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DFW Moms

Theatre Arlington's all-youth production does a wonderful job of simplifying a complex plot for families.

Pack light this summer with my current newest obsession: a pint-sized travel kit from Love & Toast.

There's a constant, oft-repeated refrain in my house: "Go wash your hands." Now thanks to Mickey and Minnie and Method, the hand-washing routine just became a whole lot easier.

The sun, sand and surf are calling. Which means the inevitable is coming: dry, blotchy, splotchy skin that's staging a revolt against too many UV rays.

I can't resist the siren song of the drugstore beauty bargain, as I stroll through the aisles scooping up inexpensive finds. Sadly, I'm often disappointed and find that many times you get what you pay for. But not with the fabulous new line from eos.

While there are many things I love about summer, bug spray is not one of them. I loathe the heady cloud of fake-woodsy scent that is ubiquitous in the evening hours. Plus, the thought of coating my daughter's skin with all those chemicals also makes me uneasy. But then I'm not a big fan of bug bites either. So what's a mom to do?

The production hits high notes for its special effects and strong singing.

We all know that sunscreen should be worn year-round, right? But even yours truly sometimes forgets to slather on the stuff during the dead of winter. So this summer, I'm starting off on the right foot with Sephora's annual Sun Safety Kit.

I tend to hoard beauty samples. I have a huge stash of Lilliputian-sized products that I've received free with purchase. The problem? The samples never seem to be suited to my skin type.

Add a bit of beauty to your weekend. Stop by Beauty Live at Galleria Dallas and learn beauty secrets and tips from the pros.

Now I finally get what all the buzz is all about.

My mama always said, "Fake it til you make it." And since I've been feeling a little under the weather lately, I'm lacking a rosy glow. Luckily, this blush trio from Benefit is helping me perk right up.

With Snowmagedden behind us, I think I can now safely say that spring is in the air. And there's no better way to celebrate than with a lineup of fresh, uplifting fragrances.

In my house, there's a constant battle over bath time. The announcement that play time is over and it's time to suds up generally sets off a hailstorm of protests. Luckily, I now have a new weapon in my arsenal: A Whale of a Soap from Kiss My Face.

Forget the pricey dinner out. This Valentine's Day, get cozy with an amorous amphibian bath bomb.

Surrounded by Snowmageddon, I've been scouring beauty sites for some sign of spring. And I've found the perfect remedy for the iced-in blues.

January is my least favorite month of the year. The weather is cold and dreary, my resolutions are long since abandoned, and spring seems far, far away.

The advent of 8th grade made me turn to toners. I discerned from the ads in my teen magazines that a heavy-duty toner was necessary to combat the oiliness of adolescence. But every product I tried was super harsh and stripped my sensitive skin. After an especially unfortunate incident with a bottle of Sea Breeze, I swore off toners all together.

I think it's been well-documented on this blog that I'm a bit of a lip balm freak. I stash pots and tubes in my purse, in my car, in my desk. Every time a new product comes out, I hold out hope that this time my quest for the perfect consistency (not too gooey) and flavor (not medicinal) will be over.

Score some serious treats at your local Lush store. Now through Jan. 16, Lush is offering some amazing deals.

Ring in the New Year with some bubbly. The kind in the tub, that won't leave you feeling blah the next day.

I've lost count of how many holidays I've spent feeling miserable. Most Christmases find me stressed out, sick and sniffling. But not this year. Not when I'm armed with this germ-fighting, insanely good smelling hand wash from the elves over at Method.

When my daughter was younger, she had a slight pancake obsession. Every a.m., she requested her favorite breakfast treat. And when you give a kid a pancake, invariably some syrup will end up in her hair. All day long, I'd breathe in the sweet smell when I enveloped her for a hug.

Your holiday look is in the bag with this sweet set from Sephora. Free with any $25 purchase, the kit contains 10 travel-ready deluxe samples in an airplane-approved pouch. The treats include stellar products such as Philosophy moisturizer, Smashbox eye liner and Lorac lip gloss. Here's the fine print: - You must be a Beauty Insider member (it's free to join).

Last week, my daughter and I made a trek to the pumpkin patch. While we wandered around in the dappled sunlight searching for the perfect canvas upon which to carve our masterpiece, I had one thing on my mind: pumpkin pie.

One mermaid tail, check. One T-shirt to wear under the inappropriately risqué mermaid top, check. One fabulous tiara, check. Now that I've got the ensemble nailed down for my pint-sized mermaid princess, let's focus on MY costume. What can I whip up in oh, a day? In steps Sephora to save my humdrum Halloween.

