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Evans Furs features Vintage Spring Collection

Evans Furs features Vintage Spring Collection 3.67/5 3 votes

EvansFursLeopardEven with Arizona heat making a scene almost year around; furs continue to make statement pieces for those confident enough to rock them, and Evans Furs is the go to place for high quality furs.

For Evans Furs, spring is the perfect time to introduce some vintage pieces new to the store. With so much leopard print, reversible pieces, and even vests, the new vintage collection does not disappoint.

The spring vintage collection will be available at Evans Furs for a limited time. So make sure to visit their location before they are gone. Stop by to witness a part of history, as these vintage pieces are what some consider to be a work of art.

If you’re interested in quality vintage furs Evans Furs will not let you down. Conveniently located on Scottsdale Road, Evans Furs is unlike any shop. The employees make you feel at home allowing you to shop at your own pace and try on the product, giving you the security that you are making a great purchase.

 

Voluma, the next fountain of youth?

Voluma, the next fountain of youth? 5.00/5 1 vote

Does the fountain of youth really exist? It could be that it may come in a little syringe of Voluma.  It is difficult to be a woman over the age of forty, since society and the media tend to focus on youth.  Women are always judged more harshly when it comes to appearance. Throw in the fact that you may be in the public eye frequently as I am. I, like every other woman in the world am looking to find the secret to looking and feeling good in ways that are not too expensive and or too extreme.

womanwithneedleHaving gone under the knife due to extreme skin cancer, I am not one who would elect to go under again after my last surgery. However, I am looking for new procedures that require no down time and will not require a second mortgage on my house.

We have all heard about the liquid facelift, but I wanted to find out more. Recently Allergan, the manufacturers of Juvederm and Botox, has created a new product called Voluma. Voluma is used for volume replacement and restoration. As we get older our face begins to hollow and flatten, but with Voluma the skin is plumped up and its fullness is restored. Voluma is a safe biodegradable gel that is meant to lift the cheeks and muscles so that the skin drapes more beautifully, reducing the look of sagging skin.  Voluma has been approved by the FDA and has been reported to last for up to two years, according to its manufacturers.

Looking your best is a full-time job these days, and I am excited to see that there are so many alternatives to plastic surgery. I should also mention that while plastic surgery does tighten the skin, it doesn’t create fullness or volume. So you would need to add a filler such as Voluma anyway. So why not just start there and figure out if you still need plastic surgery.

Celebrate Fashion and Film At The Phoenix Art Museum’s Hollywood Costume Exhibit

Celebrate Fashion and Film At The Phoenix Art Museum’s Hollywood Costume Exhibit 5.00/5 2 votes

Calling all movie and fashion lovers to the stage! If you’re a fan of the old Hollywood films, such as My Fair Lady and The Wizard of Oz, or even more recent films like Twilight and American Hustle, then head over to the Phoenix Art Museum today. The museum is currently featuring The Hollywood Costume exhibit, complete with over 100 costumes from a century worth of films.

index-1.phpThe Hollywood Costume exhibition “celebrates and explores costume design as a key component of cinema storytelling,” according to the site. As you enter the exhibit, you are met with large red curtains and immediately taken into a world of costume design and filmmaking. Unique about The Hollywood Costume exhibit is its use of technology, projections and holograms to tell the story of each and every costume featured. The exhibit also provides interviews with some of Hollywood’s most famous costume designers, who describe the importance of their role in the storytelling process. These designers explain how something as simple as a shoe or as complex as an old-century ball gown can make or break a film by convincing the audience of the time period and character dynamic. Actors such as Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep agree that having the right costume is what allows them to fully get into character.

redcarpet.php copyWhile walking through the large exhibit, you will get the chance to see Indiana Jones’ famous leather jacket and whip, Darth Vader’s infamous black cape and mask, Dorothy’s girly checkered dress and Marilyn Monroe’s seductive white gown, just to name a few. If you want to take a break from looking at movie character’s costumes, then you can also head to the museum’s Hollywood Red Carpet exhibit. This separate exhibit features a dozen couture gowns worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Glenn Close and Amy Adams on the red carpet.

