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What we creative people like doing in our spare time.

Bethenny Frankel’s Zucchini QuesadillaBethenny-Frankel-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

What happens when you take some of the freshest produce around and add to a favorite Mexican dish? Pure deliciousness. On top of its great texture and flavor, zucchini is a powerful, antioxidant-rich food. This recipe is sure to get the kids in your crowd going.
½ cup low-fat Mexican cheese, shredded
2 whole-wheat tortillas
1 zucchini, grated
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp low-fat sour cream (optional)
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp guacamole

1. Sautee zucchini, bell pepper, and onion in olive oil.
2. In a separate pan, add one tortilla and layer with cheese, vegetables, and second tortilla.
3. Cook until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden brown, flipping halfway through.
4. Top with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

Padma Lakshmi’s Savory Pita CrispsPadma-Lakshmi-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

Football Sunday is the perfect time to bring friends together for a memorable feast of foods — but so often only unhealthy choices are available. Switch things up this year with this delicious and nutritious snack.
4 large whole pita rounds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sumac powder
½ tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice pita into 8 pie-shaped wedges, separating halves and thin halves.
2. Combine 1/8 cup of olive oil and ¼ tsp sumac in bowl. Place thick halves in bowl and carefully toss with your hands, coating all pieces. Add ¼ teaspoon sea salt to bowl and toss. Lay slices out on a baking pan.
3. Repeat process with thinner pieces, using other half of sumac, oil, and sea salt. Arrange slices on other half of pan and place in oven. The thinner slices should be crispy in 8 to 10 minutes, while the thicker slices take an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

Alison Sweeney’s Spiced ChickpeasAlison-Sweeney-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

I know from experience how difficult it can be to find healthy alternatives for party snacks — and football gatherings are certainly no exception. So I have the perfect healthy snack that will please everyone at your party.
2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp salt-free seasoning mix
1 tbsp chili powder

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Mix ingredients well and place on cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are light brown and crunchy.

Alicia Silverstone’s Vegan Cheesy, Oozy Bean DipAlicia-Silverstone-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

I first had this at a party 10 years ago and loved it so much I decided to make my own healthier, kid-friendly version. It’s perfect for watching football and, when I shared this on The View, the ladies loved it! I hope you do too.
1 16-oz can refried beans
3 large avocados
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 8-oz container nondairy sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup diced mild green chilies
½ cup sliced black olives
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded vegan (or regular) Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spread layer of refried beans in 8×8-inch baking dish.
3. Pit and peel avocados and mash in a bowl with lime juice. Spread on top of refried beans.
4. Mix sour cream and taco seasoning, then spread over avocado.
5. Sprinkle chilies, tomatoes, cheese, and black olives over the sour cream.
6. Bake for 15-30 minutes.

Kendra Wilkinson’s Buffalo Chicken WingsKendra-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

I worked hard to get my body back after having my little one, so I usually stay far away from junk food. But, let’s face it, I’m human — I need to indulge once in a while. So I revamped a traditional recipe for chicken wings — they’re so delicious and not even that bad for you. The kids might get a little messy — but they’ll definitely be happy!
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
½ tsp each of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt
20 to 30 chicken wings
1 bottle hot sauce
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon
1 tsp honey

1. Put flour, pepper, garlic, and salt in plastic bag. Shake well, add wings, and shake again.
2. Refrigerate bag for about an hour so flour can stick to wings.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine ½ cup hot sauce, olive oil, juice from half the lemon, and honey in mixing bowl. Mix well and dip wings into hot sauce mixture.
4. Lay wings on baking sheet and cook for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through.

Molly Sims’s Classic Southern Rotel DipMolly-Sims-Superbowl-Recipe-pg-full

I’m from the South, so you know I love my football — it’s when I take a short break from all the kale and zucchini “pasta” and dig into my personal favorite snack. It’s not super-healthy, but it’s delicious! Hope you enjoy my family tradition.
1 large block Velveeta cheese
2 cans original Rotel diced tomatoes
1 log spicy ground sausage

1. Cut Velveeta into 1-inch cubes and melt on stove at medium heat.
2. When cheese is almost melted, add Rotel tomatoes.
3. In medium pan, brown sausage and add to cheese mixture. Cover and simmer until heated.

