Must-Have Infant Accessories

Before bringing a new baby home from the hospital, parents need a few basics. Unless they plan on co-sleeping, they need some kind of crib, bassinet, or cradle. They need a car seat and a stroller so that they can stay mobile even with a little person in tow. In addition to these basics, though, there are other infant accessories that could make life much easier. The right baby gear can give parents peace of mind, help fussy infants to sleep, and smooth the transition to life with a baby.

1. Nursing Pillow

Nursing Pillow Infants spend a lot of time eating, and it is important to be comfortable while feeding them. Whether planning to breast-feed or bottle-feed, an ergonomically designed pillow can help to maintain a good posture while feeding the baby. The pillow can be taken to the hospital and used right away. Boppy and My Brest Friend are two popular nursing pillow brands.

2. Breastpump

If the mother plans to breast-feed, she should get a breast pump to give her flexibility and peace of mind. Even if she plans to stay home and breast-feed exclusively, a pump can allow her to have a few hours to herself occasionally or go out on a date night. A working mother absolutely needs a pump. She should opt for an electric breast pump since she should use it several times a day. Someone who plans to pump only occasionally can buy a cheaper, mechanical breast pump.

3. Baby Carrier

Some babies love to be held all day long, and parents may not be able to get anything done around the house. In this case, a baby carrier can be a lifesaver. There are a variety of options on the market, from old-fashioned ring slings to ergonomically designed carriers like the BabyBjörn and the Ergo.

4. Monitor

If the new parents have a large house, or are a very sound sleepers, a baby monitor may be helpful. The monitor can be set in the baby’s room during nap time, and the monitor can be carried around throughout the house. For a more high-tech version, video monitors are available. For those who have an older child, a video monitor allows for freedom to keep an eye on both children at once.

5. Swaddling blanket

After being in the womb, babies are used to close quarters, and having their movements restricted is comforting to them. Swaddling helps most infants to sleep more soundly. A good swaddling blanket needs to be fairly large; most of the flannel receiving blankets available at the stores are too small for this purpose. Parents should invest in a good swaddling blanket, such as one made by aden + anais. For those who can’t master the swaddling technique, the SwaddleMe and HALO SleepSack come with handy Velcro wings that keep the baby’s arms in place.

6. Swing

Most babies find movement very soothing, and a battery-powered baby swing may be the perfect solution when no one has a free set of hands to hold the baby. Many swings come with gentle music or attached toys to capture the baby’s interest. Popular swing brands include Fisher-Price and Graco.

7. Glider

Although babies may enjoy swinging on their own, they certainly prefer to be rocked in someone’s arms. Parents could walk the floor with their infant, of course, but for their own comfort, they should invest in a gliding rocking chair instead. A chair with padded arms is ideal, and getting a gliding footstool to go with it should be considered.


Colors That Flatter Your Skin Tone

One of the keys to looking great every day is building a wardrobe that enhances one’s natural coloring. When carefully chosen clothing colors are worn, they give a healthy glow to the skin and blend in with a woman’s overall appearance instead of drawing attention to themselves. The right colors in clothing can actually decrease the amount of makeup that is needed.

Fashion trends come and go, not only in terms of styles but also colors. One season, the hot hue might be red, and the next, it is all about chartreuse. While some colors (such as red) come in several shades to flatter almost any woman, others (such as chartreuse) are very specific. What makes a color look good on one woman and not so good on another is a woman’s individual skin tone.

The first step in transforming a closet into a flattering rainbow is to determine one’s natural skin tone. Next, one can go further and analyze skin and hair together to find a specific palette of colors to suit women in each group. Then, tips on making color trends more personal will help a woman to stay stylish while also staying true to herself.

Determining Skin Tone

The first step in buying the right colored clothing is figuring out if one’s skin is warm or cool. There are a few ways to do this, and it is best to do more than one test as a way of confirming the results. The table below describes several types of tests that can be done to determine skin tone.



