Christmas came a little early this year thanks to Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding event. The Solid Rock Foundation puts on a Christmas show yearly to benefit The Solid Rock Teen Center. The show is always a little different and this year was no exception. This year’s event was hosted this past Saturday December 7th at the Comerica Theatre. It was amazing to see all the rock stars of my childhood come together under one roof to aid Sheryl and Alice Cooper in their quest for keeping teens safe.
This year’s line-up included: Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of Kiss, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Kip Winger of Winger and Joan Jett. Seinfeld Star John O’Hurley hosted the show, and Bill Engvall was a special guest comedian.
This year’s event was very special as Rock Demarco, the world’s fastest painter enlisted the help of Alice and Sheryl Cooper to help him propose on stage to girlfriend Olivia Haine. Demarco comes out to paint some of the celebrities every year for Christmas Pudding to serve as auction items. This year he painted legendary rocker Joan Jett, and the man himself, Alice Cooper.
It is fun to work with people who are passionate about what they do and give a hundred percent every time. That is one of the things that endear me personally to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock in addition to Alice and Sheryl Cooper and the entire Solid Rock Team.
The Cooper’s are a very community-minded and gracious couple, and that is why celebrities donate their time to Christmas Pudding every year!
I would also like to publically acknowledge Coye Pointer of Scottsdale Airpark Dodge and Cherylanne DeVita of DeVita International who have been generous Solid Rock sponsors for years, and who I have the honor and privilege of working with on SmartFem.com.
Christmas is a very special time of the year; help Alice and his friends keep teens safe by giving them the gift of music, dance, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. To find out more go to www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.
Also to see more photos of this fabulous event check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/smartfem.az
Photos courtesy of Surrealsister Photography
As a skin cancer survivor I found out the hard way that what you put on your skin does truly go in but I also found some information that most people just don’t know. The United States has almost no restrictions on the cosmetic industry and companies can put just about anything in a bottle and sell it. The companies in the U.S. that manufacture these products would be in violation of the law if they were to try to sell these products in Canada or most of Europe. The United States is about 30 years behind when it comes to cosmetics as most of the ingredients we use here have been banned for decades in Europe.
Phthalates are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and reproductive problems when these chemicals are exposed during and after pregnancy, yet companies continue to use them. These Phthalates are also known to have hormone-mimicking chemicals which can disrupt the normal hormone functions and is believed to increase the risk of breast cancer.
My younger sister has suffered from cystic acne all her life and now she is enduring chemo for breast cancer. She expressed to me her anguish as she can no longer use acutane on her face and her acne is incredibly aggressive right now. In addition she cannot use cosmetics either because of the Phthalates and so she expressed her embarrassment with her hair-loss, raging acne and inability to use cosmetics. My heart ached for her and so I called Cherylanne DeVita to see if there is anything that can be done.
Although I am already a raving fan of DeVita Skincare, the founder Cherylanne DeVita has really helped me understand. DeVita is a pure vegan skincare and cosmetic firm and has nothing that will interfere with her hormones or her chemo. In addition to enlightening me she also took my sister’s address and sent her a beautiful gift set with all of the DeVita skincare products.
My sister called me and was so choked up by not only Cherylanne’s generosity but that she said it was the first time her skin felt good in months. She also went on to express how exquisite and elegant the packaging was. DeVita products are amazing and two of the women I love most, my sister and daughter, now use them. It’s rare in today’s world to find a company you can trust. I feel better knowing that there are CEO’s like Cherylanne who will take on the big cosmetic firms and do the right thing!
Letitia Frye has been an entertainer and auctioneer in the Valley and across the globe for over a decade and has raised over a hundred million dollars. She is a busy mom with a unique career and it was fun to catch up with her. Letitia has shared the stage with CEO’s and celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper She will be gracing the stage again on November 21st for Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk. I really enjoyed talking with her and found her to be an incredibly intelligent women with great ideas and opinions. I find it fascinating when I meet women who make their mark in a male dominated profession.
Refreshing, interesting, energetic and progressive are the first things that spring to mind after talking to Letitia. I found Letitia down to earth and real and we had a great conversation as she is so much more than just a pretty face. One of the things I like to ask women when I interview them is if they can really have it all? Letitia’s response was dead on, “A woman can have it all if she can achieve balance and be efficient.” “Many women are busy but not necessarily efficient and you have to be mindful of the difference and create systems or procedures in your life that enable you to be productive.”