Celebrate the art of filmmaking and what makes Hollywood one of the most fashionable and entertaining places in the world. Get your tickets here or visit the museum today.

Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl 2014 Brings Together Community, Sports and Motorcycles

Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl 2014 Brings Together Community, Sports and Motorcycles 4.75/5 4 votes

motorcyclesMusic, automobiles, sports, sun, food and drinks. The Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl: Spikes and Spokes, ”The Valley’s  Best New Event,” offered all of this and more on Saturday, April 12. The successful event brought together two of the fiercest players on the field and the road, rugby and motorcycles, to the WestWorld of Scottsdale for the first time.

As guests entered the space, they were met with the smell of gourmet food trucks and the sound of motorcycles, which were lined up for the event. Bikes for Boobies, a nonprofit that raises awareness for breast cancer among the biker community, auctioned off a bike with funds to go toward cancer research.

ASUBYUrugbyMeanwhile, Whiskey’s Quicker rocked out in the World of Beer Garden before the game to get fans pumped up. The sound of classic rock welcomed the Arizona State University and Brigham Young University rugby teams to the field. To escape the sun while enjoying the game, guests were invited into their choice of an ASU, BYU or Beer Garden tent, which offered plenty of drinks and shade. During halftime, ASU fans challenged BYU fans to multiple tug of wars. ASU put on a tough fight against the No. 1 ranked BYU rugby team, but lost with a final score of 57-26.

IrishRockBandAfter the game, guests gathered at the after party to listen to Irish rock band The Keltic Cowboys perform and to enjoy delicious beer among great company. The event was a hit with the community, and ultimately brought together culture, sports and revenue back to the city of Scottsdale.

Mother-Daughter Relationships: How Close Is Too Close?

Mother-Daughter Relationships: How Close Is Too Close? 5.00/5 2 votes

There are only three things my mom and I share in common: our thick brown hair, our stubbornness and our uncontrollable need to shop. Everything else, my good (and bad) personality traits and the majority of my looks, comes from my dad. I am 100% a daddy’s girl, and I am not afraid to admit it. As for my mom, let’s just put it this way…if we aren’t shopping or getting manicures together, then we’re most likely fighting.

I think there is a fine line between your mom being a mom and being a best friend. On one side, you have the moms who look and act so much like their daughters that they are often confused as their twin sister. Then you have the traditional mother who tells you to pull up your pants, makes sure you finish your meal and fixes your hair if it is out of place. I had neither of these kinds of moms.

My mom didn’t want kids. After years of begging and convincing on my dad’s part, however, she finally agreed. What she ended up with were two daughters, and two very different relationships with each one.

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I am not close with my mom. By that, I mean I don’t call her twice a day. I don’t tell her every little thing that goes on in my life, unless it involves an academic achievement or career choice. I tell her the important things, but everything else is saved for my own head or my friends. It used to bother me a lot that I didn’t have such a close relationship with her, and sometimes it still does, but I’m used to it now.

My mom has simply just never been someone I felt I could confide in. Instead, we fight over my boyfriends, my bad attitude and my unwillingness to clean up after myself. At first, I thought it was a rough patch that every mother and teenage daughter go through. Then I grew out of my teens, started becoming an adult and things stayed the same. It’s not that my mom is a bad mom or incapable of expressing herself. Her and my sister have an excellent relationship. For example, my sister and my mom will text and call each other daily. I’m lucky if I hear from my mom once a week.

I don’t envy the fact that my mom is such a big part of my sister’s life and not mine. I am actually someone who enjoys my independence and personal space. When it comes down to it, though, it’s a matter of do we get along or do we not get along. My mom and I just don’t get along. We disagree on the way to handle problems or big decisions, and therefore I go to my dad whenever I need advice on something.