Foundation Test Remove all makeup. Go to a department store or drugstore that sells a brand of foundation makeup in shades that are coded as warm, neutral, or cool. Hold the testers up to the wrist or face to compare tones. Stripes of makeup may be applied as well. A perfect tone match is not important, so try a few shades in each of the three groups. Look for the ones that appear to harmonize with the natural skin tone. (If the neutral shades are the best matches, other tests should be conducted to confirm skin tone. Even seemingly neutral skins are not perfectly so and will fall slightly into either the cool or warm category.)
Metal Test Remove all fingernail polish and jewelry. On one hand, place a silver or silvertone ring, bracelet, or wristwatch. On the other hand, put on a gold or goldtone ring, bracelet, or wristwatch. Hold up one hand at a time and look at how the metal blends with the skin. On a cool skin tone, the white metal (silver) will be flattering, while the yellow metal (gold) will clash. On a warm skin tone, the gold will be the more flattering of the two.
Paper Test Remove all fingernail polish and jewelry. Hold the hands and wrists against a plain white sheet of paper. Turn them over to see the palms and forearms as well. See if there is a distinctly pink or blue cast (cool) or a yellow or orange cast (warm) to the skin when compared with the paper. If the skin seems like it might be warm, try to find a piece of ivory or buff-colored paper and see if the skin seems to blend or clash with the creamy tone. If it blends, the skin is warm.
Color Test Remove all makeup. Put on a white T-shirt. Pull hair back and cover it with a white scarf or T-shirt if the hair has been colored. Gather various scarves, T-shirts, blouses, towels, and other solid colored textiles from around the house and drape them over the chest and shoulders to see how each color affects the complexion in the mirror. A cool complexion will look healthy and attractive when draped in cool colors, such as blues, purples, blue-greens, and grays. A warm complexion will glow next to warm colors, such as oranges, yellows, yellow-greens, and browns.
Comparison Test Comparing skin tone to that of others is a helpful test. Stand in front of a mirror with a few family members or friends and compare complexions. One person may find that she looks pink compared with everyone else; this person likely has a cool skin tone. Another person will seem golden next to the others and probably has a warm skin tone.

By determining whether one’s skin tone is warm or cool, a person can then take the next step in deciding which colors go best with his or her natural shade.

Color Theories

While most theorists agree that people generally have a warm or cool skin tone, specific theories vary. The most enduring and popular theory is the seasonal color theory, which is described below. Further fine-tuning to the original theory has been done over the years, resulting in advanced personalization and more specific color palettes.

Seasonal Color Theory

One of best-known color theories is the seasonal color theory, which was made famous in Carole Jackson’s book “Color Me Beautiful” in 1980. In this theory, people are grouped into one of four seasonal palettes depending on their coloring. The following chart gives a brief summary of these groups. (Keep in mind that hair color refers to the natural hair.)


Skin and Hair

General Palette

Sample Colors

Celebrity Examples


Skin: Ivory, warm beige, peaches-and-cream, tans well

Hair: Golden blonde, light golden brown, strawberry blonde, auburn

Light, clear/bright, and warm Coral,yellow, lime green, periwinkle blue, ivory, camel, rust

Marilyn Monroe (who had naturally auburn hair), Alicia Witt, Nicole Kidman, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Hudson, Clay Aiken, Dennis Leary


Skin: Porcelain, pink, rose beige, cool mocha, tends to burn

Hair: Ash blonde, light to dark ash brown, sometimes brown with strawberry highlights

Light, soft/muted, and cool Powderpink, soft blue, pale lemon, jade green, winter white, blue-gray, rose-beige

Ingrid Bergman, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Leona Lewis, Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Mel Gibson, Matt Damon


Skin: Warm beige, warm brown

Hair: Golden blonde, red, auburn, golden brown, warm or red black

Deep, soft/muted, and warm Pumpkin, mustard, olive green, maroon, off-white,brown, warm charcoal

Katharine Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Swank, Bruce Lee, Denzel Washington


Skin: Porcelain, rose beige, olive, cool brown

Hair: White-blonde (rare), medium to dark ash brown, cool or blue black

Deep, clear/bright, and cool Blue-red, cobalt blue, emerald green,purple, white,black, taupe Elizabeth Taylor, Demi Moore, Alek Wek, Kim Kardashian, Lucy Liu, John Travolta, Seal

Expanded Seasons

Advances expanded the four-season theory to 12 palettes. These were combinations of two palettes each, one primary and one secondary, both of which shared a common element. This theory expanded the number of wearable colors for each person by dipping into a second season.


