Dogs Are Not Gifts

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dear Ellen,

First I wanted to say I LOVE your blog and all the advice you give, especially about pets. My boyfriend of a year bought me a puppy from a local breedder for Valentines Day. The problem is I live with my parents and we have a small apartment and cannot really afford to take care of her. I don't want to break my boyfriends heart and I love the puppy, but I just don't think I can handle taking care of her financially and emotionally at this time. What do you think I could do without hurting my boyfriend before I get too attached to her? Thanks!

Danielle in Mississippi

Dear Danielle:
Pleaseeeeeeee try to return the dog to the breeder right away if you don’t feel you can give it an adequate home. Also, in the future, let your boyfriend know that animals don’t make good gifts.  Purchasing an animal and bringing a pet into your home should always be a mutual decision that is well thought out.  Also, a good breeder doesn’t usually sell a puppy as a gift, knowing that situations like yours come along very often.  Any reputable breeder will take a puppy back if they know it won’t be able to be integrated into a new home.  Please remember all of this for the future Danielle!
Good luck!

He's Going to Spring Break Without Me?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hey Ellen,
I have been dating this guy one and off for 5 years. We do argue about little things but we really do have a lot of love for each other. It seems like I’m ready for marriage and he’s ready to party. Our relationship is now officially tested because he’s going to Cancun for spring break. I don’t see why he would want to go on a party singles vacation when he’s in a committed relationship. I feel like I’m trying really hard to make this work and he just thinks everything is perfect. I’m going insane what should I do?

Dear Anonymous:
If I were you, I wouldn’t waste anymore of my time.  I could sit here and tell you that you should talk about your feelings with him, and explain to him how it hurts you, etc. BUT, honestly, I think he’s just the wrong type of guy for you.  There are guys out there that don’t like to party a lot, and ones that do.  You obviously are on two different levels and unless you think you can only get HAPPIER in this relationship, I would end it. 
You don’t deserve to have someone that will go on party vacations and leave you sitting around wondering what’s going on.  Whether or not you trust him, I still think it’s not cool.  It’s one thing if it was a guy’s only fishing trip over a weekend or something like that but Cancun and Spring Break? Sorry, I don’t think even I could deal with that.  Girl, you better get movin!  And while you’re at it, start planning your OWN vacation…. GIRLS ONLY!
Good luck!

Exclusive Interview with TINA

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some of you may have seen her music video.... 

Some of you might recognize her from being featured in an episode of Jerseylicious!

She's got some killer dance moves and Fat Joe is featured in HER music video "So Good". 
I have a few readers who came up with some questions anonymously to ask TINA.  Most were interested in her style and what she's like when she's not performing. Check out the interview below and you'll learn how much of an animal lover she is and how much she's giving back to her community!  I would like to thank her for the oppurtunity to interview her for Ask Away and I just want everyone to know she is such a down to earth, sweet girl! Check her out!

ER: On a day when you aren’t going to be performing or doing a photoshoot, etc. and you are just lounging around, what kind of stuff do you normally wear?
What about when you go out with friends?

TINA: I actually feel prettiest in sporty clothes, like sweat suits and a baseball cap! I love those comfy sweat suits from Bebe, and the Victoria’s Secret PINK line, or just anything comfy and coordinated! As far as the “friends” question, I sadly never go out for anything other than work! Although, my work is filled with fun dinners and after-parties, and that’s more than enough social time for me! I usually am dressed pretty glamorous for events like those since there is typically press to do!

ER: Girls everywhere are always dying to look like the stars they see on TV but we have to realize that those stars don’t always look like that. What’s your hair routine? How long does it take for YOU yourself to get your hair ready?

TINA: That is so true! I should film myself when I wake up in the morning. It’s actually pretty scary though so I will spare you all! Yeah, a lot of kids think these stars wake up glamorous, but it does take a lot of work! When I do my hair, it takes about 30 minutes just to blow it out with my T3 dryer (love my dryer), then I style it. I usually curl it with a small or big T3 curling iron, depending on if I want big loose waves, tighter curls etc. So I would say, in total it’s almost an hour of work for my hair to look all glam! Before all that work, my hair is just this frizzy, bird’s nest looking thing!

ER: What kind of handbags are your favorites and what style of handbags do you find yourself drawn to?

TINA: I grew up surrounded by “Bollywood” so I love anything ridiculously sparkly. I don’t care if it’s a 5 dollar sparkly Walmart bag, or a $5,000 dollar Louis Vuitton bag-as long as I love it! I’m also addicted to the color blue. In fact, the last bag I got was a Coach Poppy Sequin backpack in blue. It’s crazy loud, but I absolutely love it!

ER: For your music video “So Good”, with Fat Joe, how hard was it to stand and dance in those heels? 