We at Claude Thomas want you to have a fun and healthy Super Bowl fun day

7 Super Rehabs for Your Super Bowl Recipes

game day super bowl appetizers snacks

Create dishes for super bowl…More healthy but taste like it’s notsuper bowl healthy pizza

Claude Thomas Salon and Spa great looks for long hair and some amazing hair color ideas for long hair

Fringe is “IN”

Madame Claude Says

The Right Fringe for Your Face Shape

Want to update your hairstyle without sacrificing length? Stars like Taylor Swift and Sandra Bullock have undergone mini makeovers and worked fringe into their hair repertoire. Bangs offer a low-risk way to try a new look — they’re easy to add, maintain, and fairly simple to grow out when you’re ready for a new look. Here, we’ve asked our favorite celebrity hairstylists to help you figure out which fringe is best for your face shape. Plus, we have their pro pointers on working with your texture and which products will help your bangs behave.

The Right Fringe for Your Face Shape

Blunt Bangs

This dramatic look “shows off eyes, adds strength to the face, and makes a statement,” says Claudia. (Exhibit A: Katy Perry) MY stylisst will cut the bangs wide, meaning past the end of the eyebrow, all the way to the hairline at the temple.

Christina Ricci, who happens to be one of Claudia’s Favs, pulls this off well, thanks to her rounder face shape. I say that heavier bangs “are great for long tresses, because they square off round face shapes and hide large foreheads.”

For thicker blunt bangs, style with a serum or shine spray like Redken Radiant Sea Spray to keep them glamorously glossy.

Asymmetrical Bangs

“This look shown on Amy Adams and Kristen Stewart is perfect for most haircuts and face shapes,” says Madame Claude. This low-maintenance option divides the face in a way that reveals just enough forehead and creates movement toward the eye and cheekbone,she explains. I advise that you be careful not to overstyle with a brush when you blow-dry. This easy option can look great if you style them with your fingers or even let your bangs air dry.

Side-swept Bangs

Claudia loves the fabled locks of Angelina Jolie,and states that side-swept bangs are best on heart-shaped or square faces. “They’re used to experiment with bringing softness to the face; sexy and superfun; great when hair is half up and half down.”

The hair length for this look should be shoulder length or longer. “It’s best if the hair boasts waves, or a little bend,” Madame Claude says. “Tell my stylists to work off a side part.” Claudia loves White Sand STUCK UP Professional Hairspray in conjunction with a medium round brush to hold that Eva Mendes-like curve.

Cheekbone Bangs

Gwen Stefani and Heidi Klum show off a bangs option with a geometric shape that brings out the angles in your face. Madame Claude recommends asking my stylist to create two layers of bangs: an under layer and an over layer. The purpose is to use the principles of architecture to provide the top layer with a supportive foundation so that it falls in the right direction.

I advise you ask our stylist to texturize the fringe by channeling (holding scissors vertically while cutting) to enhance movement. “To style your cheekbone bangs, blow-dry in the opposite direction for volume,” is my  recommendation.

Blended Bangs

Bangs don’t have to be the most dominant feature of your cut — they can be integrated into it, as we see here on Reese Witherspoon. “This style complements Reese’s strong features rather than transforming them,” explains Claudia “It softens her look and at the same time brings a strong focus to her eyes and lips.”

I recommend this style for layered cuts because it doesn’t require as much hair per square inch to pull off. I suggests you maintain a salon-fresh look like Zooey Deschanel’s by shampooing and conditioning with Redken’s All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner to repair damaged ends.             “Healthy hair holds a style better,” .

Wispy Bangs

Madame Claude points out that “the depth of your bang — how much is made into bang — as well as how big your forehead is will determine how strong a statement your bangs make.” In the case of Kate Moss, the bangs are thick (they start far back, at the top of her head), and her forehead is deep, so the resulting bang is long and bold.