What I envy is not having a mother who sees past the “I’m just tired” excuse and will ask me what is really going on. I don’t need a mom who is constantly meddling with my decisions and relationships. I respect that we give each other space, but it would be nice to be able to tell her about my first love, my first heartbreak and everything in between. I think we all can agree there are those times when you just need your mom.

Dating as a Single Mom- How to Avoid Losing Your Identity

Dating as a Single Mom- How to Avoid Losing Your Identity 5.00/5 4 votes

For a single mom like myself, it feels like beginning to date again is a hopeless cause. All the odds seem to be against you because more than ever, you are looking out for yourself and your happiness. I began dating my current boyfriend over a year ago, and I could honestly say that I have never been happier.

One of the hardest parts about dating is staying true to you. People get so caught up in making their partner happy that they forget to take care of themselves.

the beach at lastOne of the biggest reasons why I hesitated to begin dating was that I did not want to lose my independence, and most importantly my identity. I wanted to be the best mother to my one-year-old daughter, and I did not want anyone to get in the way of that, especially a man.

When I finally decided to give dating a chance I was afraid to do what I did in my previous relationship, which was let myself get lost living the life that my partner wanted me to live. But so far I am happy to tell you that that story has not repeated itself.

Instead of building a wall to protect my feelings and myself, I decided to do what was right and give love another chance. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it right. No walls, no fear, or bad attitude.

I have been doing what feels right in MY heart. If something feels wrong, or if I have a bad feeling about something, I have learned to speak up. One of my biggest mistakes my whole life is expecting for others to know how I am feeling. Boy was I wrong!

Woman Reading a DiaryCommunication is key in any aspect of life. And that is what has allowed me to keep my identity in my relationship. I standup for what I believe in, and I speak up when I don’t agree with something. Don’t be afraid to do it. If you don’t feel comfortable to speak up to your partner, you are probably with the wrong person.

Intimidation and fear can be the biggest causes of the loss of independence and identity, and the first step to fixing that is to get rid of the negativity.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give anybody is to do what makes you happy. Yes I am a fulltime student, employee and head of household, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find the time to do something for myself.

It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Anything from a mani or pedi, to going to buy yourself a new pair of jeans, to simply reading that book series you’ve been wanting to catch up on.

You need to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else. It is definitely not easy. I am a giver by nature and would rather take care of my whole family before looking after myself. But sometimes it is essential in order to live a happy life.

For the first time in my life I feel that I am capable of being in a relationship while staying true to myself. If I can do it, trust me, so can you.

Four Moments to Look Forward to in The Giver

Four Moments to Look Forward to in The Giver 5.00/5 2 votes

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Brenton Thwaites as Jonas in The Giver

Do you like dystopian novels? Do you enjoy Academy Award winning actors? Do you remember reading Lois Lowry when you were younger? If so, The Giver movie will definitely be your cup of tea when it is released this summer.

All spoilers aside, The Giver is an award-winning novel that has been incorporated into middle school curriculum across the country. Since Philip Noyce is directing a movie adaptation, people who did not have a chance to get their first taste of dystopia from this book can now choose to watch it play out on screen.

With Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Swift, and Brenton Thwaites, The Giver film will hopefully do Lois Lowry’s 1993 release justice. The novel focuses on a 12 year old boy, Jonas, as he slowly unravels the secrets to the so called “perfect” community he and his family reside in. In an intent to keep some of the plot points covert, I picked out four events in the novel that will be interesting to see adapted on screen. 

1.  The first memory The Giver shows Jonas

Jonas’ world is turned upside down  once The Giver shows him images of memories. The first of which Jonas sees a sled and some snow. While it may not make sense to people who have yet to read the book (it’s under 200 pages if you’re interested) the seemingly meaningless winter weather and sled is pretty symbolic towards the end.