Best Colors

Light Spring Light, clear, and warm, plus some additional light colors from Summer
Warm Spring Light, clear, and warm, plus some additional warm colors from Autumn
Clear Spring Light, bright, and warm, plus some additional clear colors from Winter
Light Summer Light, muted, and cool, plus some additional light colors from Spring
Soft Summer Light, muted, and cool, plus some additional soft colors from Autumn
Cool Summer Light, muted, and cool, plus some additional cool colors from Winter
Warm Autumn Deep, muted, and warm, plus some additional warm colors from Spring
Soft Autumn Deep, muted, and warm, plus some additional soft colors from Summer
Deep Autumn Deep, muted, and warm, plus some additional deep colors from Winter
Clear Winter Deep, clear, and cool, plus some additional clear colors from Spring
Cool Winter Deep, clear, and cool, plus some additional cool colors from Summer
Deep Winter Deep, clear, and cool, plus some additional deep colors from Autumn


Wearing a Patterned Blazer

Blazer styles for women vary more than those available for men. Women’s blazers are not only available in traditional patterns, but many designers also use more feminine patterns for blazers, like flowers.

Patterned Blazers for a Job Interview
The outfit worn to a job interview should be extremely conservative in style. Dark, basic colors like black, gray, brown, and navy are safe choices. Many women already know about the slimming effects of vertical stripes, so pinstripes or other small striped patterns are a great option for a job interview outfit. If a woman is wearing a suit dress under her blazer, the suit dress should be a solid color so that her outfit is not too busy or does not clash.

Wearing a Patterned Blazer at Work
Often, work environments will vary in what is deemed acceptable office wear. However, blazers that stay close to the four basic conservative blazer colors are a safe choice. Subtle stripes and small checkered patterns are very work-friendly. Women can also opt for patterns created by different threads of fabric being woven together like tweed, herringbone, and houndstooth. These patterns go well with plain slacks or a solid-colored skirt.

Casual Patterned Blazers for the Daytime
Women have an incredible amount of blazer options for casual wear. Large, bold floral prints are a popular choice and pair well with jeans. Women can also find casual blazers in conservative patterns but bright colors: Pink stripes or pink checks are a common style. For a simpler look, large checks or wide stripes in neutral colors will look casual without being too stylish or bright.

Wearing a Patterned Blazer on a First Date
First dates are the time to make a good first impression. Dark-colored blazers can be both slimming and sexy. Geometric prints look good. A basic diamond pattern can look great with jeans or with a short date dress. Women opting for the classic little black dress for a first date can play more with brightly colored patterned blazers. Blazers that use embellishments in patterns are also a fun addition to a date outfit.

Patterned Blazers at Special Events
For formal evening events, blazers in rich jewel tones are flattering and will be appropriate. A jewel-toned paisley patterned blazer made from silk or velvet will look good with most women’s formal dresses. Stripes in rich tones and made from a shiny fabric will also look great in a formal setting.

Wearing a Patterned Blazer to a Wedding
Weddings are a great time for light-colored blazers in fun patterns. Large or small polka dots are great for a daytime or afternoon wedding and will give an outfit a retro twist. A small floral pattern is great for summer weddings and won’t be too bold or attention-grabbing. Blazers printed with a lacy pattern are also great for weddings. Light blazers won’t overwhelm a woman’s dress, whether she has a sundress or a formal gown.

Patterned Blazer for a Night Out
When a woman is planning a fun night out with friends, she may want to show off her wardrobe and style. Bright bold floral blazers are a great way to do this. If the night’s plans include a bar or club, then a woman can use wild patterns like animal prints. Tiger or zebra stripes are not as common as the classic leopard print, and sometimes these prints are available in non-traditional colors like bright neon shades.