I think piecey bangs à la Nicole Richie work best on finer-haired gals (she knows — Claudia rocks this look herself).

Eyebrow-grazing Bangs

Madame Claude says this look is fantastic on just about every face shape and works with almost every hair texture, because the bangs are essentially shorter layers in a multilayered look.

I recommend that you ask my stylist to comb hair so that it falls into a natural side part, then to brush the front section forward and to the side and cut at an angle to the desired length. “To style yours like Kelly Rowland’s and Claudia Schiffer’s, evenly distribute a small size of hydrating lotion throughout hair,” You can allow the hair to air-dry naturally or blow-dry straight in sections using a boar bristle brush, to smooth the cuticle. “If you want to add more volume to your bangs, aim the blow-dryer up and away from your face to give height before letting them fall softly in place,”

Claude Thomas Salon and Spa services all the northwest suburbs of the Chicagoland area. Such as:

Palatine, Barrington, Long Grove, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, South Barrington, Deer Park, Lake Zurick, NorthBrook, Wlimette, Hoffman estate , Rolling Meadows, Lake in the Hills, Wauconda, Lake Barrington, Algonquin, Illinois and more

 Madame Claudes Anatomy of the Salon Business

What you need to know

This message is designed to help you pick the best salon for you. The more knowledgeable you are about the salon industry, the fewer problems you will have choosing the best salon for you.

Education is truly the first step to making any good decision. You do it before you buy a house, car, or anything else. Why not before you invest in yourself?

You’ll learn why you should never pick a salon based on lowest price. You’ll also learn why all salons are different.

And why communication is so important.

This information can make your salon experience painless and trouble free.

My name is Claudia Tapp. I am the owner of Claude Thomas Salon and  Spa.

The 7 mistakes people make when choosing a salon.

Mistake #1

You pick a salon based only on price.

The old adage is true. “You get what you pay for.”  This is especially true when choosing a salon. If you want the best services you should decide to deal with a salon because of the overall value you receive, NOT because they are the lowest price.

Here’s why.

Value = Quality + Service + Price

It is impossible for any business in any industry to offer the cheapest price, have the highest quality, and provide the best service all at the same time.

You can get high quality and super service, but you can’t get both and still get the lowest price.

Salons have a lot of overhead, employees, products, leases, continuing education, etc.

If their prices are “too good to be true” then they are cutting corners somewhere.

Whether it’s in the quality of their services and products, or the customer service they provide, something has to suffer to give you those low, low prices.

Total value is all three: Quality, Service, and Price.

The three most common problems you will have when you pick a salon based on low prices are:

Number One: Really cheap salons don’t usually stand behind their work if there is a mistake.

Sure, those salons might charge you less, but how will they treat you when you are not happy?

To give the cheapest price they usually have low-wage, inexperienced employees, with a license to practice, but little or no real ­world skills.

They also cut corners by using cheaper products. The end result is “you get what you pay for.”

And the little bit of money you save ends up costing you more in the long run, especially if you have to miss work because you’re locked in your room crying for 3 days after getting “butchered”.

Believe me, there is a saying I always tell my clients, “the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Number Two: A salon that offers the lowest prices often has to compensate for being cheap with quantity, not quality.

Your salon experience is anything but relaxing when you are being herded like a sheep waiting to be shorn and then sent on your way.

Many times these salons don’t even wash your hair, it’s just wet down with a spray bottle, and when you’re through they usually send you out with soaking wet hair, and no styling instruction.

It’s tough to evaluate the end result when you can’t see it.

Number Three: The final reason why picking the cheapest salon is a problem relates back to the low-wage, inexperienced stylists that are usually employed at these types of salons.

Anyone can go through the schooling and have a license, but it’s the finishing schools, and spending the time and money on furthering education and developing talent that really makes a “Stylist”.

If you really care about keeping your hair in optimum health, whether you want to look polished and professional, or stylish and trendy; whether you are interested in color that can enhance your natural beauty, or turn you into a vibrant vixen; and, if you want to be pampered, treated with kid gloves, and learn beauty “secrets” from experienced experts, then don’t choose a salon based on price.