TINA: It was fine for the first day, but by the end of the second day, my feet absolutely hated me! The last scene we shot was with Fat Joe and it was at the end of the second day of shooting, at about 6 or 7 in the morning. For some of those scenes with Fat Joe, I had to grab onto his arm or I seriously would have fallen over! He must have thought I was just super friendly!

ER: You mentioned you were a big fan of my weekly postings where I post an adoptable pet of the week. You mentioned that you have several pets of your own. How did you get them and what kind are they?

TINA: Yes! It’s SO great what you do, and I certainly am a fan! I have two big dogs. (They live with my family because I’m always on the road!) Thor is a husky/lab and is 13 years old. We recently decided that he needed someone to get him moving a bit more, and so I rescued a German Shepard/Chow mix that my family named Xena. She was not the specific dog that I intended to rescue when I went to the shelter, but when I saw her I recognized her dire need for love and just had to adopt her! She was extremely skittish and the shelter suspects she must have been beaten before they got her. She was actually about to be sent to the gas chamber in Texas since she was labeled “shy” before they got her! She is much less skittish now, and is so loving, and playful!!

ER: What was it like meeting Fat Joe and then working with him so closely? Were you star struck?

TINA: It was amazing working with Fat Joe! He is just this laid back, really sweet guy and we had so much fun with this track and the video shoot! I don’t really get star struck though in general-not even when I went to Ringo Starr’s house of The Beatles-and it doesn’t really get bigger than that! We are all the same on this planet, so while I heavily admire, respect, adore, and love Ringo, it was not intimidating. Ringo actually puts out a “we are all equal” vibe which is so wonderful since he is a darn Beatle!! Lol! Actually, if you want to see how humble and funny he is, check out this video of him and I hanging out at his house and playing the drums! 

ER: Where do you see yourself in five years? Or where do you HOPE to see yourself?

TINA:Oh who knows! Life is beautiful and unpredictable! I am just going to work incredibly hard at both my career and my family life, and see where I end up! Hopefully I will have a few hit songs under my belt, and more importantly, I hope to have my cancer charity up and running. The best thing about my career is that it gives me a voice which I use to give back, just like I am doing now by touring high schools and talking to them about bullying, education, how beautiful they all are, etc. Point being, I hope my career grows massively so that I can give back in a much bigger way!

TINA also has her Top 10 Beauty Tips for Ask Away readers....

1. Workout! – Working out has always been the beauty solution for me! It decreases stress, increases my confidence, makes me feel strong, and puts a glow on my face! I personally love both cardio (like kickboxing and zumba) as well as strength classes (like body pump). Working out should be accompanied by eating right of course! I am actually a huge foodie and I definitely struggle with trying not to splurge too much, but I try my best to eat right at least 80% of the time.

2. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – This product was recommended to me by the makeup artist from my music video shoot for “So Good”. Her name is Christina Lomauro and I am forever grateful to her for introducing me to this foundation! It’s a bit of a financial splurge, but the bottle will last a long time, and it really does have this gorgeous silky finish!

3. T3 Featherweight Hairdryer – I absolutely love how my hair turns out every time I use this dryer! It’s like magic! It somehow dries hair way faster than other dryers, but without turning it into dry hay. It’s so hard to use any other dryer after trying this one out!

4. Revlon ColorStay Soft and Smooth Lipcolor - I have this lipcolor in a bunch of colors! I have everything from a nude color to wear to a casual event (such as sound check before a performance) to a deep red for formal events. They really do stay on all day (hence the term “ColorStay”!) Even the more shiny colors stay on all day, like “Luxe Lavender” which is my favorite sparkly color! For performances where I want more of a glossy look on my lips, I use one of these colorstay lipcolors under a gloss, which make the gloss stay put a bit more.

5. See the good and ONLY the good in everything and everyone – My mom could always tell when I was genuinely happy by how much my face was glowing. (I guess that’s a mom thing!) Happiness has to come from focusing on only the good in life. There will always be things to complain about, but what’s the point of dwelling on them? Instead of focusing on what you do not have, focus on what you love about your life and enjoy it! A content aura is infectious and beautiful to be around!

6. Mac Khol Eyeliner – I use this eyeliner in the color “smoulder”.  Alexa Prisco (aka The Glam Fairy on the show “Jerseylicious”) introduced me to this product way before I was actually on the show, and I was instantly hooked! She showed me that I could use it both as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow by just taking my finger and smudging it in the corner of my eye for that smoky eye look!