Ways to Maximize Your Closet

Whether you are in an apartment, a condo, a classic family home, or a brand-new build, you may find yourself lacking in one very important area—closet space. Just where are you going to put all your fabulous shoes, your snappy ties, your cocktail dresses, or your crisp collared shirts? With a little ingenuity and some spare time, you can experiment with 10 ways to maximize your closet space and revel in the wardrobe real estate you gain.

Buy an Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

Toss out the shoe boxes and get an over-the-door shoe organizer for that prized collection of high heels, ballet flats, and sandals. If one organizer is not enough, mount a shelf in your bedroom and display your prettiest designer heels as wearable art.
Add More Shelves
If you only have a few hanging clothes, leave a space for them at one side of your closet, and fill the other side with shelves for extra storage. Putting in shelves makes it easier to access your items than simply stacking boxes.

Organize Purses and Scarves

Purses and scarves create a chaos of colors and materials in your closet. Instead of piling them onto a shelf, hang them neatly using curtain rod rings and hooks or clips. You can also stow them in cubbies or drawers.

Install Rotating Racks and Corners

Got a corner in your walk-in closet? Install a round, rotating rack on which to hang shirts, ties, blouses, scarves, or other items. Like an in-cupboard Lazy Susan, the rotating rack saves space, facilitates quick clothing selection, and makes full use of that corner space.

Use the Height

Many closets have a single shelf installed just above head height, with a clothes rod right under it. This design wastes a lot of space, especially in homes with high ceilings. Install shelves, cubbies, or drawers all the way to the top of your closet. You may have to extend the height of your closet doors and purchase a cute step-stool to reach the topmost items, but the extra storage space is worth it.

Double the Hanging Space with Soda Can Tabs

A quick hack to make the most of your hangers involves saving the tabs from old soda cans. Reuse them by sliding one over your hanger hooks and using the second hole to attach another hanger. Consider using thin or wire hangers. Essentially, this gives you a dual-layered hanger arrangement, thereby doubling your hanging space. You can also attach a wide-link chain to your closet rod and hang the hangers from the links.

Make the Closet into an Office

Are you one of those minimalistic individuals who operate on a slim wardrobe? Use the extra closet space for other purposes. Take off the doors, install a narrow desk or table in the closet, and you have an office alcove for studying, work, or other tasks.

Transform the Closet into a Laundry Space

No laundry room in your home? Refit a deep closet with plumbing and add a stackable washer and dryer to simplify your life. Stow your clothes in a beautiful antique wardrobe or your dresser instead.

Use Suitcases as Cheap Storage Solutions

Instead of leaving that empty suitcase in your closet all year until your next vacation, make it worth its space. Pack it full of your off-season clothing, extra linens, or childhood mementos, and slide it into the closet under your hanging clothes.

Guide To Wearing Velvet

I am sure everyone has heard the term ‘smooth as velvet.’ I like the feel of velvet and I am sure that I am not the only one. The fabric is soft, with a lustrous pile that is not only for evening wear but can be worn in the day as well. If the fabric is not your cup of tea, accessorizing with a velvet handbag, scarf or shoes is the safest way to go without be confined to it.

The plunging neckline and crisscross strap with a open-back lends a sultry touch to this black velvet halter mini dress. Perfect for a night out and it can also be teamed with a blazer. I love velvet flats but they can easily have the look of bedroom slippers. However they are popular among the preppy style dressers and the Hugh Hefner types. Style these flats with boyfriend jeans and a blazer for a preppy chic look.

I have developed a crush on scarfs and I tend to wear them a lot. These velvet scarfs are perfect to dress up your neck this fall. You can never have too many handbags and what a stylish way to take on the velvet look than with this velvet patterned tote.

Keeping Your Closet Organized

Unless you’re superhuman, you’ve probably experienced a messy closet at some point in your life. Items in disarray, laying in piles on the floor, or (horror!) completely unlocated. An organized closet is not only a time-saver but it can actually help lengthen the lifespan of your items. Clothes that are cared for and carefully tucked away tend to last anywhere from 18 months – 10 years longer than those haphazardly shoved into an unknown spot in the hall closet. From stackable boxes to drawer dividers, here are tips to keep your closet tidy without wasting your time.