Oh, the tortures I inflict on my poor hair. Blow-drying, flat ironing, curling, highlighting. And let's not forget the most medieval procedures performed during the homage to big hair in the 80s that I have never quite recovered from: spiral perms and crimping. Seriously, who thought star shapes imprinted on hair was a good idea?

My shopping motto: Never pay full price for anything. So you can imagine my squeals of glee when I stumbled across a veritable treasure trove of savings on the soap.com site. A spin-off of diapers.com, the new site is so much more than soap. You'll find everything from soap (of course) to makeup and toiletries to household products.

Curious George Live! When: Sunday, September 26 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Where: Verizon Theatre  at Grand Prairie Price: $16 - $35 Best for: Ages 4 and up Run time: 1 hour 30 minutes and a 15-minute intermission What it's about: This live action play brings the beloved Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat to life.

Nothing says "fall" like the soothing scent of almond. Try these treats to put you in an autumn state of mind. At the sink An eco-minded friend turned me on to the wonders of Dr. Bronner's magic soap. Get a foaming pump bottle and add a 1:4 ratio of almond soap to distilled water. You can also use this multi-purpose product to clean floors and wash clothes. Dr.

Let's face it — we all get a little lazy when it comes to our skin care. Sure, we try to dutifully do the whole cleansing/exfoliating/moisturizing routine. But after a long day of diapers/dinner/dishes, who has the energy? Save face with a cool freebie from Origins. Buy any skin care item and pick up a free starter set.

When I was in high school, I faithfully set my alarm every a.m. for a ridiculously early awakening. My pre-dawn beauty routine was rigorous, requiring a full 2 1/2 hours to tease my bangs to unnatural heights and lightly apply makeup so it would pass undetected by my mother and the nuns.

Call me crazy, but the scent of baby powder makes me nauseous. It's so overwhelmingly sweet and cloyingly chemical. When my daughter was a wee one, I eschewed the ubiquitous Johnson's baby products because I just couldn't stomach the smell. Thankfully, there's now an alternative. The revamped Johnson's Natural line contains 98% naturally derived ingredients and smells absolutely amazing.

Maybe it's the downright chill in the air as it dips into the 90s, but I'm definitely in the mood for all things autumn. My mind is swirling with images of Sunday football,  rustic apple pies and cozy cardigans. To ease into fall, I'm picking up this scent combo from Philosophy.

Back in the day when I was young and hip, my claim to fame was catching Gene Simmons' water bottle at a KISS show. Fast forward a decade or two, and my musical venue consists of the living room where princess dance parties set to the "Annie" soundtrack are staged. But I can make believe I'm still a glam rock girl with the latest mini polish set from Sephora by OPI.

Make like MacGyver and use household items as beauty products. Beauty bummer: There's no shave cream to be found in the shower. Simple solution: Use hair conditioner on your legs. Even the cheap stuff works well. Beauty bummer: Your brows are out of control, and not in a good Brooke Shields kind of way.

"Packing lightly" is simply not in my vocabulary. I need options to suit every mood, ranging from cocktail to casual, so I'll be perfectly coiffed at my destination. And don't even get me started on accessories. I've been known to lug along a separate suitcase solely for the purpose of matching shoes to handbags. At least Stila helps me keep my makeup to a minimum.

I spend an inordinate amount of time at Target. There's nothing I love more than scouring the aisles, loading my cart with Kashi bars and Converses. On a recent outing, I hit beauty pay dirt. Arranged enticingly on an end cap, the Caldrea products beckoned me with their bright, cheery packaging - then bowled me over with their bargain prices. 

Back in the B.C (before children) days, my hubby and I took a carefree Caribbean cruise with friends. Sure, the sun, sand and surf were quite satisfying, but they paled in comparison to the ship's thermal suite. My girlfriends and I spent hours in the suite, lounging like lizards on heated chairs and soaking up the sauna's eucalyptus-scented steamy air. It was sheer bliss.

Last weekend, I committed a big beauty blunder: I was skimpy with the sunscreen. Sure, I can blame my husband for not thoroughly coating my now inflamed back. But ultimately it's my fault for not reapplying after body surfing the salty waves. And I'm paying the painful price: The worst sunburn I've had since my reckless youth when I eschewed sunscreen completely. 

