Celebrity scents 'Black Friday' beauty bargains

Mariah Carey's Forever

Looking good and smelling great are gifts anyone would be happy to receive this holiday season.

Look for Black Friday Bargains on gift sets from RocaWear, Badgley Mischka, Britney Spears and Maria Carey.

Mariah Carey's Forever

Eau De Parfum Spray 3.3 fl oz

Body Lotion 3.3 oz

Deluxe Mini Parfum

$68 (a $158 value)

Available at Macy's and other fine department stores.

X Rocawear Gift Set X Rocawear Holiday Gift Set & Gift With Purchase

Eau de Toilette Spray 3.4 fl. oz

Over Body Shampoo 3.4 fl. oz

Deodorant 2.6 oz.

Receive a Rocawear duffle bag with your purchase of $65 or more

       $70 (a $93 value)

Available at Macy's and other fine department stores such as Dillard's & Belk's.

91X Rocawear Gift Set

9IX Rocawear Holiday Gift Set & Gift With Purchase

Eau de Toilette Spray 3.4 fl. oz 

Shower Gel 3.4 fl. oz

Deodorant 2.6 oz.

$70 (a $118 value)

Receive a Rocawear duffle bag with your purchase of $65 or more

Available at Macy's and other fine department stores such as Dillard's & Belk's.

Badgley Mischka Couture Gift Set

 Badgley Mischka Couture Holiday Gift Set

Eau de Parfum Spray 3.4 fl. oz/100ml

Parfum Elixir 0.5 fl. oz/15ml

Leather Beauty Case

$100 (a $138 value)

Available exclusively in the Neiman Marcus Direct Catalogue.

Britney Spears Believ


Britney Spears Believe Holiday Gift Set

Eau de Parfum  Spray 1.0 oz

Body Soufflé 3.3oz

$25 (a $50 value)

Exclusively at Kohl's department stores 2009 holiday season.

Britney Spears Greatest Hits


Britney Spears Greatest HIts Gift Set    

Believe Eau de Parfum .33 oz

Midnight Fantasy Eau de Parfum .33 oz

Curious Eau de Parfum .33 oz

Fantasy Eau de Parfum .33oz 

$35 (a $46 value)

Exclusively at Macy's through the 2009 holiday season.

Style Savvy: in the virtual and real world

These are definitely not orthopedics 

There are too many days where I feel like one of those little old ladies with the shapeless sweater and orthopedic shoes.

Just kidding!

I'm not there yet, but I - like many others - occasionally I find myself desperate for something really cute or sexy or trendy or just plain new to make me feel fashion fantastic.

Recently, I got a chance to test drive the syn Sofia-developed Style Savvy for the Nintendo DS and DSi. The game retails for $29.99.

For once, I got to shop until I dropped and someone else picked up the tab. Nothing like a little retail therapy to soothe the frugalista.

With 10,000 pieces that change as the seasons do as well as downloadable styles from designer Charlotte Ronson - pieces you can actually add to your real wardrobe - you'll never wonder what to wear again.

But before I got started playing this super-addictive game, I got a chance to speak with LA-based stylist and lifestyle expert, Alison Deyette. Deyette, who appears regularly on Today, The View, Tyra and more, gave me some great tips for my new favorite retail therapy game as well as a few I can use in the real world.

"Fashion is cyclical. Everything comes around again," she says, when I lament having tossed a great pair of Frye boots that now seem to be fashionable again - only this time at three times what I paid way back when. "Trendy items you toss. Good things you keep."

I vow to do just that when I go on another one of my mad de-cluttering rampages. I only hope I can follow through since it is so much easier to purge than sanely consider the long term possibilities, especially when space or rather lack of space is an issue.

Deyette's biggest tip for turning heads this holiday season is to shop for the bargains at discount shops like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Daffy's, Filene's and Loehmann's.  "I love the hunt," she says.

Other great places to pick up terrific style at budget prices are H&M, Banana Republic (even cheaper are GAP and Old Navy), Sears and JC Penney. 

She also recommends online shopping for deep discounts on sites like,, etc. There are loads more, specializing in everything from shoes ( to vintage (

Load on chunky bracelets, layer several strands of multi-length necklaces, opt for a bold bib necklace or pile on the dramatic cocktail rings.  Costume jewelry is a perfect wardrobe pick-me-up, Deyette adds.