The basics:

It’s important that you can see some wall space behind your closet. Keeping it open and airy will help deter bad odors and pesky moths.
Plan out the most ample and feasible use of space in your closet. If your closet rod hangs higher than normal, opt for using low shelving. If you don’t have a closet rod, check out easy-to-install closet rod inserts.
Add your own flair to your closet, perk it up with some colorful wallpaper or a beautiful chair that makes changing quickly a breeze.
Organize by garment, the organize by color – if you want to dig a little deeper, you can further organize by season so that out-of-season items get put away in boxes so your current season items are at-hand.

Hanging items:

For visual order and space-saving, use uniform hangers. Options like huggable hangers or stackable hangers help utilize your closet space to its fullest potential.
Always zip up pants and keep your shirts/blouses/sweaters buttoned to keep them from slipping and twisting in your closet.
Do not overstuff. If you find yourself with too many items, consider purchasing under-the-bed container boxes or an additional clothing rack for extra storage.
Never leave your dry cleaning bags on your clothing. This will promote erosion from trace chemicals and keep your clothes from receiving proper ventilation (or else they will stink!)

Stacking/Folded Items

Organize your stacks by garment type (sweaters, turtlenecks, short sleeve, etc.) so you don’t have to unfold each piece to discover what is what.
Stacks should be no higher than 8.5-9 inches. This will keep items from looking flattened or wrinkled.
Stack from heaviest at the bottom to lightest at the top.
Put labels in front of each stack so as new pieces are added, you can easily tell to which stack they should be sorted (this works especially well for jeans and t-shirt stacks).

How to use eyebrow pencil

Makeup is a part of almost every woman’s daily routine. With cosmetics, a woman can enhance her features and cover up imperfections. While thick, well-groomed brows are always desirable, not everyone has naturally thick, well-shaped eyebrows, which is where eyebrow pencils come in handy. An eyebrow pencil is a type of makeup that women use to create thicker, more defined brows, to complement the rest of their facial features. Buyers who want to learn to use this tool should follow certain steps, but before that, they should learn about popular eyebrow pencil brands. Eyebrow pencils and other cosmetics are available from many retail stores.

One way to find the right pencil is to try different brands and shades and see which one works best. It may take a few tries, although for the most part, eyebrow pencils are quite similar and it should not take too long for a person to find an ideal choice.

Using an Eyebrow Pencil : 

Some makeup newbies may think using an eye pencil is as easy as drawing over the brows. Actually, it takes more than just drawing skills to make natural looking eyebrows. First, there is some preparation involved before any actual drawing takes place.

Finding the Arch
Finding the eyebrows’ natural arch is important to ensure the brows look natural. The first step in finding this arch is measuring the brows. Take any long, straight object, like a pencil or makeup brush and place it in front of the center of the eye, going up to the brows. The point where the object meets the eyebrows is the natural arch. Next, take the same object and place it by the edge of the nostril and the edge of the eyebrow. This is where the brow should begin. Then, line up the object with the edge of the nostril and pivot it to the outer corner of the eye. This point indicates where the brows end. These three points make up the natural shape of the eyebrow. Connect the three points with a pencil and pluck or wax accordingly.

Preparing the Eyebrows
Before using any type of eyebrow makeup, women should first ensure they groom their brows by using a pair of tweezers to clean up any stray hairs or use an eyebrow comb to put everything in place. Next, picking the right pencil shade is the next important step. While it may seem counterintuitive, the pencil shade should be slightly lighter than the person’s hair color, but only two shades lighter at the most. Since eyebrow pencils are for filling in brows and not drawing them on, a lighter shade should look more natural. Dark pencils tend to have a “drawn-on” look and seem obvious. Finally, before using any pencil, the user should sharpen it, but not to a fine point. There are many special eyebrow pencil sharpeners just for this purpose.

Using the Eyebrow Pencil to Fill in Brows
The best way to use an eyebrow pencil is to fill in brows slowly, not draw them on. Starting from the inner corner, apply the pigment using light, short strokes, until it reaches the outer corners. Clean up any stray marks with a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover. Some people might want to use an eyebrow brush to fix any stray hairs and blend in the pencil pigment.