Monthly Archives: December 2010

Shortcut to Fabulous Fun in Roma!

Last Spring, I took a trip to Rome and navigated the city in true tourist fashion in order to find the best of the best for my readers. Rome is a beautiful, romantic, chaotic city jam packed with awe inspiring historical sights and points of beauty. The crowds of tourists and busy Romans make it a little more difficult to steal a slice of la dolce vita. In true shortcut to fabulous form, we found we found the best places to shop, eat, sleep and stroll in Roma so you can live la dolce vita.

IMG_1608Shop: Shopping in Rome can be expensive and overwhelming. With the global economy and availability of pretty much all Italian labels anywhere in the world, it is hard to find items to get excited about these days. We found a few unique surprises and fun items to bring back to friends and family. Our favorite shopping spot is around Trevi fountain. We found a truly fabulous handmade, leather handbag shop called Il Gancio. It is located on Via del Seminario 82-83. All of the handbags are handmade. In fact, if you enter the shop at the right time you can watch a handbag being created at the big wooden work table. The handbags are unique and range in price from around 35 Euros to over 200 Euros. You can get a cute cross body bag for about 40 Euros and the leather color selections are amazing! Another fab find close to the Trevi fountain is a shop carrying Murano glass from Venice aptly named, Original Murano Glass, located on Via del Lavatore 33. If you wont be making it to Venice, we recommend stopping in this shop to check out the beautiful glass pieces. Our favorites include the affordable jewelry pieces and small serveware pieces such as cheese spreaders and cake servers that make great gifts. If you are looking for cheap gifts, we recommend dropping in a local Italian grocery store and checking out the chocolates and jarred olives and sauces. We are sure you will find something yummy, inexpensive and with beautiful Italian packaging.

Eat: Eating in Italy is expensive and not very figure friendly. I found a few restaurants that have cheap eat, healthy options and yummy food.

  • La Cuccuma- My favorite restaurant visit in all of Rome. All I heard around me was Italian and the staff did not speak English…that spells authentic. prices were reasonable…about 10 Euros for a plate. The food is served cafeteria style, so you point to the food that looks good and they dish it out, warm it up and bring it to your table. It is located on Via Merulana, 221
  • Pizzeria Dar Poeta- Tucked away in a corner on Vicolo del bologna 45.IMG_1597 The pizza here is divine and filling! They have English menus, but don’t worry you will find some locals here too.

Stay: Accommodations in Rome are super expensive. I like to save on my hotel stay so I can splurge on food, wine and shopping. My pick is Frank’s House, a simple B&B run by American Expat, Frank. I think Room 1 is the way to go and it is 85 Euros a night. The room and bathroom are clean and Frank is super nice and helpful. The location is ideal for those traveling to Rome via train as it is walking distance from the train station. The con of this place is that it is in an immigrant neighborhood and can feel seedy at night.

So, bookmark this page for your next trip to Rome and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous run in Rome!

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Shortcut to Fabulous…Ten Best Beauty Products of 2010

top ten10. Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter . The most luxe, hydrating, non-greasy, delicious smelling lotion I’ve found. It hydrates, dry scaly skin without being greasy and it absorbs super fast. It is pricier than a drugstore moisturizing lotion, but worth the splurge!

9. Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer SPF 30. Hands down, the best concealer I’ve tried for my deep, hereditary dark circles. Nothing covers my racoon eyes like Dermablend and it works great for pimples, freckles and scars. It is $22.00 for a tube and each tube lasts about 6-8 months with daily use. To apply, smudge some on the heel of your hand and apply with concealer brush or ring finger.