It's cheap, it's dazzling and no one knows if it's real or if it's fake. Some great places to find these bargain jewelry pieces are Kohl's, Forever 21, and Target.

"I'm loving the belt," she says. "i"m a big fan of belts."  Everyone has a waist and it's time women started cinching it.

She suggests investing in a skinny patent leather belt, a wide braided belt and a wide stretch belt to belt over jackets, nip the waist on dresses, and draw attention to natural curves.

The big bold color for fall is purple, Deyette says, adding that bold is essential to pulling off a wardrobe update.  "Stay away from the safety of black...Choose colors. It gets you noticed when you walk into a room," she says.

Game Party 3 great for family fun

Game Party 3 great for family fun

Anyone who knows me well knows I am a klutz.  If it's five miles out of the way, I can trip over my shoelace, somehow bump into the coffee table and raise a nasty purple bruise. 

Still, I persist with the notion that I am sporty. One of the reasons I love the Wii is that it enables my fantasy.

The fantasy  lives on with Game Party 3's pick-up-and-play games like Croquet, Bocce Ball , Racquetball and Mini Golf. 

After creating our own players (even with all the customization options, I wasn't able to get the zaftig look I possess in the real world), we were ready for the challenge of six different game zones - lounge, sports, family fun, rec room, back yard and country club.  

We aren't ready to join the Shuffleboard set, but instead are more of the Root Beer Tapper sort.  Feeling frustrated with our scores, we played a little Smack-a-Troll to vent. I liked Croquet but my son was bored quickly. 

We clearly have different gaming styles. I'm a casual gamer but my son is serious about his gaming. The higher the stakes, the better he liked the game.

The best thing about Game Party 3 is that it provided a platform for my son and me to play together, to do something he likes a lot without having to attempt to learn a million different signature moves.  Yes, I love the Wii intuitive remote.

Developed by Warner Bros. Interactive,Game Party 3 is perfect play for the family or for a crowd - up to four can play or in tournament mode up to 16.

Ranging from Billiards to Trivia, there are 19 games to appeal to everyone in your crowd. Retails for $29.99.

It's rated E for Everyone, but if you're squeamish about hitting then Smack-a-Troll is not going to be for you.

Why are Americans so fat? Blame it on the 'burbs'

I am not a skinny person.  For most of my adult life, I've been roughly the same weight, give or take a few pounds. But I am rarely sick and am free of the problems - high blood pressure and out of control cholesterol - often associated with women and men my age.  

Never, ever do I follow diets shunning trans fats, carbohydrates or espousing high protein or whatever nonsense is currently the fad.

My weight is proportionate to my height and unlike many women, I love my body.

I eat what I want, choosing from all the food groups - including chocolate. Okay, I know chocolate is not a recognized food group, but my point is that all the wonderful, delicious foods we prepare with fresh and whole foods are meant to be enjoyed.

But they are meant to be enjoyed in moderation. It's not food that makes kids and adults fat; however, government continues to approach the problem of obesity as being primarily food-related.

In some states - New York among them - the schools are creating new policies to combat childhood obesity, which generally translates to adult obesity.  Among the strategies employed in New York City, where Board of Education studies indicate a shocking 40% of its students are obese, is the banning of bake sales as fundraisers.  

I wish state boards of education would show the same rigor and attention to their school lunch programs where meals are about what they were when I was a public school student  - not very nutritious with menus relying heavily on processed and refined foods.

Revamping school lunch programs would be costly and painful as progress often is, but paying the price now seems remarkably cheaper than paying the price later in skyrocketing health care costs. Obesity creates the kinds of health problems - from increased risk of heart disease  and diabetes to conditions affecting the joints and muscles - which only add to an already buirdened health care system.

Increasing physical activity in the schools - where many do not have adequate gymnasiums or physical education programs - is essential.  Although there are studies which indicate exercise is not necessarily going to make fat people thinner - for a variety of complicated reasons - exercise combined with conscious, moderate food intake is still the best insurance Americans have against their increasing girth.

Why are Americans so fat?  Studies indicate Americans are consuming only 100 calories more than they did 20 years ago and their fat intake has dropped by 8 percent from 42 to 34 percent. These studies infer that Americans should be healthier and trimmer rather than hugely overweight.

