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Mom's Fall Rise-Up

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Back to school for the kids means back to herself for mom, or at the least, we have a bit more time for ourselves these days. Our mood is best described by the Staples commercial with the sullen children following the ecstatic school-supply-shopping parent down the aisles. When the yellow school bus comes down the street, we see a light that shines brighter than those headlights. Half-day Kindergarten or full day middle school means mom has her brightest joys and biggest worries cared for, for the moment, and she can concentrate on perking up her wardrobe and renewing her body, not necessarily in that order. We found great products that satisfy both needs.

Starting fresh from the inside

As much as we'd like to think we'd have the discipline to master the Master Cleanse, our multiple attempts at taking more than one sip of the lemon, water, cayenne, and maple syrup concoction prove otherwise. Thankfully, improved health need not (and probably should not), come with such extreme deprivation. A significantly more doable alternative is the Sea Buckthorn Liquid Revitalize & Renew Supplement from the just launched Sibu Beauty line.

As our dermatologist tells us every time we moan -- skin needs to be nourished from the inside-out. So now instead of turning to Red Bulls or failing at absurd liquid diets, we've been trying some Revitalize & Renew to boost our energy and help our bodies fill up with some of the nutrients we might be lacking (the nutrient-dense sea buckthorn berry harvested exclusively for Sibu Beauty in the Himalayas of Tibet contain omega fatty acids 3, 6, 7, and 9 all of which are vital to healthy skin, hair, and nails).

While the 100% natural, tart and sweet-tasting supplement isn't the yummiest, until hubby green lights a splurge on a live-in personal chef trained to make sure we are getting a completely balanced diet on a daily basis, we'll have to turn to this helpful little boost.

After cleansing. . .

Even though summer's over, your husband may not be finished pulling out the big tongs and buying the store out of man-sized rib eyes. Barbequing is a great tradition, but not one without its downsides especially after tweaking our internal health with a cleanse. Some charcoal products contain petrochemical additives that aren't great for your health. We want a good chimichurri sauce with our steak, not chemicals.

Nature's Grilling products make us feel much better about our steak splurge. They are made from wood that is harvested sustainably, so their production doesn't strain the environment, and they contain no synthetic additives at all. The 100% natural hardwood briquettes burn longer than traditional briquettes, and produce less ash--which means less waste and less messy cleanup. Yummy grilled food, and a much cleaner conscience.

Outer beauty pursuits

We're barely into September and we're already nearing our fall fashion budget max -- curse Zara and all their fantastic fall dresses! The solution? Turn to our beauty items to reign in our spending and spice-up what we've already got (we've all gotta make responsible fashion choices sometimes!). The fairy tale-inspired Fall 2009 Orly collection was designed to complement the Fall 2009 dominating colors and trends so it's little surprise that we're liking the way a number of their colors look against our gray, taupe, beige, and black fall looks.

The collection includes shades of deep magenta, blue shimmer, burnt red, deep green, grey creme, and brownish gray creme each of which are free of DBP and all traces of Toluene and Formaldehyde. Called Once Upon A Time, the collection just hit stores and all shades have a subdued, muted feel to them. We're going out on a limb and predict that Orly's wonderfully rich, deep green (called Enchanted Forest), will be the "it" color of the season - at least we're hoping because another season of sad-looking black nails would seriously be no fun.
Accessorizing at the right price

Most people hear the name Avon and think of a cosmetic representative selling creams locally to her neighbors and girlfriends. Little do they know that Avon operates a multi-billion dollar fashion, footwear, and accessories business. We love Avon for their tried and true affordable buys (is there a better multi-tasking product than Avon Skin-So-Soft!?), and for their amazing work championing Breast Cancer and other important causes. Until recently however we hadn't a clue they had products far beyond creams and cosmetics, and that you could purchase them online.

Among the new Summer/Fall items that they have is this $14.99 Clear Bangle Bracelet with Faceted Faux Stone Accents which we can totally see our little girls loving too), an array of everyday bags for under $20, and our persona fave, a duo of Dip Dye scarves for $14.99. Free shipping doesn't hurt either.

Is it bad though that we secretly wish no one spots in our house those kitschy (think apple-shaped) jewelry boxes Avon is known for?

Looking ahead

It's not quite the holiday season yet, but we're already panicking about what to wear with the weather turning colder. We're saying bye-bye to our fabulous maxi dresses and easy tanks and breaking out all our little black dresses for nights out on the town. Hey, a mamma can dream, can't she? And our new LBD idol is Demi Moore. She's a hot mom who happens to still look like she's a hot chick and we're still dreaming about her textured Oscar de la Renta LBD with patent leather belt. It's sexy and age-appropriate perfect for a candle-lit dinner with hubbie (Hello, Ashton!) or a black-tie wedding. Of course, our red carpet budget isn't quite as flush as Demi's, but this Arden B belted dress, $58, has exactly what we're looking for -- sex appeal plus sophistication without breaking the bank and it comes in black, purple or blue. Plus, the braided leather belt is perfect for showing off our hour-glass figure even if we have a few more hours packed on than Demi

School's out. . .

End of day carpools, homework and dinner prep leave us begging for some help. We hardly ever ask for help but we do need this Help and their simple, chic, and affordable ($3.99 ladies!) solutions. The collection is made-up of six products to help with-headache, blisters, sleep difficulties, allergies, cuts and aching bodies. In other words, issues that are our every day occurrences. Unlike most products that tackle these problems, Help doesn't bombard us with bulky, gaudy packaging and wordy explanations. Everything in the collection is color coded and clearly titled to describe, in plain English, what particular problem it solves and how. To boot Help is less abrasive - both for us as users and for the environment--because it's packaged in sustainable materials (molded paper pulp and bio plastic from corn resin).