BELLA In You Makeover: Heather Krenstel and Avanti Salon

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It’s not too often you walk into a business that has been faithfully servicing its community for more than 30 years, especially one that was completely devastated from Hurricane Sandy. And through nothing short of hard work from family and friends, many tears and a faithful staff who is lovingly referred to as “family,” Avanti Salon reopened a mere three weeks after the storm. The BELLA team felt as fortunate as makeover recipient Heather Krenstel to be a part of an amazing day at such a warm and busy salon and spa.

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The Beauty of Giving Back: A Road Trip to Michigan

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Photo Credits: Britni Wilson

On January 18, I woke up to some of the saddest news I had received in a long time. A high school friend and her brother had died tragically that morning in a car accident. Crying and thinking about the road trip to Detroit I had planned for that day to work with Enchanted Makeovers, a group that transforms homeless women’s shelters, all I pictured in my head were my friend’s two young boys and what life would now be like for them without their mother.

Distraught and shaken, I prayed for strength because now I was terrified. I would be driving 10 hours away from my boys.

A few hours passed and a call from a friend, one of my “Chicas” Jennifer Tuma Young, came in on my cell. She ended our conversation by saying, “Sister, remember, you are on your way to do God’s work.” I knew this but I guess I needed to hear it to snap me back into gear. The day went on and finally I surrendered; I let go of my fears and moved out of His way.

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Current (Food) Obsession: Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets

So… I no longer have a crush on cupcakes. It’s over. My latest sugar-rush fix is the hottest new dessert trend: Gourmet Marshmallows. And leading the pack is Kristen Lee Godburn, a NY based chef from the prestigious French Culinary Institute.

 I recently gave her creations a whirl and these Raspberry Coconut marshmallows are downright dreamy. (It’s raspberry marshmallow,  lightly dipped in white chocolate, topped with toasted coconut.)  Some other creative flavors she churns out include Snickerdoo (a fluffy, spongy caramel mallow covered in chocolate and salty peanut crumbs) and  Cookies n’ Cream (Mexican vanilla bean marshmallow folded with homemade chocolate cookie crumbs, dipped in dark chocolate, covered in more chocolate cookie crumbs). What I love, I mean *really love, is they’re sweet and decadent but not nearly as heavy as a cupcake or a donut.  That’s right, fluffy just got fabulous!

Owner Kristin Lee Godburn’s fancy marshmallows certainly impressed me, but her story is rather captivating.  In 2009, Kristin threw away her investment-banking career, left the world of corporate America and followed her heart to the kitchen.  Talk about blazing a new trail and following your dreams! She started the business at age 30 after losing both of her parents; hence the name Kitty Lee Thomas (Kitty is her mom and Thomas is her dad).

 Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets specializes in handmade gourmet marshmallows, cookies, and other sweets that are made in batches to order in Brooklyn, NY are now available in 5 stores in New York, New Jersey, and Long Island.


A Great Smile = Newfound Confidence and Absolute Joy!

By Dr. Sunita Merriman

Since the beginning of time, women have had a passionate and interesting history of adorning and enhancing their external beauty. Looking good makes us feel good. Feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside is a wonderful combination that lifts our spirits to great heights.

In my many years of designing smiles for patients, I have discovered that their reasons and motivations to fix their teeth may be different but the results are always the same: a newfound confidence and absolute joy! Their smile allows them to engage with the world in the manner that reflects who they are on the inside. A smile is such a meaningful and deep way to communicate with our loved ones, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. It is an amazing bridge that connects us to others instantaneously and effortlessly.

A beautiful smile is also tied to our social and professional success. People with a great smile are said to make more money and advance faster and further in their careers. An attractive smile, along with a sense of humor, also tops the “wish list” of singles today.

So what exactly makes a smile attractive?

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