Blame it on the suburbs or car culture. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does, reporting "that years of uncontrolled suburban sprawl built around cars has left us unable to walk anywhere."  

I used to walk roughly and hour to an hour a half each day. This was a distinct part of my daily life as a city dweller. We did not have a car' so  getting about the city and all errands required lot6s of walking.  It was an ingrained part of my life and really my only organized exercise.

Our new community seems to support, in a strictly unscientific observation, the CDC's assertions. One of the first things I noticed about the NC community where my son and I are now living were the large numbers of overweight kids and adults.

No one walks any where.  If a conscious effort is not made to exercise, there is no reason to do more than walk to the car and roll. 

To complicate matters, there are groups like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance who rightly advocate for tolerance on issues of size and weight, but skew the issue by inferring disproportionate height and weight are reasonable and healthy. Obesity is not any more okay than an unnatural desire to be stick thin. 

Are some people incapable of controlling their weight? Absolutely. Americans need only look at their increasingly fat population for concrete evidence. Is it unhealthy? Yes.  Is it a waste of billions of dollars. Yes.

Americans spend more than $35 billion annually on weight loss products and still are losing the battle of the bulge.  There are no simple solutions to this growing problem of girth. For now the best answer is the oldest and the least appealing for most - the discipline to eat less and move more.

Low Country Boil highlight of Eagle Island Getaway

Eagle Island is where I want to be right about now

It's officially autumn, but the Southeast is the perfect place to head when you just have to squeeze in one last getaway before the weather turns cold and recalcitrant.

If you've only experienced Hilton Head or Kiawah Island off the South Carolina coast, look a little deeper South for an experience more rustic, more authentic and definitely more relaxed - the Private Islands of Georgia's Eagle Island.

Whether you're looking to disappear with someone special or with a group of friends, this secluded 10-acre getaway is a find. Getaways can be customized.

Accessible only by boat, guests enjoy the spectacular Georgia salt marsh eco system, offshore/inshore fishing, blue crabbing, coastal cruises or full moon weekends in complete privacy. A 10-foot wraparound screened porch with hot tub and an outdoor fire pit are perfect for idling.

For those who can't leave their technology behind, there is WiFi and Direct TV. Rates start at $400 per couple per night. Round-trip boat transportation is provided with each visit.

Get owner Capt. Andy Hill to put on a low country boil for the end to a long and perfect autumn day on the coast. Wild Georgia shrimp, Andouille sausage, carrots, potatoes and corn make for some good Southern eating. Serve with deep dish corn bread and a few cold bottles of Reisling.

Low country boil is a fantastic fall meal

Low Country Boil

You don't have to be in the low country to enjoy this seasonal Southern shore specialty.

Note - outdoor gas cookers are typically used. A large pot on the range can also be used when outdoor gas cookers are not available. 

Fill a large pot with water. Leave enough room in the pot to accommodate the food in order to prevent over boiling. Bring water to a boil.

Next, prepare the Private Islands of Georgia Seasoning Blend (recipe below) and add to boiling water.

Note - Old Bay Seasoning can be substituted for the Private Islands of Georgia Seasoning Blend if desired

Private Islands of Georgia SPECIAL Seasoning Blend


2 sticks butter

1 cup black pepper

1/2 cup red pepper

1 cup garlic salt

1/2 cup seasoning salt

1/2 cup celery salt

10 lemons, halved and juiced

10 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

Melt butter in large sauce pan on low to medium heat.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with wire whisk. Pour contents of mixing bowl into melted butter and stir with wire whisk until well blended.

Pour fresh squeezed lemon juice into pan and stir. Add jalapeno pepper slices and stir. Add mixture to boiling water.

Low Country Boil  Ingredients

Note - other ingredients that can be added to personal taste are rutabagas, sweet potatoes, crabs, crawfish or the 'kitchen sink' - whatever textures and flavors you love

4 pounds shrimp

2 packages Andouille sausage cut into 1" slices - or substitute your favorite brand

8 onions, peeled and halved

16 new potatoes

4 ears of corn, halved

small bag of baby carrots

After adding the Private Islands of Georgia Seasoning Blend to the boiling water, you are now ready to add the remaining ingredients.

The food items are added in order of longest to shortest to cook.

First, add the potatoes and boil 10 minutes. Next, add the carrots, sausage and whole onions. Return to boil. Add corn and return to boil. Then, add the shrimp last. Cook until shrimp are pink in color, approximately 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.

