Last Minute Holiday Help

Posted in Beauty, Entertainment, Fashionistas, House and Home, Life by Elizabeth on December 15, 2010

Well we’re approaching one week until Christmas and New Years is not far behind.  Some of you may have already finished all of your holiday shopping – if so, congratulations, now all you have to do is wrap your gifts and wait to give them away!  If you’ve already finished wrapping your gifts, that’s a little intense and maybe you should take a break.

There are, however, others who are not finished.  Perhaps you have that last straggler person who is just so hard to find gifts for, or you are half way through your list or you haven’t started at all – eek!  For the last minute shopping, here are some websites that compile great gift ideas for those hard to shop for, ok maybe easy to shop for but I have a week and need to expedite shipping, people.


Image courtesy of

Proclaiming itself as “The Buyer’s Guide for Men,” this site provides creative, classic, edgy, and humorous gift ideas of all price ranges.

Cole Haan Shoe Care (courtesy of

From style recommendations for holiday travel, to leather shoe care kits, to gifts for bacon enthusiasts (I’d like to get the peanut butter bacon cups for myself),  Uncrate delivers.  I search on here for people like Adam, friends, and for our Michael.  The website opens the world of male shopping behavior and culture.

But it of course isn’t limited to males.  Though the fashion is gendered, anyone can be a bacon enthusiast!  It offers movie and phone recommendations, and highlights some awesome accessories like trigger point foam rollers for sore muscles and a snazzy looking sake bomb set.  These ideas are certainly not gender biased.  But when it comes to your brothers, boyfriends, husbands, male whatever – get to uncrate for some creative, sometimes unexpected gift ideas.


DailyCandy is geared more towards the female gender.  The website has a special Gift tab that, at this time of year, is chock full of helpful lists like:

The writers for this website go above and beyond the average list.  There are gift guides for your girlfriends, moms, and sisters by city!  You could also refine your search for lists by item (jewelry, fashion, decor).  There are lists for bakers, fitness gurus, gadget lovers, and relentless party planners.

Of course just as Uncrate is not gender locked, DailyCandy does well in coming up with lists for men.


Refinery29 is also city specific and everywhere like DailyCandy.  Rely on this site to stay up with the latest trends, male and female, if you’re itching to get your fashion forward friends some new wardrobe items.  Not to be left out of the gift guide monopoly, Refinery offers the What Men Really Want for the Holidays list and the 10 Best Holiday Beauty Sets.  And you have to love them for their Sexiest Lingerie list for keeping things hot even in the winter and Donald Trump’s Holiday 2010 Gift Guide for the uber excessive, you can’t take it with you, what the hell gifts.


Coupon deal sites like Living Social and Groupon are keeping up with the holidays by offering more deals and even gift cards (don’t forget to plug in your city!).

For discounts on hot designers check out Bluefly, Piperlime, Solestruck, and Yoox.  If you’re a GiltGroupe member, there are lots of great gift list pages this time of year.   Sort by person or by price range.  The deals are hot and the ideas are nearly endless.

So now that you are strapped with ideas galore, its time to get that fire lit under your butt and get shopping!


Love your hair

Posted in Beauty by Sarah on June 24, 2010

Love your hair!

I have been going to a hairstylist, Shannon, for about a year now and she has introduced me to a new way to care for my hair:  sulfate-free shampoo.  First, a  few things about Shannon:  she started out specializing in curly hair, her focus is now on “soft and natural” hairstyles (she also cuts hair using the “dry-cut” method, which is exactly how it sounds).  So, her advice can work for all of us natural & sometimes curly-haired gals.

Shannon has convinced me to begin using sulfate-free shampoo.  Sulfate-free shampoo is shampoo that doesn’t contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS).  Sulfate-free shampoos also tend to be made of natural and sometimes even organic ingredients.  Shannon explained that the sulfate in shampoos is an extremely strong cleanser – unnecessarily strong.  In the past few years, there’s been discussion in the “hair world” that washing your hair with sulfate-containing shampoo can damage your hair and scalp, and can be potentially drying.

Now, maybe San Francisco has made me a little crunchy, but I have really noticed how healthy sulfate-free shampoo keeps my hair!  It still washes your hair but it uses much gentler ingredients to do so.