8. MAC Blushcreme. A good friend of mine interviewed at my office this summer. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in person and after the interview I did what every girl does after staring at a girl that she knows is prettier…I did a little check of my own face. I discovered that it looked like I had NO make up on. I couldn’t believe it…it was only 11 am and I put on a full face of make up before I left the house at 8:45! My company offered her the job and I am thrilled to get to see my friend everyday because she is as nice as she is pretty. However, I realized when she got hired I had to amp up my make-up game and that is when I discovered Mac’s Blushcreme. I am not the best make-up artist, so the idea of creme blush was intimidating. But, once I got a lesson at the MAC makeup counter, I now have rosy cheeks that last all day. If I want super lost lasting blush, I finish it off with my favorite powder blush. Click here to order. Oh and by the way, I use the MAC 130  Short Duo Fibre Brush to apply. I might never be as pretty as my friend, but her blush wont ever outlast mine again!

7. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 with Lemon and Chamomile.Yes this is a men’s product…yes every woman should own it! This lip balm is not greasy, absorbs well and smells divine. A tube lasts forever and at $7.00 wont break the bank. Click here to order.

6. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. This is the best $14.99 you will ever spend for something out of a spray can. The airbrush leg spray is basically spray on pantyhose. It makes your legs look flawless and if you get caught in the rain you wont be a streaky mess cause it stays put until you wash it off with good soap. I am certain this is what celebrities use when they walk the red carpet with bare legs, and I use it to when I want to be camera ready with my bare legs. A little application tip: Spray it onto your hands and then rub it on your legs. You will get more even coverage, use less and make less of a mess. Make sure you let it dry for about 2 minutes before you put on clothes, especially light clothing.

5. Clinique Quickliner for Eyes. The easiest eyeliner to use for quick five minute make-up and the price is right at $14.50. This long lasting formula has a twist up applicator to keep the liner from drying out and a smudge tool built in so you can create a smoky eye. Click here to order from Sephora.

4. GLAMGLOW Mud Mask. The newest mask to catch the eye of celebs and power players with great skin. I tried this mask out in the second half of the year and fell in L-O-V-E. It is a little pricey at $69.00 for a jar, but a jar will last a long time and you will love the mask. It clears your pores and makes your skin feel smooth and radiant. Plus, the smell is heavenly and it makes you feel luxurious every time you use it. It has volcanic rock and French sea clay in in…oh la la…what more do you need! You can find that mask at Bliss stores and by clicking here. Oh and guess what? Thanks to our friends at GLAMGLOW, if you enter code “Friends20″ in the coupon code of the GLAMGLOW website at check out you will receive 20% off and complimentary shipping. Buy a jar for yourself and a jar for your gift closet!


3. Miss Oops Rescue Sponge. Every gal needs a rescue sponge in her travel kit and in her dressing area. Miss Oops rescue sponge removes deodorant smears and smudges from fabric. Two sponges are sold for $12.00.

2. Maja Cream Powder. Pronounced “Maha.” This is the best powder to set your make up for the price ($7.49 on Amazon). It smells divine and sets your make up for long-lasting, all day wear. Plus, it evens out your complexion. You can use it as a powder foundation or on top of your make up to set it and the color choices are perfect for those of us who are do not have peaches and cream white skin. Great for olive skin tones, but if you are peaches and cream they have a color for you too!

1. Shellac Nail System. The Shellac nail system changed my life. Nail polish that lasts for two weeks, no chipping…I didn’t believe it either. In fact, the first time I tried it, my nails were a hot mess after a week. However, I  knew something was wrong when I sat in the chair at that hack of a nail salon, so I tried it again at a nail salon with a nail tech who knew what she was doing and it changed my life. Two and sometimes three weeks with no chipping! I even found a secret to beat the boring, small nail color selection Shellac has. Shellac works with Essie polish. Your nail tech just has to dry your nails twice under the UV lamp for each coat of Essie. Once you go Shellac you’ll never go back! Click here to find a salon near you that has the system.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Mary Janes and Tights oh my!

When the weather is cold outside, nothing makes me happier than to slip on a thick skirt, some tights and some mary jane heels. I found thirty mary janes under $150, including some cute suede ones from Target for $29.99.

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Website Wednesday…Shortcut to Ten Most Fabulous Websites of 2010!

top tenIt is that time of year again. Time for our top ten countdowns. Today’s top ten…the top ten websites of 2010.