Mistake #2

You Think All Salons Are The Same

Every salon is different. No two salons are really the same. Every salon has different services and different employees who have unique talents and specialties. Styling is a combination of talent, experience, and skill. Most people don’t realize the time and money the best stylists have invested  into developing their art.

Contrary to what some people think, styling is not just a matter of cutting hair. It takes workmanship and talent to create really quality styles, and an eye for color and dimension to design a total look for an individual.

Communication is the key to picking the best salon for you:

·Ask what type of training and experience the stylists have

·Ask how much time they will spend with you before the appointment

·Ask to see pictures of their work

·Ask to read testimonials of past clients

·Ask any other questions that are unique to your needs.

This will help you to decide if they are the best salon for you.

After you ask your questions, it will become pretty obvious which salon you should choose. The salon that wants your business will prove to you that they are the best salon for you. Take your time and decide which salon you would like to use – but when you decide, you must be loyal to them. That brings us to Mistake #3.

Mistake #3

You Always Have A Couple Of Salons You Frequent

You may think this is good for you because whoever can get you in soonest wins the appointment. And it is, to some extent. But here is why it usually isn’t a good way to deal with salons.

A good salon has enough loyal clients that they don’t have to deal with price shoppers.

Once you find a good salon, you must be loyal. If you flip-flop from salon to salon, a good salon won’t be too motivated to keep YOU as a client. They will cater to their loyal clients.

Price is important. But price should not be more important than good quality and good service.

If you aren’t loyal to your salon, and show up every 6 months for them to fix your “cheap haircuts,” when you need a favor who are you going to turn to? When your best friend that you haven’t seen since college calls and says she’s going to be in town for the week-end, and you’ve got an inch and a half of roots showing, who’s going to bend over backwards to get you looking your best for the reunion?

Every salon expects to bend over backwards for their loyal clients now and again; they might even see you after hours, or early in the morning, or pull off a miracle. Provided the client is loyal, the salon will do all they can to help you look your best for an unexpected special occasion.

All good salons will be loyal to you if YOU are loyal to them. Keep loyalty in mind when you choose your salon.

Mistake #4

Picking A Salon That Doesn’t Guarantee Their Services

All reputable salons guarantee their services automatically. This means if you aren’t happy they will attempt to “fix” whatever it is for free, and if you still aren’t happy they will return your money.

Unfortunately, there are unethical salons that won’t do this. Instead they will argue with you for having “unrealistic expectations”.

An unethical salon may charge you for a re-visit, or refuse to give you your money back.

The best thing you can do is pick a salon that guarantees their work. This way you know they have to be good and have good communication with you. There is no risk for you.

Mistake #5

You Don’t Allow Enough Time For Your Salon To Service You Properly

Mistakes happen when you rush!

When you’re in a hurry, you may not get enough time to communicate with your stylist to make sure you get exactly what you need. And, sometimes, one late client can push back schedules for the whole day. When you schedule a salon visit, don’t short yourself on time. Ask the salon how much time you should allow in your schedule and then add a half hour. You deserve it, it’s your time to treat yourself right – don’t rush it.

Before you get serviced at the salon, talk with your stylist. Make sure he or she knows what your likes and dislikes are, what your “goal” is and how you will achieve your desired look.

You can save time, money, and headaches from the very beginning by communication!

Why do most people do the opposite and find themselves at the mercy of their stylist? Because everyone takes the stylist for granted. Everyone assumes they read minds, or that they can make you look just like the photograph you brought in even though you have a completely different hair type and face shape. Most everyone thinks the stylist is the “miracle worker” no matter what condition their hair may be in. This just isn’t the case.

You should think of your stylist as your “beauty expert” and “project partner”. And, you are the project. Consult with your stylist. Let them know in advance what you want. Ask them if they can give you any tips and ideas on creating a look and maintaining it between visits. A good salon will take the initiative in communication.

Mistake #6

You Think Having A License Is All It Takes To Be A Good Hairstylist

There are hundreds of thousands of licensed stylists. They’ve all gone to school, or been apprenticed and passed their state boards examine. That doesn’t mean they are all good.

