

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25 Reasons to Love Your Hair Again

There are good hair days and then there are bad ones. Really bad ones. We mean those moments of darkness when taking a straight razor to your frustrating follicles seems like the only logical option left. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Between this year’s new trends and a whole pile of products to get your hair behaving again, there’s hope. Read on to discover 25 reasons to like, or dare we even say love?, your hair again.

1) Ombre: As Jared Leto made abundantly clear at this year’s Oscars, this two-toned style not only stands up to red carpet standards but provides a stylish way to gradually transition back to your natural color or even go a little fashionably lax on your hair dyeing appointments.

2) Lulu Organics Lavender and Clay Sage Hair Powder: When washing your hair doesn’t quite make it into your morning routine, save the day (and smell great doing it) with this dry shampoo.

3) Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color: Color treated hair needs color treated care that keeps your hue as vibrant and healthy as it did on day one.

4) Hair Chalk: Hair Chalk is the best temporary boring-hair fix since Kool Aid that works on blondes, brunettes, and redheads who aren’t quite ready to commit to color. Brands like Gypsy Stix, Hot Hues, or Hair Chalk give your hair subtle to straight up My Little Pony pizzazz.

5) Hair Donut: If you’re lacking in hair thickness or patience needed to meticulously create the perfect ballet bun, a spongy hair donut does the trick seamlessly and in mere seconds.

6) Ouidad Curl Quencher Moistiruzing Conidtioner: Give your thirsty curls some love during your next shower session and without harmful sulfates.

7) Dev-Curl No-Poo Cleanse: Shampoo keeps hair clean but can strip it of those natural oils that provide bounce and shine. Opt instead for this non-lathering alternative that cleanses without harm.

8) Ban.do Crystal Crush Bobbi Set: Add a little dazzle to your ‘do with gem-studded metal-plated pins.

9) C.O. Bigelow Lavender and Peppermint Shampoo: It’s a gel! It’s a foam! It’s a great way to wake you up in the morning and give you intoxicatingly-scented hair all day long.

10) Travel Sizes: TSA’s 3 ounce rule shouldn’t rob you of your right to great hair and now it doesn’t! A surprising number of your favorite top-notch hair brands like Chi, DevaCurl, Paul Mitchell, Biolage and more are all available in carry on friendly doses.

11) MoroccanOil Treatment: If there’s a problem, MoroccanOil is the solution. This miracle elixir fixes frizz, restores shine, hydrates hair and everything in between.

12) Aveda Shampure Duo: Aveda caters to all hair types with its unique Morikue™ protein to cleanse and fortifies hair.

13) Twistbands: These snag-free hair ties are a sophisticated alternative that doubles as a cute wrist accessory when not in use.

14) Bumble and Bumlbe Surf Spray: Get (or embrace) those beautiful beach waves with a salt-water based spray.

15) Alterna Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray: Say goodbye to all things limp with an effective spray that plumps up even the finest of hair.

16) Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Daily Shampoo: We all make mistakes, Nexxus makes them a thing of the past by binding torn up tips back together with keratin amino acids and coconut oil.

17) Spornette Ion Fushion Cushion Brush: De-tangle sans damage with this boar and nylon bristle fan favorite since the 1950’s.

18) L. Erikson Interlock Italian Turban Headband: Protect yourself from wind or just look positively adorable indoors and out with a totally retro accessory.

19) Essential Elements Wake-Up Rosemary Shampoo/Conditioner Duo:
When the beep of your alarm clock or a cup of coffee don’t do the trick, the delightful garden-worthy ingredients of this two part system will.

20) Old World Braids: This loose, down the back or even piled atop your head look is on the rise this season, plus it’s super easy to manage.

21) Pops of gold: Reveal your inner royal by complimenting hair with coy hints of gold in pony cuffs, pins, and clips.

22) Miss Jessie’s Original De-Frizz Blow Dryer Diffuser: Attach one of these bad boys to any standard blow dryer and get curls dry without the damage.

23) Carol’s Daughter Hairmilk Starter Kit: Let your natural curls, coils, kinks, and waves be at their best with a four part system for the girl on the go.

24) Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner: Thinning hair gets a sweet smelling boost with a soothing serving of botanicals.

25) Flowers, flowers, flowers: You can welcome this long awaited season with flowers of all sizes (and authenticity) in large statement pieces or sprinkled ever so sweetly amidst updo’s.

No matter the color, cut, or style there’s reason again to embrace the hair you were born with and have a blast doing it!

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5 Must Haves for the Fashionista on a Budget

Ah, the wide world of shopping. While you may want to purchase just about every item in the ladies section, it is best to refrain from the fads. Let’s face it: Yes, that expensive chevron blouse is totally “in,” but how long before it is buried in your closet and lost to a new fad? When you are shopping on a budget, you should choose items that are always in style, and that you will get great use out of. Classic pieces will always be at the forefront of your closet.

What kinds of items are we talking about? Allow us to share our thoughts…

#1: A black blazer. You can absolutely not go wrong with a classic, fitted black blazer. This can be thrown over your favorite graphic t-shirt for a chic, casual look or over a blouse for those days in the office. However you choose to wear your blazer, it is a classic piece that will never go out of style.

#2: A good pair of jeans. Yes, you are shopping on a budget, but it is important to consider how an item is made – and how long it will last. When it comes to a staple such as jeans, you may be better off splurging on a well-made, tailored pair of jeans that will last for years. Sure, you can purchase that $20 pair of jeans… but how long will they last before the seams unravel? You will only be dishing another $20 sooner than later. Find a sturdy pair that flatters your body and you will be better off in the savings department.

#3: A versatile pair of heels. Every lady needs a pair of heels. Find a pair that are comfortable enough to wear around town. Remember – bigger is not always better! Choose a heel that you can handle so that you can walk well in them, too. A pair of black pumps are your best bet.

#4: A perfect fit bathing suit. What is more comfortable that a cute, perfect-fit bathing suit? Those days on the beach are much more fun when you feel confident in your swimwear. Choose a piece that flatters your body type and hugs in all the right places. One piece or two, you will look beautiful when you shop for a piece that flatters.

#5: A little black dress. Ah, the LBD. The little black dress is notorious for turning heads and giving ladies a boost in confidence. You cannot go wrong with this piece! It can be both dressed up and dressed down, making it a staple for every fashionista’s closet. Since we are sticking to a budget here, head on over to your local Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. Both stores are affordable and carry a wide variety of dresses. You are bound to find that perfect LBD – you just have to be patient!

If you are committed to sticking to your budget, it is best to commit to the above five pieces. These pieces never go out of style and will always make a good impression. Once you have the necessities in your closet, you can always accessorize – that is where the real fun begins, right?

Good luck on your shopping adventures!

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