We chatted about a number of different things such as giving back to your community and also about being socially responsible and voting. I asked her opinion on women voting as we have had that right for almost a hundred years and the numbers of women who don’t vote are staggering. I was impressed with her passionate response. “Get an absentee or early ballot and just do it.” “My calendar changes daily so voting early helps me do my part and I don’t have to deal with the poll lines.
Letitia expressed how excited she was to be a part of the Catwalk this year as her calendar has never permitted it in prior years. It has been really fun for me interviewing these celebrities for the Catwalk and they all have said the same thing as to why they participate… “I love Debbie Gaby!”
Here is a bit more about Letitia in her own words…
I was born… Marin Country General in Marin, CA.
The most influential person in my life as a child was... My mother.
I believe women can… have it all; it just requires balance, focus and understanding the difference between busy and efficient.
The biggest challenge being in a male dominated profession is…. Not letting the negativity get you down and seeking out positive male mentors and guides.
My guilty pleasure is... Tabasco.
My favorite movie of all time is…. The Wizard of Oz.
One thing no one knows about me is… I take harmonica lessons once a week.
My proudest moment was…. The birth of my two children.
One thing I’ve learned that I want to pass on to young women is… To see other women as a positive asset, not a threat. To cultivate her female relationships and guard them as precious gifts for they are priceless as you get older.
My Commitment to our SmartFem readers and to women everywhere is that I will only work with the very best and most trusted brands. SmartFem researches everything so that our brands are companies that I know to be safe and responsible.
I am ALWAYS skeptical when it comes to fast weight loss or instant results because my personal experience is that the weight comes on fast but goes off slow and I need concrete proof to believe otherwise. Maintaining my weight has been a struggle over the last few years as my metabolism has definitely slowed. I will be the first to admit that I cringe at the monthly gym membership fee that I pay for and don’t use. I feel the pangs of guilt daily as I drive past the gym on my way to work.
I hate to admit that despite my skepticism I still harbor a secret hope that just one will ring true. I recently heard that Imaj Institute had created a laser that melts the fat and of course inches, which makes me automatically curious and skeptical at the same time. Although I was apprehensive I was pretty excited to hear that someone had lost 7 inches during one session. Being the impatient girl that I am I had to find out for myself immediately.
My experience at Imaj Institute was fabulous, as the facility is beautiful and the staff is always warm and friendly. The women are all excited and passionate about what they do, which is always a plus when the world can be so negative sometimes.
‘I had three fabulous girls working on Me, Augustina Snowden, Nicole Good and Amanda Gardiner. Before we got started we took pictures and measurements of the problem area, your basic mid section. They took three measurements across the belly button, above the bellybutton and below.
I have gone to Imaj prior so I know that they are accredited and they have done some outstanding work on my surgical scars so I was definitely in the hope zone about the procedure. (Skeptical but still hopeful). Unlike Cool Sculpting I did not freeze and I actually had results!!!! What a concept. I am happy to report that I no longer have a muffin top and can’t wait to get into my skinny jeans.
I am a bit too shy to give you my before and after photo’s but I will give you my before and after measurements.
Belly button before 29 ½ inches After 28 ¼
Above Belly button 28 After 26 ¼
Below Belly button 31 ½ After 30
Well ladies that is almost 5…count them…5 inches in an hour and a half. My skirt was so loose I had to change it. I am so thrilled with the results and really love the special treatment and pampering that I received from Imaj Institute. I may sneak in one more treatment before the Holidays!
Melissa Hornung is so much more than the girl next door, she is a Renaissance Woman. The dictionary describes a renaissance man or woman as someone who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field. I had the opportunity to meet Melissa at the Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower this November. In addition to being a world traveled equestrian and polo player, she is an international model, published writer, an incredible artist and recently a clothes designer.
I met Melissa several times during her stay in Scottsdale while she participated in the Scottsdale Polo Championships. I haven’t previously had much exposure to polo and found myself totally enamored with this fascinating sport and the camaraderie of the players. Melissa was kind enough to introduce me to her fellow players Sunny Hale, Erica Gandomcar-Sachs and she even introduced me to the Captain of the Wales Men’s Polo Team Ricky Cooper. Melissa was very complimentary of her fellow team members and especially gracious to the leadership skills for her team captain Sunny Hale. Despite the competitive nature of professional sports there seems to be a mutual respect and elegance which drew me in to polo.