I use shampoo from this great line of hair care products called UNITE (btw – somehow they’ve managed to make almost all of their products smell ridiculously delicious).  It may be on the pricey side and I get it at my salon but I’ve noticed a number of other options that might be a little more wallet-friendly and are available in places other than my cute little salon.  These brands include Abba, which sells at Walgreens, Alba, available at Whole Foods (though not all Alba shampoos are sulfate-free), Burt’s Bees Herbal Treatment & Grapefruit/Sugar Beet Shampoo (CVS & Walgreens), even mom’s old favorite brand, TIGI, makes sulfate-free shampoo.  I haven’t tried all of these, and I understand that not all sulfate-free shampoos are the same.  And, although the shampoo I use from Unite creates a pretty nice lather, you may notice that the lather is not as super-sudsy as you’re used to.  This may take a little getting used to, but it is only because you are using gentle soap, not supah-strong detergent, on your hair.  Check it out & give your hair some love!


Posted in Beauty by Elizabeth on March 5, 2010

Winter or summer, your feet have a rough time of it.  The winter is dry and cold, hard for the tough skin on the bottom of your feet.  Summer time means flipflops and sandy beaches, also rough on the feet.   How many commercials have you seen for things meant to solve rough, cracked feet?  Clearly it’s a problem.  Especially when you want to wear sandals or curl up barefoot next to your significant other.  I do two things to make sure my feet, especially my heels, stay nice and smooth and soft.

First, about once a week (though sometimes more, especially in the summer) I use a pummice stone in the shower.  If you’re starting with some sorry sad feet, it will take a few weeks to get to a nice soft skin.  Either way, this stone takes all the dry and dead skin off your feet.  I concentrate on the heels and the balls of my feet.  This is definitely the product to use to exfoliate your skin.  No one should have to use a pedi-egg (ick).   And for those who are sticking to a budgeted shower time, this really only adds one minute tops to your shower schedule.   You can pick up a pummice stone up at almost any store – CVS carries them.   I got mine at Whole Foods.  Don’t blow your budget on it though.  I mean, it’s a stone.

After the shower, whether I pummiced or not, I put on body butter.  This stuff is LOADED with moisture and is perfect to soften the skin on your feet.  My body butter of choice is the coconut cream body butter from Sephora.  They have all different scents though – so to each her (or his) own! I put this on after showers and sometimes before bed too.  It is great to put it on before putting on socks which helps the moisture to sink into your skin and really help heal your skin.  The same goes for right before bed; crawling under your sheets with freshly applied lotion encourages the lotion to get deep into your skin.  On a side note, I also use this body butter on the back of my arms and elbows, a problem dry skin area of mine.  Don’t skimp on other body parts – body butter is great for it.  So please, take care of your feeties!  No embarrassing dry heels, show off your feet in sandals, play footsie with your significant other or a stranger for that matter!  With these two simple steps you’ll have fantastic healthy feet!

Put some vitamins on your face!

Posted in Beauty by Sarah on January 20, 2010

For the past two years I have been plagued by blotchy, uneven, stressed-out skin on my face.  Growing up, I never had this problem.  Bad skin is supposed to be an awkward teenager problem, not one for us grown-up gals!  I don’t know if the change in my skin tone is a result of exposure to San Francisco weather or the stress of being a lawyer, or both.

Having been too busy for a trip to a dermatologist (and a little bit nervous about what the diagnosis might be), I have tried a bunch of different products to try to clear things up and, until lately, had little success.

I think I have found a magical cure, though:  Vitamin E!  Vitamin E is a great moisturizer and is also an antioxidant.  So, while its moisturizing it is supposed to help heal damage from things like sun exposure and free radicals.  It is also supposed to heal skin that has been badly scarred (Mom put it on her finger when it was badly injured a few years ago).  Since I’ve started using it the skin on my face has been clear, even in tone, and doesn’t look stressed out!

I use this product by Jason that I get at Whole Foods.  It is really mild and my guess is that it is gentle on the senstive skin of all us Forney gals.  Let me know what you think if you try it!

You’ll catch cold like that!