Hair styling is an art. Having a degree of talent is important, although the skills can be mastered with time and practice. It is important for stylists to continue their education, and go through extra training such as “finishing schools”.

Don’t be shy. Ask stylists about their training and find out what kind of skills they have mastered before you put yourself in their hands.

Mistake #7

Not Asking To See Examples Of Salon Workmanship

Avoiding this mistake is your best bet at finding a fantastic salon. Ask to see examples of their work. lf they don’t have a book for you to look through, ask for references. A good salon will happily give you references.

Ask for the names of at least three people who have visited the stylist you’re interested in, and call them and ask them if they are happy with the salon. Also, ask to read through any testimonials the salon has from clients. This is the easiest way you can find a salon for you!

Madame Claude’s fun secrets just for you

Now as an extra treat I’m going to share 5 Beauty “Secrets” with you.

Beauty Secret  #1 Protect your hair, as well as your skin, from the sun. Use sunscreen on your scalp at the part. Lip balm with sun-block will work.

Beauty Secret #2 Don’t try to style hair soaking wet, get it 80% dry first.

Beauty Secret #3 To prevent wrinkles and sagging always apply creams with firm upward strokes.

Don’t sleep with your face in your pillow.  And don’t forget to protect your neck too, it’s the first part to show signs of aging and yet the most neglected.

Beauty Secret #4 Eyebrows look best when filled in with a soft pencil or powder. Go to a professional for your first plucking.  And to maintain that perfect brow….think professional.

Beauty Secret #5 The best bargain for your hair is a good cut. If possible, pay extra for a top-of-the-line stylist. More technically advanced hair cuts will last longer, up to 8 weeks or more depending on the hair length.

Claude Thomas Salon and Spa services all the northwest suburbs of the Chicagoland area. Such as:

Palatine, Barrington, Long Grove, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, South Barrington, Deer Park, Lake Zurick, NorthBrook, Wlimette, Hoffman estate , Rolling Meadows, Lake in the Hills, Wauconda,  Lake Barrington, Algonquin,  Illinois and more

*Madame Claude*

Madame Claude talks about celebrities style and how it is done

Kate Hudson’s Venice Film Festival Styles

Kate Hudson,known for her contemporary bohemian style, sported her signature look at the Venice Film Festival for the premier of her new thriller, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”. Kate’s hair is thin and fine. I can give you some great hair secrets on how to style thin fine hair and take it from a daytime look into an evening look that kills.

Like many celebrities fine hair can change over night with hair extensions…………..

To achieve Kate’s daytime look: shampoo Your hair with Oribe Shampoo for Magnificent Volume and Oribe Conditioner for Magnificent Volume. Kate’s hair is not naturally fuller so I would use Oribe Gel Serum for more body and shine. Forget what you know about gel. This magical, gold-flecked potion with active moisturizing agents brings sophisticated hold with shine rather than stiffness. Absolutely Gorgeous. Next, I would part her hair down the middle and use Oribe Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray, then blow drying using a large paddle brush, smoothing the crown and top half of her hair. At the lower portion, use Oribe’s Volumista spray for hold volume and shine,  then  switched to a medium round brush wrapping sections around the brush to create loose, soft waves.

To dress up the look for the evening:

I would apply Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax for style definition. Then proceed to finger comb your tresses off your face not disturbing the natural texture, while drawing the hair and gently twisting it into a chignon.

For hold, lightly misted Oribe Dry Texturizer Spray.

Claudia’s The owner and Founder of Claude Thomas Salon and Spa

Tips for Working with Thin Hair:

1. Always use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.

2. Always rinse, rinse, rinse the hair after cleansing and conditioning, this should be your mantra!

3. Volumizing mousses work best for fine hair giving it just the right volume and hold.

4. Dry shampoo also serves as a body builder even if you don’t need to cleanse.

5. Root lift products help to add volume to fine hair.

6. Using great products along with not over-using them helps to keep hair clean and full of body.