Here is a few things about Melissa in her own words…
I was born…in Westfield, New Jersey.
The most influential person in my life as a child was…God….if that counts as a person. If not, I would have to say my mother. She is really feisty and fun, always seeking adventure and dressed for the occasion. Oh, and she can cook!
I believe women can do anything that they put their mind to… even play in a predominantly male, high contact sport and be good at it while wearing her favorite lip gloss.
The biggest challenge being in a male dominated profession is… probably the high physical contact and risk of injury.
My guilty pleasure is… Guinness beer and southern fried chicken! Mmmmmmmmm!
My favorite movie of all time is… by far the God Father Trilogy! Classic
One thing no one knows about me… I am really just a farm girl at heart. My dream is to raise goats and sheep and make cheese and soap some day. Maybe even harvest my own honey. The name “Melissa” means honey bee. I am happiest when I am surrounded by nature and my menagerie of pets.
My proudest moment was… winning the World Cup of Beach Polo in 2011. I had played every year since 2009 and it’s a tough competition to win. The final was so intense and we won with sheer determination and team work. Carlos Gracida, a polo professional from a very famous polo family walked up to us after the final and said “that was the most intense final I have ever seen…and I don’t mean women’s final, I mean final;” A very proud moment indeed.
One thing I’ve learned that I want to pass on to young women is… One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t flaunt your pearls in front of swine for they will trample them in the mud” Hold yourself in the highest esteem, the greatest gift you can pass onto yourself and to the world is your very own passion and the willingness to believe.
One of my future aspirations is to write a book that will inspire people.
Melissa is a beautiful and down to earth woman with a big heart whom I consider a fabulous girlfriend and she really makes me proud of what we can do and be as women.
As a journalist it is always been fun for me to interview and write about people from all walks of life. Once in awhile I get to meet people who have left a lasting legacy. I recently had to opportunity to meet G. Darrell and Bonni Olson of Jewels & Estate Gallery. I met them as a result of their generous donations to Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk being held on November 21st. The Olsons have been giving back to the community for years but this year’s generous donations were unprecedented. I really wanted to get to know them more. Bonni was kind enough to spend time with me and let me interview her.
…I must say sitting down in a lavish jewelry gallery is not the worst way to spend an afternoon. I fell in love too many times to count but let’s get back to the story.
G. Darrell Olson, the founder of Jewels & Estate Gallery, has an incredible and tragic story of how he got into the jewelry business. His interest in jewelry started in 1935; at the age of five he began traveling with his father George L. Olson who was a partner and inter-mountain salesman for a wholesale jewelry company in Salt Lake City. Tragically Darrell’s father was robbed and killed by one of his clients. His interest in the jewelry business ended until 1943 when he then became a shipping clerk in his father’s old company.
He moved up to become a salesman and eventually opened up his own retail jewelry store here in Phoenix Arizona. The Olsons remained at the same location for thirty years and only recently relocated to their new gallery at 1846 East Camelback Road.
One of the things I realized right away about the Olson’s is their warm friendly attitude and that they truly are kind people. Darrell and Bonni Olson‘s staff has been with them for many years and they even bring their little dogs with them to the Gallery each day. It was so fun to see Darrell in action with a passion for jewelry that has never waned and a refreshing commitment toward educating his clients. One of the things Bonni pointed out which I hadn’t thought of was the importance to really spend your time finding that perfect stone for your jewelry.
After meeting with the Olsons at Jewels & Estate Gallery I have a new perspective on jewelry and the importance of heirlooms and the lasting legacy they bring.
“My commitment to our SmartFem readers is that we will work with the best and most trusted brands. SmartFem will do the research so that you don’t have to. DeVita Skincare is an established, award winning, certified Woman Owned Business and one of those products that I’m proud to review and recommend.”
As much as I love to travel, with all the new security regulations for airlines it has become more and more difficult for a woman to pack and organize her toiletries. For the last few years I’ve been buying empty three ounce containers and attempting to squeeze my skincare products into them to get past the watchful eyes of the TSA.