Beauty confession: I'm a bit obsessed with lip gloss. I have a gazillion shades, and I'm constantly searching for new acquisitions. But when my lips are chapped, all the gloss in the world can't remedy the situation. Leave it to Lush to solve my beauty woes. This little pot of sweet sugar scrubs away my imperfections. It smells just like the phenomenal Snow Fairy shower gel —

Last night, I was not a happy camper. A delayed plane had put me in me a dour mood and I was bemoaning my choice of chic-yet-completely-unsuitable-for-traveling footwear. I aimlessly wandered the airport, searching for chocolate and trashy tabloids in which to drown my sorrows. Then I spotted It. Like a hazy mirage, the trademark white and black checkerboard motif beckoned me near.

Around here, we used to wage a lot of post-bath battles. Oh, the temper tantrums that ensued over horribly tangled hair! But since I discovered Sparklehearts Peace Out No Knots detangler, things have been much more, well, peaceful. I'm a sucker for packaging, so I couldn't resist the impossibly cute name and sparkly pink/purple bottle festooned with peace signs.

I tend to hit an energy slump mid-afternoon, when lunch is long past and 5 p.m. looms far off. A gal can only down so many Diet Cokes a day, which is why I'm thankful I have something else to perk me up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   Two days a week, Korres offers Tea and Treats in the afternoon . From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

I'm really not a risk-taker. Which is why every time I get a pedi, I pick the exact same pink shade. Sure, it suits me but I need to shake things up a bit. Summer screams for bold color. So I vow to stop playing it safe, skip the pale polish and go a little wild. This 4-pack of polish from Opi is the perfect antidote to my color rut.

I spent years bemoaning my fair skin, subjecting it to countless (and fruitless) hours in the sun. Now that I'm older and wiser, I know faking it is the way to go. Except every self-tanner I tried was messy, smelly, streaky or all of the above. Until now. I just discovered Kiss My Face Instant Sunless Tanner that's amazingly easy to apply.

I made quite a few bad decisions in my youth. Like that ripped acid-washed jeans/flannel shirt combo my sister will never let me live down. While I outgrew my awkward adolescence, I may still have to pay for my poor choices. I'm talking about tanning. All summer long, my high school BFF and I succumbed to the sun's irresistible siren song.

Treat mom right this Mother's Day. Check out these great gifts for $30 or less. Origins is offering this gorgeous blue and white cotton tote filled with three body treats of your choice. Snatch this steal up quickly - some of the choices are already sold out! Nature's Body Treats , $30 Lush takes a twist on traditional flowers with an adorable daisy-shaped bath bomb.

Clean skin, clear conscience. That's what this awesome Origins trade-in is all about. Today only, bring a skincare product (any brand, full or empty) to an Origins location. Origins will recycle the container, and you'll walk away with a full-size cleanser of your choice: Checks and Balances or A Perfect World. We're talking up to a $20 value, ladies.

I'm always amazed by the obscenely long list of ingredients on beauty product labels. What the heck is sodium laurel sulfate and what is it doing in my shampoo? (Answer: It's creating those lovely suds. And by the way, it's also found in brake fluid and antifreeze.) Personally, I don't enjoy feeling like a science experiment. So I buy beauty brands that tout natural and organic ingredients.

Want to shake up your beauty routine? Learn some new tips and tricks from the experts? Or just hob-nob with beautiful people? Head over to Galleria Dallas this weekend for the Beauty Live event. What: Beauty advice from national makeup artists and celebrity experts. Kim Kardashian and Dr. Robert Rey (aka E!'s Dr.

Review: Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate What it’s about: Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate is an action-packed skating show featuring over 50 Disney characters. Classic characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck glide along with the Disney princesses, Aladdin and Buzz Lightyear.

Spring weather sends me into a decluttering frenzy. And considering the state of my messy makeup stash, there's no better place to start. Want to join me in my spring cleaning? Here's how. - Do the toss test.  Cosmetics typically don't have expiration dates on them.

I'm a flip-flop kind of girl. I own too many pairs to count, and I'm always on the search for my next acquisition. Now that spring has sprung, I can welcome my beloved Havaianas back into my shoe rotation. But after a winter of neglect, my tootsies are nowhere near ready to be front and center.

Blue skies, buzzing bees, chirping birds - I love it when winter finally succumbs to spring. My entire outlook improves, and I find myself grateful for life's little pleasures. One of which is a divine scent that totally puts me in the mood for warm weather fun. Even the name - Honeydew Spearmint - sounds lighthearted and carefree.

I've never been a very good actress. I don't do stoic. My face usually shows exactly what my heart is feeling. And when I've been skimping on sleep and loading up on sugar, my face shows it, too. Weeks of holiday indulgence and stress have done a number on my complexion. Thank goodness Korres has the perfect solution for blah winter skin.