7. Smile! – Absolutely nothing in this world is more beautiful than a smile. I met a stereotypically gorgeous girl a while ago that turned out to be incredibly arrogant. She wouldn’t smile at all and she treated everyone in the room like they were beneath her with her scowls and disapproving looks. Well, her perfect hair and perfect outfit and beautiful features just looked plain ugly to me after I got to see that side of her! Point being, nothing is hotter than a truly nice person with a genuine smile!

8. Sephora Collection I.T. Brushes – My sister got these for me for my birthday. They are a bit of a splurge, but totally worth it since they will last for years! The quality of these brushes are amazing, and they feel soft and silky on the skin. They have caps which come in really handy if you travel a lot and are also really fun to look at since they come in electric pink, purple, and blue!

9. Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen – I use this in “sun beam” for under my eyes. It’s a lot creamier and silkier than other eye brighteners, so you do not have to push and pull your skin at all. Again, it’s a bit of a splurge but worth it for the quality!

10. Love! – Love is the ultimate beauty technique for me. Being surrounded by loved ones, and giving and receiving love back is the greatest gift we have, and it gives us the kind of beauty that radiates from the inside and makes our faces glow! Having loved ones and being in love with life makes me feel and look my prettiest!


You can learn more about her on her own web site at

What's up with those Balenciaga Bags?

So you will probably recognize the typical Balenciaga Bag as an accessory of the A-List Celebs out there like Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Richie, etc. Well I never really was fond of it until I looked at it up close online. I like the way it can be used as a shoulder bag or an arm bag. I also like that it's not a super stiff bag and it wont be too bulky when you're walking through a crowd.

When I was exploring the Chic Threadz website ( I found a bunch of these designer inspired handbags (Pink and Green above).  At around $60 it's a fraction of the cost, and I'm not even going to mention the actual price of a genuine Balenciaga bag.  I have heard horror stories from people that bought them over ebay and ended up with a bag that fell apart in a week, or even came to them in shambles. 

So I decided to post a few links for you guys incase you are interested in any designed inspired handbags.  If you look around in the handbag section you'll find a big selection of unique bags that look just like the designer brand they were inspired by. - on sale for $49.99

AND...if you like quilted bags. I found this one to be one of my favorites and it doesn't look "junky" at all like some of the "inspired by" bags.  Makes you wonder what really inspired them?

Moving In Together?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hi Ellen,

I was wondering what's your opinion on moving in with your significant other before marriage? I have been with my boyfriend for over a year. We always talk about the future; buying out first house(we have the same taste in real estate), getting another puppy and sometimes even our future kids. Things are really going great! He just turned 24 and has a full time job and I will be graduating college in a couple months. My question is when do you think it's the right time to move in together? I have heard that the majority of marriages end in divorce if you live with the person before you're married. I have also heard that it's better to live with them before you get married so you know their corks and habits before it's unfixable. Of course we want to wait a little bit anyways so we can save up money and pay off school loans, but...When do you think the RIGHT time to move in together is?

-Property Virgin aka (Kristen K.)

Dear Property Virgin:
I honestly think it’s different for everyone.  It all depends on the people and the situation.  I think it’s okay to move in before marriage as long as you have been together for a while.  It’s always good to still have that distance in a relationship so you have time to miss the other person and it makes you realize how much you value their company.  But you are exactly right.  My friend was dating this guy for about 8 months then they moved in together.  She had always bragged to us about him and they really hit it off. She was totally in love with him.  She would call us in the weeks following their move and complain about how he laid around and slept on the couch all day and wouldn’t make any attempt to clean up after himself, do the dishes, laundry, etc.  She was so upset and they ended up breaking up.  It also turned out that in his next relationship, he did the same thing.
 On the other hand, if you stay with someone long enough, even if you live in two different places, you should be able to see things about them like how they take care of their own place, how independent they are, etc.  If you know them and how they are, it might be easier to move in together because there won’t be any fights over responsibility and cleaning, etc.  When they say that it’s beneficial to live together before marriage because you kind find out someone’s quirks, I think what they actually mean is that when you move in together you will be spending A LOT of time together, so anything that you don’t notice with the space in your relationship, you might notice now.  Do you and your boyfriend spend a lot of time together? If so, then you probably know him inside out and you know his little habits and quirks.  If you don’t have a problem with them, maybe it WOULD be beneficial to you to move in together.  Are you guys planning on getting engaged soon?  What are your future timeline plans?  It really does depend on each individual person.  At least that’s how I see it.  If you really want to know what it’s like, spend a week at your boyfriends’ or vice versa.  See how responsible he is; see if he cleans up after himself, etc. If you can’t stand any bad habits he has, you should discuss them, see if you can settle them somehow, and go from there. My overall advice to you is just be careful.  You don’t want to end up not enjoying your living situation and not being able to get out.  I would wait a few more months, do a few trial runs and see where you can get from there. 
Good luck!