Saturday, September 26, 2009

Guestblog: Alexa Young

Today's guest blog is quite special because not only is it written by an author, it's written by one of our featured author! Check it out and don't forget to comment!
Since I live in Los Angeles, where it’s summer pretty much year-round, finding things appropriate for warm weather is an absolute must. This year, I scored some amazing items that made my summer—and summer-like endeavors (e.g., going to the beach or pool) slightly more bearable. So here, I give you five of my favorite summer things:

1. Eyelashes! I’ve never had long, thick eyelashes. In fact, mine have always been fairly non-existent—which means I especially dread going swimming (waterproof mascara never seems to stay on, and it’s such a pain to take off!). That’s why I took the advice of my fellow YA author and beauty expert extraordinaire, Melissa Walker, and tried out her recommendation: Neulash. It wasn’t cheap ($150 for a tube!), but it was worth it—because it totally works! I think it’s probably comparable to Latisse, which is WAY more expensive, considering how much you have to buy before you see results. I still wear mascara, but my lashes are just about long enough to look good even when I don’t. It’s quite a miracle.

2. A food diary. My issues with my weight hit around adolescence—and although I’ve mostly come to terms with my fuller figure in the years since, a seriously unhealthy lifestyle in 2008 equaled curves on top of my curves. Determined to shed some poundage by the summer of ‘09, I signed up with The great thing is that it’s not just about losing weight—it’s about eating healthier, and that includes drinking enough water, watching your sodium and saturated fat, keeping track of how much you exercise, and maintaining a steady weight loss (no more than 1-2 pounds a week). I’ve lost 20 lbs. since January and am hoping to lose another 20 to get to my healthy weight. Check it out. At only $9/month, it’s the most affordable and effective, not to mention healthiest weight-loss tool I’ve ever found.

3. Beach pants. My new favorite catalog for summer clothes is, oddly enough, Victoria’s Secret. They have the most comfortable linen pants EVER. I like the cropped version but you can also find them in full-length and shorts. And now that the summer’s over, they’re even cheaper. So pick up a pair…or three (like me)!

4. Easy, breezy reading. I love the Summerland picks, of course (thanks to all who’ve purchased FAKETASTIC!), but my favorite book from last season was Melissa Walker’s LOVESTRUCK SUMMER. (Yes, I am a serious Melissa fan. I can’t help it. She’s the best!) It was such a fun story, full of cute boys, hot weather, cool music…and a great message about keeping an open mind.

5. The best black swimsuit. Once again, I bow to Victoria’s Secret. It might not look like it in their catalogs full of anorexic models, but a lot of their styles work for a variety of body types. This is the second summer I decided to go with their Calvin Klein pleated one-piece. Sure, it’s a bit on the conservative side but when I pretend I look like the VS model, I feel almost as hot as the weather. ;-)

So there you have it. Five of my summer must-haves that I’m happy to keep on hand year-round.


Alexa Young, author of
FRENEMIES (HarperTeen, 2008)
FAKETASTIC (HarperTeen, 2009)