Have on hand extras like cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and don't forget plenty of napkins.

Plump up the volume: Lip Fusion XL

For fuller, sexier. kissable lips

Jump into bed at night and plump your pout with LipFusion XL - 2X Micro-Injected Collagen + HA Advanced Lip Plumping Therapy,.

Smooth it on and wake up to intensely plump, firm, hydrated, and full-out sexy lips.

LipFusion XL is a non-injectable lip volumizing therapy combining two times the pure active collagen of LipFusion's original plumpers with hyaluronic acid (HA), in one high-performance topical nighttime treatment.

Designed to work in synergy with the body's natural water, lips get optimal enhancement from two intense naturally-occurring fillers in one powerful, pout-perfecting formulation: Patented, dehydrated, marine collagen-filling spheres™ penetrate skin's surface on contact, then seek out body's natural water, and rehydrate to instantly plump and smooth lips.

Once Lip Fusion XL is applied, lips swell continually for hours to visibly "fill" lines, boost volume, and keep lips lusciously moist. 

Retails for $50.

Plump up the volume, baby.

Nintendo’s Style Savvy Hits the Fashion Week Runway with Charlotte Ronson

Nintendo and acclaimed designer Charlotte Ronson are putting an interactive twist on this year’s Fashion Week festivities in New York.

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Style Savvy, the new fashion game for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi hand-held systems, Ronson and Nintendo will give attendees a sneak preview of the game at the Sept. 11 runway show after-party for Ronson’s hotly anticipated spring 2010 line.

Style Savvy, launching this holiday season, invites players to create a fashion-forward boutique, help customers in the game find their perfect style using 16 different brands and compete in glamorous runway contests.

Using Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection and a broadband Internet connection, players can also connect wirelessly with friends to shop in their boutiques and join up for multiplayer runway shows.

Style Savvy transforms some of my fashions from the real world into a portable fashion experience that players can take with them anywhere,” Ronson said. “Now everyone can explore their creative instincts and become a fashion stylist.”

Later in the year, Style Savvy players will be able to access Charlotte Ronson Designer Downloads. Players will be able to download items from her fall 2009 line directly into the game.

Nintendo Walk With Me is fitness fun

I am anti-organized sports. Not that you can't love team sports.  Please do.

I'm super happy when my significant other du jour loves sports. While he's playing and watching, he's occupied by something he adores other than me.  And that means quality time together is just that - quality - since everyone is happy.

But that still leaves me faced with how to keep the zaftig from going deep South. Curvaceous is good. Roly-poly is not.

Since I am always, always, always cooking and eating and going out to dinner, I need to stay busy to keep from turning into a little dumpling.

I enjoy my food and I want to keep enjoying it.  I am a walker.  I walk to work. I walk to school. I take stairs whenever possible.  But I noticed lately I need to step up the game.

Enter Nintendo Walk With Me

It tracks your activity or life rhythms, recording and charting it in detail and describes it in terms of animals. The more active you are the quicker you unlock the mini-games too.

Yes, there are days when I am a Daytime Koala, but more often I am a Daytime Lion - on the go. I'd long believed I walked between 45 minutes and an hour each day (and Nintendo Walk With Me confirms it).

The Nintendo Walk With Me comes with the game and two activity meters. Nintendo Walk With Me works with both DS and DSi. Suggested retail is $44.99

It's fun and its funny and it incorporates Miis - for the first time on the DS and DSi. My Mii looks remarkably like me too (although the fantasy version is a bit slimmer). 

Hey, it's a game!

casa naranja bringing fabulous flavor to new media

When you're hot, you're hot, and casa naranja is muy caliente!

This weekend I met the terrific women who create the vision for this super-sleek, super-chic niche market new media  publication defining style, taste and lifestyle for thousands of Latinas in New York & globally.

Elizabeth Mateo is founder and publisher of the smart, fun and sexy site devoted to all things lifestyle, from travel, food, fashion and home decor to culture, arts and entertainment to finance, mind, body and spirit.

I'm rushing out this week to buy one of those fashion forward and adorably bold spring print dresses recommended by casa naranja fashion expert Lilliana Vazquez, author of The Cheap Chica's Guide to Style.

If you love flavor, you will love casa naranja!