2. The “colorblind” inhabitants of Jonas’ world

If you read The Giver, you know that the members of the society the book takes place in do not see color. Jonas eventually sees in color, but it will be fascinating to see what types of cinematography the movie will use to depict this phenomenon. Should viewers expect a Wizard of Oz like transition, or something more sophisticated?

novel cover3. When Jonas finds out what “release”  is

When Jonas starts to figure out what is really going on in this “perfect, orderly,” society, it is a horrifying and tragic moment. Sometimes with words, the feelings portrayed can affect you greatly, however in this case, actually watching the events on screen might be closer to emotionally scarring.

4.  The bittersweet ending

Lowry gave readers an ambiguous ending so they could decide what actually happens next. Although many assumed the best for Jonas and his companion, the film may attempt to give readers closure and clarity. Which is, in this case, something to look forward to.

The Giver is set to come out August 15, 2014.

What Type of Relationship Do You Want With Your Son?

What Type of Relationship Do You Want With Your Son? 5.00/5 1 vote

Young Man Checking the Air Pressure of Car Tire with His SonAccording to  research, over the last few hundred years fathers have been less involved in passing on important information and wisdom to their sons. Each generation of fathers has shown that they have less authority over the last generation. Due to the fact that society has believed that raising children was women’s work and making money was a man’s job, to be a provider, fathers became too involved with their work and too busy to help raise healthy, well-adjusted sons

Our society has become confused with how to connect the old myth of the “too powerful father” with the longing for a father to be loving, nurturing and a teacher to his son. During the 1970s and 1980s, men experienced a shift in redefining fatherhood. They wanted to bond with their sons and spend quality time with their sons, rather than always emphasizing the importance of being successful in their careers. Parenting took on a new role and fathers participated in childbirth and parenting.

The term “Role-modeling”  refers to the importance of how a father relates to his wife in terms of treating her with love and respect. If a young boy observes this behavior, then he will treat his mother with love and respect as well as other women in his life. If a boy observes his father  objectifying women, showing lack of respect, and encounters domestic violence, then the son may role model the same behaviors during his childhood.

The way a father plays with his son is very different than the way a mother interacts with her son, developmentally. The research shows that fathers will play in a “rough-tumble” manner, where mothers will provide more of the nurturing, feeding, holding, and basic skills. If a father is involved in the birthing and caring of his newborn throughout his son’s development than a healthy bond will occur in the formative years.  The way a father speaks to his son is also a key ingredient in how his son will feel about himself and his self esteem. Fathers who provide guidance, role modeling, fun activities, and spend nurturing and quality time with their sons will have a healthy relationship.

Some key parenting ingredients in raising your son may include:

  • Learn to be an active listener with your son
  • Try not to judge your son by using positive statements and affirmations, such as, “That’s a great idea,” or “I never thought about it from that perspective.”
  • Celebrate and focus in on their day-to-day accomplishments. Example, putting a puzzle together, and making a positive statement like, “Wow, you figured that out quick!” to playing a fun sport with them, regardless of how well they are able to play.
  • within art fsonKeep your communication topics open. Allow your child to talk to you about many different subjects without being lectured or put down.
  • Set up special father-son bonding times together. Allow the child to pick his interest, instead of it always be the father’s.
  • Start a project with your child. Something that is of interest to both of you.
  • Attend your son’s extra-curricular activities as often as possible so he sees you and knows you care and support him. Attend parent-teacher meetings and conferences.
  • Take a father-son trip together
  • Text your son during middle school or adolescence with kind remarks and comments and let him know that you love him and you care.
  • Don’t forget to hug your son, regardless of age.
  • Tell your son how proud you are of him, for whatever small accomplishment it may be. It is critical that your son knows that you are proud of him throughout his development. Don’t just assume he knows.

