Spring Break Dreaming: Our Favorite Sunglasses

January 10, 2014 at 8:00 am , by

When we aren’t busy throwing on extra layers to brave the cold, we’re probably daydreaming about being somewhere tropical…or at least somewhere relatively warm. While bathing suit shopping might be jumping the gun a bit (especially since that gym membership resolution hasn’t kicked in yet…), sunglasses are totally fair game! Click through to shop some of our favorite shapes and styles.

Elizabeth and James Lafayette Sunglasses

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Dramatic, retro-chic, and a bit out of the ordinary; we’d say this pair of Elizabeth and James shades accurately reflects its designers—Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Buy it now, $155

Hot Stones on the Beach

July 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm , by

I have three words for instant relaxation: Hot. Stone. Massage. No kidding. One of the best decisions I made during a recent trip to Breezes Bahamas Resort was to put down the rum and pineapple juice and let the masseuse work her magic right there on the beach.

Naturally, I was squeamish about the whole thing — hot rocks simmering on my bare skin? Why would I do that? But the island setting was perfect and I was curious about the claims behind these peculiar little stones.

The first rock was hot. Ouch! Wasn’t expecting that. I exhaled into the next one, a technique I learned in yoga. By the third stone, my body temperature was used to it. Reminded me of the first few toes that go into a steaming hot bath.

Then the masseuse started with a vigorous, full-body oil massage with her hands and continued with two stones that pressed against my back, arms, thighs and legs. After the kneading, she placed five to six freshly hot stones on key areas (including the palms of my hands) to allow for deeper muscle relaxation. Once I stayed in position for several minutes and the heat penetrated through every trigger point in my body, I released an “aaaaah” like never before.

If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend that you do, even in the dog days of summer. Hot stone massage helps relieve pain, reduces chronic stress and increases flexibility in joints.

Bon Voyage: 19 Tips from the Best Travel Writers

July 14, 2011 at 11:45 am , by

BestWomensTravelWritingWith the summer heat wave sapping New York, I can hardly wait for next week, when I’ll be relaxing in the surf, sand and sun (with sunscreen! I promise!) on . . . the Jersey Shore! Actually, it’s lovely—you see, I’m going to this Jersey Shore, not this one. Still, part of me longs for adventure.

Luckily, I’ve been able to indulge that yearning (albeit vicariously) with the Best Women’s Travel Writing of 2011. The essays in this anthology blow me away not only with their language, but also with the amazing experiences they describe: leaving body issues behind in a public bath in South Korea, dining at cabbies’ favorite restaurants in Argentina, scoring a souvenir soccer jersey on every trip, to name just a few. There are no sunbathers among these intrepid travelers.

Inspired, I asked the book’s contributors to share their top tips, destinations and vacation fantasies.

What is your number-one summer travel tip?

When in Europe, take the trains. Rent a car if you like for a few days of poking around villages, but for distances, trains are fast, fun, romantic and relaxing.—Diane Covington, “Finding Gilbert”

Take a “digital sabbatical,” and let go of the Internet for a few days or weeks. It’s liberating even if you’re staying home.—Aubrey Streit Krug, “Going Underground”

There’s nothing worse than flying after a stressful all-nighter of packing, so I make sure I have a peaceful last evening before a trip. A good night’s sleep not only gets me dreaming about my trip, but it also leaves me with a great memory of home.—Kelly Hayes-Raitt, “Tongue-Tied”

The San Francisco Bay area is the best place to escape heat and humidity. (Lucky me—I live here!) One summer when I couldn’t afford a vacation I visited a different Marin County beach every day! It was glorious. Limantour Beach in Point Reyes goes on for miles. —Marianne Rogoff, “Common Tongues”

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Go Ask Gab: Chic Travel Shoes

May 10, 2011 at 11:22 am , by

Gab, I’m going to Italy on my honeymoon and there will be a lot of walking. I just can’t roll up in a pair of mom/granny shoes or huge sneakers. Do stylish walking shoes exist? Any other kinds of shoes that won’t kill my feet? — Amanda

gag-italyI went through the same dilemma when I traveled to Italy 4 years ago. I didn’t want pictures of me from my first trip to my family’s homeland sporting lame sneakers so I rocked Converse the whole trip. That’s me sporting them at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. I’m taking a rest from dazzling my friends with knowledge of Renaissance sculpture and getting in a fight with a nun (there was some confusion about the placement of a decimal point on a price… forgive me!).

It’s a tough one because you want to be supported and comfortable all day and that doesn’t always equal stylish. My trick is to bring a few different types of shoes and switch it up. Then your feet don’t get used to one shoe. It’s spring/summer time so shoes are light and easy to pack and you can certainly wear one pair on the plane to save space while packing. Here are some ideas:

Any low profile sneaker is a good option. I am currently obsessed with New Balance’s new Minimus sneakers which is their barefoot inspired line. They are all incredibly sleek and weigh a lot less than normal sneakers. My favorite is the fitness/walking shoe which are so light they inspire me to do ballet moves every time I wear them- true story. I also think PF-Flyers sneakers are very comfortable because they have a thick cushy sole. This gray canvas style is a good option that will go with everything.

