Happy Holidays from Parlor

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Happy Holidays! From my band of misfits to yours…

We had a lot of fun making our holiday card this year. I saw this “naughty” Santa hat in Walgreens and it got my wheels spinning. I thought we could have some fun with it, so I bought it. It says “nice” on the other side but who am I kidding; we all probably deserve coal in our stockings.

Last year I begged my family for a nice family photo. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well. Ok, it was a disaster. My husband flat out refused to participate. I wrestled my son into his only nice shirt but then couldn’t get him to stand still and pose nicely.



So I asked my son, Julian, if he would consider having his picture taken this year. Nope, he was not interested. So I asked, “What if I gave you a black eye with makeup and you could look mean?” Bingo! He was all in.

I thought it would be funny to spoof mugshots so I printed out some arrest boards noting our “crimes.” It was easy to come up with violations for my son whose prone to hitting, my puppy that just that day had gnawed a wii remote beyond repair, and myself because I’d recently had a couple emotional public outbursts. (I’m not proud but I’m human.) My husband was the tough one. Julian suggested “whining” but I’m not sure you can actually get arrested for that. With a little brainstorming we came up with “Lascivious Behavior” because, you know, he’s a dude.

I created the bruise on Julian’s face by dabbing on some yellow face paint and purple eyeshadow. It looked even better in color…


My look was harder to create than I thought. As it turns out, my mascara is pretty great because it wasn’t going anywhere even with a ridiculous amount of eyedrops. I ended up mixing black eye shadow with enough water that it could run down my face. Viola, makeup stained tears.

Hope you all get a kick out of our virtual holiday card. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, I wish you all the very best this holiday season and throughout the New Year. Cheers!


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Cocovit: Taking Coconut Oil To Whole New Level

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By now you’ve probably heard all the buzz about coconut oil. It’s been touted as virtual cure-all, treating everything from dry skin to brittle hair to weight loss. Sounds amazing, especially when you factor in that the oil is a “natural” product. But what exactly makes it so healing and are all coconut oils equally beneficial?

I recently met with Rikita Kapadia, creator of Chicago-based beauty line, Cocovit, to find out. While the health and beauty applications of coconut oil are relatively new to many of us, the women in her family have been enjoying its benefits for generations. It is believed that coconut oil has been used medicinally in India for over 5,000 years

Rikita was intrigued by coconut oil as an all-natural multi-purpose beauty product so she started investigating the options currently available on the market. She found that most coconut oils have been processed with heat, which eliminates some of the nutrients and enzymes, reducing its healing abilities. Cold-pressed coconut oil, the most widely available, is made from coconut flakes that have been dried with heat. Expeller pressed coconut oil yields an oil that is 90% oil and 10% water, requiring heat to extract the water.

Heat, along with other processes using solvents and bleaches, reduces the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Coconut oil is, in fact, 90% saturated fat but don’t let that scare you. These fats are “medium chain” triglycerides that are easily digested and are actually beneficial. Lauric acid, capric asid, and caprylic acid are what make coconut oil anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. These properties, along with its moisturizing qualities and anti-oxidant content, are what make coconut oil so healthful and versatile.

So, after extensive research, Ritika developed Cocovit. This 100% raw, organic coconut oil maintains all of the nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants using a proprietary extraction method. The coconuts are grown in South India on a farm employing over 30 locals and the oil is extracted from within 24 hours of harvesting. Cocovit is confident that their product is the “purest and most potent” coconut oil available.

I put these claims to the test and compared it to the expeller-pressed coconut oil in my pantry and there is clearly a difference. Cocovit feels lighter and absorbs more quickly and because it is raw, the smell is more subtle. The scent may actually be my favorite part about using this product – it’s delicious without being overpowering.


So far, I’ve used Cocovit as a body moisturizer, hair treatment, shave balm, eye makeup remover, and hand cream. It leaves my skin and hair feeling silky smooth and I’m amazed at how well it removes eye makeup without irritation! As a bonus, it can also help eyelashes grow longer. I wish it had been around while I was breastfeeding because it can be used as a nipple cream. No chemicals for your baby to digest while you soothe soreness, treat cracking, and prevent infections like thrush. Genius!

For a comprehensive list of skin, hair, and health uses or to purchase Cocovit Coconut Oil, visit Cocovit.

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Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening GIVEAWAY

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Ever thought about having your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office but couldn’t justify the expense? I have but, in addition to the cost, I really just don’t have the time. It generally takes 30 to 90 minutes for a professional teeth whitening treatment and while it sounds lovely to lay reclined in a dentist’s chair staring at florescent lights (NOT) for that long, I’m pretty sure I would have a panic attack thinking about all the other things that I should be doing.

I’ve tried whitening strips in the past and while the results were good, they can’t get to all the weird spaces where I’ve developed overlaps. (I did have braces but I guess I should have kept wearing my retainer for life…) A professional strength whitening gel and trays are simply more effective.

So, when Smile Brilliant contacted me, I was intrigued. This unique company offers custom trays for their whitening gel without ever leaving your home. How, you might ask? Let me explain…

My full review and giveaway details are after the jump. Continue reading

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