Think back about your own relationship with your father, whether it was positive or negative. If you have not worked through your own issues, you may want to seek family counseling to guide you so that you break a pattern instead of repeating the same pattern with your own son. This can make a huge difference in your life and your personal relationship with your son throughout your lifetime together.

2014 SRT VIPER is Taking a Bite of the American Muscle Cars

2014 SRT VIPER is Taking a Bite of the American Muscle Cars 5.00/5 4 votes

Cathy's Car Corner on SmartFemThe 2014 SRT Viper (Dodge nameplate gone) is not for everyone, not only because it is financially out of reach for many people, but the feel of a 10 cylinder, 640 horsepower engine with 600 lb-ft of torque is like breaking the sound barrier or dating that bad boy in high school.   The powerful Viper muscle car is not for everyone but for some it feels so good.

SRT Viper logoWhen I hear the word Viper I think of the Viperidae, a very dangerous snake, and since I live in the deserts of Arizona I steer clear of trails where such dangerous reptiles might appear. Did you know that the venom of the viper contains proteases?  These protein-degrading enzymes subdue their prey by causing pain, necrosis, and coagulopathy while serving to immobilize the prey and ease digestion.

Well, now I know why they named this Dodge muscle car the VIPER.  From the moment you sit in the driver’s seat and hear the sound of the exhaust… you’ve been bitten by the need for speed and you are left paralyzed, subdued, and unable to believe your good fortune.  2014 SRT ViperKnowing you have the ability to pass a Corvette ZR1 on the freeway or rev your engine while at a stoplight next to a Porsche 911 Turbo makes it worth the bite.

The 2014 model is the fifth generation of the Viper and features some outstanding changes.  Obviously a New Year’s resolution, the Viper shed a good 25 pounds (wish I had) from the engine alone.  The entire vehicle weighed in about 100 pounds lighter than previous models as they changed to an all-new aluminum and carbon fiber body.  I would love to say that the shedding of pounds helped tremendously with fuel efficiency but the VIPER stands at 12 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. That really isn’t so bad for a 640 horsepower sports car.

As to the interior of the 2014 SRT Viper, an area that I am particularly interested in, some changes have been made.  In trying to get with the times and maybe to appeal to more women, the latest Viper has a significantly more comfortable, stylish and attractive interior.  I don’t want the men to get nervous here as there is a very drive-focused, cockpit-style layout to help owners enjoy getting the most out of their driving experience with minimal distraction.  2014 SRT Viper interiorIt’s similar to that race car “cocoon” feeling or perhaps the F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet cockpit “hug.”

Additionally, the new Viper offers driver comfort in unexpected areas.  In my case, with the rapid acceleration while holding tightly on to the steering wheel, it caused me to experience white knuckles and sweaty palms.  I was grateful for the extra padding to grip and perspire on.

If you are interested in every aspect of your driving experience you will be thrilled to know that all the vital information is on a seven-inch customizable instrument cluster display. This includes full time analog tachometer readout in the center to provide performance feedback, which is the Viper philosophy.  I should get as much communication from my husband after his golf game as you get from the Viper cluster display. This reptile of a car is so high tech and performance driven you might as well wear a racing jumpsuit when cruising about town.

airparkdodgechryslerjeepThe 2014 SRT Viper driven by Cathy was provided courtesy of Coye Pointer at Airpark Dodge Ram Chrysler Jeep in Scottsdale.

The Viper is offered in two forms; the SRT Viper and the SRT Viper GTS which offers a more refined approach at harnessing the V-10’s fury.  Standard is a nine-speaker AM/FM/CD/Sirius XM stereo system with AUX/USB inputs and an SD car reader.  Included as well is Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, U-connect infotainment system, LED daytime running lights and taillights, bi-xenon headlights, and 18 inch front wheels.

The GTS has all those and additional features. Now for the “serious” Viper owners there is the TA (or Track Attack) and those options include race track extras and packaged in the color “Crusher Orange.”