I like the idea of having these kits ready in case I have to travel unexpectedly, which does happen quite often. Except I have found this to be cumbersome and messy and often I find I’m not always good about keeping my travel kit prepared and scramble at the very last minute to put one together.
Recently SmartFem found DeVita Skincare to be an incredible vegan skincare and cosmetic line. I was pleasantly surprised that they sold “Travel & Try-Me” kits that are already beautifully pre-packed.
I have also found that these are fabulous gifts for the incredible women in your life. This allows them to sample the high quality look of “Chanel-like” products all the while knowing that these products are safe and made with the highest manufacturing standards. DeVita Skincare products are all-vegan, paraben-free, and the gorgeous “Eco-Chic” packaging is also Eco friendly and made from recycled materials.
Here is why I really like DeVita Natural Skin Care Systems and why you should try them.
- Treat Your Skin to The Latest Technology from Nature
- The Natural Cosmeceutical Choice
- No Chemicals
- No Parabens
- No Alcohol
- No Pesticides
- No Fragrance
- PETA Certified
A great way to take your DeVita products along with you on a quick trip. Also a perfect way to sample nine of their most purchased daily care products. The travel kit comes with a usage guide and a DeVita clear vinyl tote.
The DeVita Deluxe Travel Kit Includes:
- Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser, 2 oz
- Gentle Aloe Facial Scrub, 2 oz
- Moroccan Rose Facial Toner, 2 oz
- Cool Cucumber Facial Toner, 2 oz
- Solar Protective Moisturizer 30, 1/2 oz
- Evening Rich Moisturizer, 1/2 oz
- Revitalizing Eye Lift Creme, 1/2 oz
- DeVita-C 17% Serum 1/8 oz
- Optimal Rejuvenation Serum, 1/8 oz
Keeping these travel kits on hand sure makes my travel life a lot easier. Bon Voyage and don’t forget to try DeVita Skincare products, you will never go back.
It is always fun when I get the chance to catch up with Superwoman Catherine Anaya, news anchor for CBS 5 in Arizona as I had interviewed her on SmartFem earlier this year, but thought it was time to reconnect when I heard she was participating in Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk. There certainly is a lot of buzz going on about the celebrity Catwalk this year as Debbie has some great surprises in store and I thought it would be a great time to interview Catherine about her participation and get her thoughts on this month’s event.
Here is the interview:
SmartFem: Catherine I understand that you have participated in Catwalk before.
Catherine: Yes, I participated in the last Catwalk which was 2 years ago and it was a blast.
SmartFem: Can you tell our readers why you chose to participate in the Celebrity Catwalk?
Catherine: Well I absolutely love Debbie Gaby and just can’t say no to her. The event is so inspiring and she makes it so wonderful with the fashion and the fun. She always gives so much back to the community and the charities benefiting this year’s event are the Salvation Army Kroc Center and Starlight Foundation to name a few.
SmartFem: Catherine, you are a veteran when it comes to Catwalk can you tell me what your favorite experience with the Celebrity Catwalk has been?
Catherine: It’s a great way to get out of my element and pretend to strut the Catwalk without falling. It’s also fun to get together with all the other anchors and connect while we are all pretending to be something we’re not.
SmartFem: What will you wear this year on the Catwalk?
Catherine: I am not too sure as I haven’t been fitted yet, but last year’s ensemble from Dillard’s was so beautiful that I ending up buying it.
SmartFem: What’s new on the horizon for you Catherine?
Catherine: Well I am pretty busy just trying to keep all the balls in the air, but I do have a new series that I am pretty excited about. I am starting a new series on CBS5 called Better Arizona; it airs on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. We highlight positive, uplifting stories about people making a difference as well as special events and places in Arizona.
There is still time to get your tickets and in the meantime I hope that you will show your support and “like” The Catwalk Facebook page at Facebook.com/DebbieGabysCelebrityCatwalk.
My favorite part of being Publisher at SmartFem Magazine is that I get to meet amazing people who do a lot for the community. I have worked with Phoenix Arizona’s Channel 3 throughout the years but never formally had a chance to work with or interview Tara Hitchcock up until now.
As many of you know Tara Hitchcock left Channel 3 about two years ago and, like many of you, I’ve had heard a few rumors so I decided to check in with Tara and find out for myself. I had the chance to interview her and found her to be the way we all know her as perky, funny, candid and passionate. She is also quite the philanthropist.