Still searching for that special something to put under the tree? Try these super simple DIY beauty gifts. Oatmeal Cookie Bath Use your leftover cookie ingredients to whip up this little treat. 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Clean jar Ribbon Fabric scrap Cinnamon stick Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Scrambling for stocking stuffer ideas? For less than $10 each, you can score these budget beauty buys. Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Hand Cream The scent of this rich hand cream is so addictive - warm citrus with a hint of spicy pepper. Buy it: Sephora , $8 Frederic Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream Give the gift of good hair.

What: Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes When: Daily performances through December 30 (except for Christmas Day) Where: Nokia Theatre At Grand Prairie Cost: Adult tickets range from $29.75 - $95.75. Tickets for kids under 12 start at $14.75. What I liked: The legendary Rockettes wowed with their dazzling costumes and awe-inspiring leg kicks.

All the ladies on your list deserve a gift o' beauty this holiday season. Here are my favorite picks that will make your loved ones look and feel fabulous. For the one-in-a-million teacher After corralling a classroom of kids all day, teachers deserve a little pampering. Gift them with this mani-pedi set from Burt's Bees. Buy it: $20,  Burt's Bees 

A few years ago, Hard Candy was all the rage. The line was renowned for its irreverent, lighthearted take on makeup, featuring glittery, metallic nail polishes and eye shadows. Then poof - it disappeared from department stores. Well, Hard Candy is back and better than ever. Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart) is now carrying the cult classic.

If you're counting on high school health class to teach your kids about the birds and the bees, you'd better think twice. A report released by the watchgroup group Texas Freedom Network highlights some disturbing finds about Texas sex education classes. - 41% of the materials reviewed contained factual errors (most involved condoms and STDS).

Tonight I escaped. I fed my daughter dinner, laid out some PJs and bid my husband adios as I slipped out the door. Giddy with excitement, I practially peeled out of the driveway in my haste. Freedom! Once a  month I play Pokeeno with girlfriends. For 10 years we've gathered to snack, sip wine and share stories and heartaches.

It's not easy being green. I've taken baby steps to adopt a greener lifestyle. I've ditched disposable water bottles for stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. I have an arsenal of reusable shopping totes (and sometimes I even remember to bring them to the store). I’m even trying to grow my own herbs. But until recently I had no idea how un-green my beauty routine was.

When I was growing up, the ladies on my street would gather 'round their windows come mid-afternoon. They anxiously awaited the sight of Phil the Postman striding down the street in his shorts, muscular calves bulging.  It was a bit like the old Diet Coke break commercial .

Think anti-bacterial soap is the key to keeping your kids healthy? Think again. According to the FDA, anti-bacterial soap is no more effective than - you guessed it - plain old soap. (If you're like my sister and don't believe me, go here .) The jury is still out on whether the triclosan in anti-bacterial products has led to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.

What's the secret to beautiful skin? Keep it simple, says Dr. Lori Stetler, a Dallas-based dermatologist. Here are her tips to get glowing skin without blowing your budget. 1. Wash up. Sure, it seems like common sense. But admit it: sometimes you fall into bed without washing your face. That's one bad habit you really need to break.

Stuck in a beauty rut? Here's a little secret: change your brows, change your whole look. Anastasia Soare, the brow guru to the stars, shared her beauty advice with me.  " Being a mom is the hardest job on the planet. Maybe you don't even have time to brush your hair. So forget about a complicated beauty routine and spend 5 minutes on your brows.

Most of the time I like to revel in my Mama-Knows-Best smugness. I re-read the same book 10 times daily with nary a complaint. I obligingly remove offending sandwich crusts. I placate, encourage, entertain, persuade and cajole. Meanwhile, I think my husband sometimes forgets that our darling dear, while quite precocious, is still a child. He gets frustrated because she has a limited attention span.

What I love about three-years-olds: they’re straight shooters. They call it like it is. There is no subterfuge, no hemming and hawing, no searching for a kinder, gentler way to say something. A few weeks ago, my sister and I uncovered a 1980s-era photo of us, featuring shellacked helmet hair and mall bangs that defied gravity.

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Baked goodies beckon, sweet scents wafting through the air with their irresistible   siren song. But for a calorie-free treat, try these good-enough-to-eat beauty products. Craving hot chocolate? Sweeten your morning shower with Giovanni's Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub . The tiny crystals slough away skin to reveal a more radiant you.

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