With safety as everyone’s concern, The Viper models come equipped with front airbags in addition to traction control and federally-mandated stability control.  However, side and side-curtain airbags, which are standard fare on nearly every other new car on the market, are not available. That doesn’t worry me since there is no room for the grandchildren or the dog anyway.

The Viper isn’t for the masses but if you have $100,000 or more to spend on one of the coolest American muscle cars, I say go for it.  Not only will you get the looks on the freeway and a thumb up from every teen driving a Dodge Dart and from every mommy blogger in a Caravan, but you’ll get the respect from the Lamborghini enthusiasts and ZR1 “Vette” drivers that want to race you home.

The 2014 SRT Viper is a lot of muscle car and is an adrenalin rush upon takeoff so be ready for the ride of a lifetime… you will be smitten and bitten for sure.

Cathy Droz-Two for the Road_585

For more reviews go to twofortheroadusa.com and here on SmartFem.com

 

Did “March Madness” Follow You Into April?

Did “March Madness” Follow You Into April? 5.00/5 2 votes

We have flipped over the calendar page for the month of March, but is the Madness gone? For many, the madness shadows us into yet another month.

Attractive Woman with Her BooksDo you feel like a circus performer, the woman balancing six twirling plates on sticks in the air?  Do you feel like one more “plate”, and they’ll all come tumbling down?  Do you ever feel like you’ve lost control of your life?   If you’ve answered, “yes” to these questions it’s time to take stock of ways to protect your sanity and happiness.

First of all, the concept of “balancing” all aspects of your life: responsibilities for family, job, kids, parents, social pressures, health concerns, etc. is misleading, throwing a ton of guilt your way.  “I should have volunteered for that job at work.”  “I should be at my daughter’s play at school.”  All the “shoulds” add to the heavy burdens of expectations to be met throwing more layers of guilt acting as one more plate to balance.

There is no way that you can equally “balance” all of these plates of duty. You will hurt yourself trying to be part-time mother, part-time employee, part-time, daughter, wife, neighbor, friend, etc. You will lose yourself in your attempts.

Trying to distribute your limited amount of time and energy to fulfill all of the obligations that present themselves will take you on many “guilt trips” to unwanted destinations. As the pressures mount, the plates come tumbling down taking its toll on you emotionally, physically, and psychologically.

When we talk about balancing your life you need to remember that it starts on the inside. It’s an “inside” job.  It’s not a matter of balancing your life but of integrating it.  It’s not allowing yourself to be pulled in the many directions responding to the outside forces, but it’s integrating who you are. Only then you will find your peace of mind and spirit.

Starting on the inside, knowing who you are, your purpose in this life, and what best serves you best provides supports in your integration process. When confronted with choices, you will opt for the one that meets your needs at the time allowing you to fulfill your responsibilities with a certain freedom of choice, ditching the guilt.

Family in PoolWith this sense of inside purpose, you have the reassuring awareness that you are fulfilling your mission, not merely meeting your obligations. You may have to say “no” to something, or “disappoint” someone but that’s OK when you knowing that you are protecting your happiness.

The outside demands of family life, work responsibilities, and social pressures also need to be integrated. Thinking outside the box gives you new ways to integrate your children with your work life.   Include your kids and family in your business dealings and social obligations when possible.  Extend a business trip with them exploring a new city if you can.  Volunteer to share your career with their school at career day.  Include them in charity fundraisers such as “Walk for the Cure”. There are many ways to keep children in the loop, integrating the ones you love and sharing with your daily responsibilities.

Living from an “integrated” approach rather than seeking to balance incoming demands, you will be living your life as one grand, purpose driven life.  You will find your fulfillment in seeing your life as one glorious totality.

Remember that if you don’t control you own life, someone else will.  Here’s to your happiness.

For expert advice on protecting your happiness click on my daily “Cure Your Anxiety Tips of the Day:  http://pattykogutek.com/cure-your-anxiety-with-guilt-free-tips/

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