As for non-sneakers, we are huge Toms fans at LHJ because of their Do Good aspect but they are also super comfy. Pick a fun print or a bold color like red and it will style-up a t-shirt and jeans. Any fun flat espadrille would work as well.  I would also recommend Sperry’s Top-Sider boat shoes. They are cute, preppy and classic so no regrets years later when you look back at your photos.

If you want to take a pair of sandals, pick a pair with support or comfort features like Cole Haan or Naturalizers. Get a cute pair that can also work for a nice casual dinner. You can also embrace the Boho trend or return to your hippie routes and rock some Birkenstocks. Just no flip flops — flip flops are only for the beach! I know this is a rule that I myself break, but they aren’t going to support your feet and will probably give you blisters.

Wear the shoes a bit before traveling to break them in and check that they won’t hurt. Make sure you pack some Band-Aids and have them on you each day. You don’t want to spread your DNA all over the Louvre from bleeding blisters like one of my friends did while we were in Paris — not fun! One last suggestion, pack some Baby Powder. I mean it’s your honeymoon and you might be wearing these shoes sans socks.  Stinky feet is definitely a mood spoiler!

Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Travel Beauty Essentials

April 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm , by

Happy Monday, ladies! I’m the new associate beauty editor here at Ladies’ Home Journal and the newbie here in The Ladies’ Lounge. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my beauty obsessions and expert recommended tips—and most importantly, hearing from you! I have a weakness for pretty packaging, skin secrets for perpetually clear skin, and any product that will help get me out of the door faster in the morning. For my first post I’d like to focus on something that I can’t seem to get off my mind…vacation. Enjoy!

After a pretty brutal winter, and a summer that won’t seem to come fast enough, I’m beyond ready for a getaway. Although warm days are right around the corner, I can’t stop thinking about blissful spring breaks. These days, a quick trip will more than suffice. It’s also a good time to put my streamlining packing skills to the test.

If a weekend escape from temperamental temperatures is on the horizon for you, you’ll want to pack light without forgetting your most important beauty essentials. Here are some of my favorite travel companions.

Sedu Revolution Pro Shortie Mini Styler Iron ($60,
If my time away doesn’t include afternoon pool dips, I prefer to keep my strands straight. A mini flat iron takes up minimal space, but doles out enough heat to keep frizz at bay.

H. Gillerman Organics Natural Rest Travel Remedy ($48,
Road trips and time zone shifts are a little less uncomfortable with this roll on blend of oils that help ease jet lag and travel uneasiness.

Japonesque Beauty Fixations Tinted Lip Conditioner ($5,
It’s no secret that poor air circulations on airplanes can wreak havoc on our skin (yes, even in two hours). These dab and toss swabs are pretty genius—just snap, swipe, and trash the tips.

Yes to Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes ($30,
Blueberries and Coconut helps wipe away the day’s stresses, for a quick refresh with age reversing benefits to boot.

Chris Notti Chain Reaction Sleep Mask ($20,
Let the world around you literally disappear by slipping on a sleep mask. Go ahead, treat yourself to some much-needed Z’s.

What are your beauty travel essentials?

Categories: Beauty, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Can This Marriage Be Saved? Valentine’s Day Edition

February 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm , by

In the spirit of a certain lovey-dovey holiday, we’re setting the warring couples aside for a week and focusing on the fun side of marriage. These quizzes, tools and stories will get you in the mood for love (or at least make you smile!).

-Check out these sweet stories of couples who said “I do” all over again.

-Great ideas for celebrating on the cheap.

-If you’d rather not fight the crowds at the card store or all that’s left there is “I love you, Aunt,” send your sweetheart a cute e-card.

-Second honeymoon, anyone? Enter to win a 4-night stay at the couples-only Rendezvous Resort in St. Lucia!

-Must watch: a hilarious video about what happens when a wife loves the dog more than her husband.

-Does the thought of an amorous Valentine’s Day leave you feeling a little . . .  eh? Do you dread the holiday because you feel pressured to get it on? Get thee to this page, immediately.

-Or should you just call the whole thing off? Take this quiz to find out if you should skip V-Day entirely.

-And as always, follow us on Twitter for fun date ideas, relationship news and expert tips year-round: @marriagebesaved.

So let’s be honest: What’s your take on this day o’ looove?

Win a Romantic Getaway to St. Lucia!

January 20, 2011 at 11:26 am , by

Close your eyes and picture this: a warm breeze, sand between your toes, nothing to hear but the sound of the waves and your masseuse asking if you’re comfortable on your cushy bed overlooking the ocean. No, you have not died and gone to heaven. You’ve won our romantic getaway sweepstakes and gone to St. Lucia!

We’re giving away a 4-night stay at the dreamy, couples-only Rendezvous resort that’s guaranteed to relight your marital fire just in time for V-Day. (Okay, that part isn’t really guaranteed, but how could you not be in the mood in such a gorgeous place?) You and your hubby can go scuba diving, play tennis, walk on the beach or park your rear in a lounge chair and only get up to eat.

All you have to do is go here to enter. Or, go to our homepage at, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the little image that matches the one you see above.

Who needs a box of chocolates?