Posted in Beauty by Elizabeth on January 14, 2010

Don’t you hate winter time?  I’m talking getting out of that warm cozy bed in the morning to a chilly bedroom and cold floor.  Even worse is getting out of the shower – hurriedly picking out clothing to put on your shivering not yet dry body.  Well to top that off, you didn’t leave yourself enough time this morning and walk out to work, school, life with a wet head.  (Cue mom, Put a hat on that wet head! You’ll catch cold like that!).  The dreaded freezing outside contacts that wet head, dropping your core temperature to a miserable degree.  And maybe, just maybe, if it’s cold enough, you discover little icicles in your hair by the time you reach your destination (sad).


Enter hair dryers.  BaByBliss makes great hair dryers.  My hair takes FOREVER to dry (Meredith can attest to this).  While Forney hair may be fine, there sure is a whole lot of it on our heads.  My curls exacerbate the issue and cause longer drying time.  Then I bought this hair dryer.  It dries my hair so wondrously fast!  I don’t need that extra 30 minutes in the morning for drying.  It’s incredible!  I recommended this to Andrea over the holidays – Andrea, what do you think of it?

So if you are in need of a new hair dryer, or would like to cut down on some drying time in the morning to save you from the terrible head icicles, give this baby a whirl!

Benefit’s Big Beautiful Eyes

Posted in Beauty by Sarah on October 28, 2009

Hello, lovelies. I know not all of you wear makeup regularly (or at all), but I thought I’d share one of my go-to cosmetic solutions that I’ve been really impressed with. It’s called “Big Beautiful Eyes” from Benefit.

I get ready at the gym in the morning and usually have less than 5 minutes to throw on some makeup. I have found that if I even take 2-3 minutes and use this, it makes a huge difference in how I look (and sometimes how I feel!).

Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes

This baby comes in a set of 3 colors & it looks marvelous with Forney eye colors & skin tone (though it claims to works for all eye colors). Aside from having very flattering shades, everything is combined into one, which makes application extremely quick and easy. It includes two great little brushes and a concealer palette for those rare mornings when you have little dark circles under your eyes.

I especially love how well the colors work together to provide seemingly endless color combinations from subtle daytime makeup, to polished and professional, to smoky sexy nighttime eyes (ooh la la!). Also, in case you are a little shy of the make-up brush, the kit comes with instructions on how to apply each color to create different combinations.

P209346_heroI bought mine at Sephora for around $30 and it’s been well worth it. Also, it looks like you can get a free philosophy body wash with any purchase at Sephora now, by just entering the code “Buffing” at checkout. How fabulous!

Taking care of the goods

Posted in Beauty by Meredith on September 16, 2009

So I went to a new salon and found the perfect waxer last week.  I have had a wide range of experiences from the horrible kick-you-in-the-face painful to the pleasant and beautiful results and everything in between.  It was quick and the least painful I’ve ever felt.  Anyway this woman, Alla, told me how to prevent in-grown hairs because they are no fun.  She said every day in the shower to rub down with any product that has sea salt and then also with shea butter.  They don’t usually come in the same bottle so you may have to improvise.  But she says it takes care of the skin so that it doesn’t even create the environment for hair to grow wrong.  It’s a nice little tactic to keep us healthy and clean.  Woohoo!

You could try something like this

You could try something like this


with a little bit of this too

with a little bit of this too

20% Off at Bath & Body Works

Posted in Beauty by Sarah on August 7, 2009
20% Off!

20% Off!

Hey all, there’s a sale going on at Bath & Body Works.  I know a few of us use their antibacterial soaps.  This may be a good time to stock up!  Use this coupon for 20% off purchases of $25 or more.  That’s a savings of $5 if your purchase is $25!

P.S.  If clicking on the image doesn’t work, click here to print the coupon:

hair stuff

Posted in Beauty by Elizabeth on August 6, 2009

In my recent visit to the beach this week I wanted to use a detangler when I got out of the ocean so that I kept damage to a minimum. I used this and it was great! My hair was silky smooth and felt great.

Sarah’s Beauty Post of the Week

Posted in Beauty by Sarah on August 6, 2009

I’m recommending this ridiculously great product that works wonders on my hair, and I imagine will work well with everyone else’s too!  It’s a product by Bumble & Bumble called “Brilliantine” and it is, well, brilliant.

You use it on dry hair for a tossled but controlled look with some extra sheen.  I use it after I’ve dried my hair (sometimes before & sometimes after the straightener).


Also… it’s $20 for 2 oz.  But you only use a small squeeze each time and it really goes far.  I’ve had my bottle for months, so it’s definitely a great investment!  Mom uses it too!

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