10. Woot- Daily deals of mostly tech stuff and gadgets, but their deals on cameras and televisions are hard to beat! Plus, you can peruse on over to wine woot for great deals on good domestic wine labels.

9. Anthroholic and Effortless Anthropologie. Two bloggers, Kim and Roxy are your go-to gals for everything fabulous about Anthropologie. They even scope out sales, markdowns and free shipping deals for you. They also have fitting room reviews. If you love Anthropologie, you can’t live without these two fabulous gals and their fabulous blogs!

8. Chick Lit Reviews. This website is the place to go for your reading list. The website devotes itself to everything chick lit and has book reviews, author interviews, give-aways and more. I always find my next book to read on this website.

7. Lucky Right Now Blog. Lucky Magazine’s blog gives fantastic up-to-the minute news on everything you want to know from coupon codes and deals to where to find the latest celebrity fashion…like all of the fabulous stuff Kate Middleton has been wearing.

6. Groupon. The place to go for great deals in your city. If enough people sign up for the deal you can get 50% off or even more to your favorite restaurants, spas, boutiques, bakeries and more. Sure there are others like Living Social and Dealtificate, but nothing beats the original! Click here to join Groupon and get daily deals delivered to your inbox.

5. Rue La La. Still my favorite members-only website. This member only sale website has awesome deals on everything fabulous including designer bags, clothes and house wares. Their sales start at 11 am EST rather than noon like some other member only sites, so you can shop and make lunch plans with your pals too. Need an invite…click here.

4. One Kings Lane- The Ruelala of home goods with amazing sales on high-end candles, serving dishes and other home decor items. Sales start at our favorite time…11 am EST. Click here for an invite.

3. Gilt Jetsetter. My favorite members only sale website for travel deals on hotels, travel packages and more. This is the place I go for great hotel deals for weekend getaways. I have gotten deals on some of the hottest hotels in cities like NY, and the deals are really deals…we are talking close to half off. If you are not a member, you should be! Need an invite…click here.

2. Fantabulously Frugal. This fabulous gal, Lisa, finds the best deals for the girly, girl at heart. If love shopping and you love a deal, this blog is your own personal guide to both. Lisa even gives you a rundown everyday of all of the members only sample sales for that day. She finds great Groupon deals, fabulous retail deals and coupons. She never blogs about free shipping or coupons or other cheap boring deals. No, Lisa finds you the creme de la creme for every gal with good taste.

1. Google. Yes, I know this website is painfully obvious. Probably so obvious it should not make a 10 best list. However, there is no website that I turn to more than Google. Google does so much more than most people realize. It has a currency converter, measurement converter, weather report, calculator, dictionary, movie show times, flight tracking and more. To learn more about how to use these functions, click here.

Check back later this week for more ten best lists including the ten best beauty products of 2010.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Magazine Subscription

Right now on Groupon OC, you can get a subscription to Oprah’s O magazine for $10!!!!! Click here to get the deal.

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Miami Monday…Shortcut to Fabulous New Years Eve

people-socializing-cocktail_~bul0430Ocean Drive is having a P-A-R-T-Y this new year’s eve and GILT City has tickets to the event. There are three packages available and the most expensive is only $75 which includes access to the after party at the Mondrian South Beach. Natasha Bedingfield and Leona Lewis will perform and then there will be a countdown to 2011 with fireworks. Check it out by clicking here.

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Website Wednesday…Shortcut to Fabulous Last Minute Experience Gifts

giftsWho: An Experience Gift company founded 2005 that offers unique and memorable experiences as gifts.

What: Selling experiences ranging from thrilling and adventurous to relaxing and cultural, they have something for every taste and every budget from skydiving to in-home cooking lessons. They have over 1600 experiences in 43 regions.

When: Anytime you need a gift for someone who likes to live life, a man or someone with a bucket list.


Why: Because an experience gift lasts a lifetime.

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