Tara: Ironic that you asked me that because I will be starting a new weekly segment on CBS5 on Thursday mornings called, Tara’s Reel Travels. The show airs on Oct 31st from 6-7am and will feature all the things I love; travel, sports and entertainment. We will be kicking off the show with Harrison Ford, star of the upcoming movie Enders Game. I have some other projects in the works such as She Knows.
SmartFem: Do you miss getting up early with Channel 3?
Tara: I missed the original show and the fun and friends I worked with. I enjoyed my time on the news but it got tough constantly reporting on all the tragedy’s and horrific things going on and being sad all the time. I was really ready for a change. Sometimes things happen for a reason which is revealed later on. About 3 months after my departure my step-son Dylan suffered a frightening brain injury and I just felt grateful that I was afforded the time to be there for him and my family.
SmartFem: Tara, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to SmartFem. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you have faced throughout the years being in front of the camera and what message would you like to convey to our readers?
Tara: You are very welcome, and I like the positive messages you try to convey to women [through SmartFem]. It has been my experience that women need to be nicer to each other and support one another. My worst critics over the years have been women talking about the way I dress or my big Texas hair. I would love to see us move away from all the pettiness and embrace and support each other despite our differences.
SmartFem: So true Tara. I understand that you will be participating in Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk. Can you tell us about that?
Tara: I am thrilled that Debbie has invited me to emcee this year. I have been one of the models in the past years but have never really been comfortable in that role so I am thrilled that I can highlight all the other models this year. It is going to be a great event as working with Debbie always is. I am looking forward to the fashion, the fun; and knowing that it all goes to a good cause just makes it that much better.
SmartFem: Tara you have had your hand in philanthropy for a number of years, what started that?
Tara: It stems from my grandparents who were always heavily involved with the Salvation Army. I feel that as a TV personality it gave me a chance to show my support when my checkbook couldn’t.
SmartFem: You seem to have it all Tara, a family and a career. Do you have any words of advice?
Tara: Yes it’s very important make time for family, and to enjoy the time with them as much as you can. I believe it’s also important to have something of your own. Find what you love and try to make a living out of it. Despite the fact that my husband is well to do I have always maintained my own bank accounts and had my own identity. Sometimes marriages fall apart. We hope they don’t but sometimes they do so you should always know that you can take care of yourself.
SmartFem: Tara what a pleasure. Thank you for opening up to us and I look forward to seeing you again at Catwalk. I know we are all excited to see you again.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, November 21, 2013. Tara Hitchcock will be emcee for Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk presented by Sleep America Charities. Celebrity Catwalk is an entertaining fashion show where each model is a local celebrity competing for the attention of an adoring audience. Follow the event on Facebook.
Also be sure to check out Tara’s Reel Travels on CBS5 Thursday mornings starting October 31.
Is Laser Rejuvenation safe? Well I guess it depends on who is operating the laser. I must admit that I have had several laser treatments and they have always been absolutely fabulous. However, one of my dear friends went to her own esthetician and was horribly burned. It made me wonder… are lasers safe? After seeing my friend’s injury I decided to do a little research on the subject for SmartFem, and I was alarmed at the results.
Lasers are safe in the hands of highly trained professionals with a license. However you must be sure that your technician is indeed licensed. The medical spa industry is booming and so are the schools that train these so called technicians. However many of these schools are not accredited nor licensed. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Gary Begley, of IMAj Institute, a licensed and accredited school right here Scottsdale to find out the real facts. I was impressed with his honesty about some of the problems in the industry. you must be sure that your technician is indeed licensed
IMAj is an Arizona State Certified Laser Technician Training Course provider, as authorized by the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA). There are many schools that offer a certification for students with a two-week course. Gary explained to me that it simply was not enough time for the students to meet their scheduled (required?) lab hours. In 2008 Mr. Begley, the President of IMAj Institute, was appointed to the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology by Governor Janet Napolitano to provide leadership to the aesthetics community.
One of the other problems with these non-accredited schools is that they lure unsuspecting students into these expensive non-accredited programs. Which leave students with emptied bank accounts and unable to secure jobs in license facilities.
Laser resurfacing can be safe as long as it is performed in the skilled hands of someone with proper training. Also, if you or someone you know is considering a career as an esthetician or laser technician, do your due diligence as not all schools are the same.