Friday, June 25, 2010
Ok it is officially summer now and guess what needs some extra attention? Your body! Time to get in shape so you can be confident in that new bathing suit you have been eyeing! Spending just 20-30 minutes 3 times a week will have you back in shape in no time!
One of my favorite people to follow is Jackie Warner—she was the star of that Bravo show Work Out—and her workouts BURN, and yield results! Luckily, everyone with a computer can have access to her videos (as well as over 165 videos on abs alone) on www.exercisetv.tv. Click “workout videos” (so if abs aren’t what you need, you can find a video that best suits you!)
Exercise TV also offers a free 14 day cycle work out plan to get you jump started if you need an extra push…just click “workout plans”
Here are some of the ab workouts I have done by Jackie Warner (I know, isn't she scary looking!?):
And here is a video I found of her running through some basic ab techniques to try, as well as some helpful tips to lose weight… including how to speed up your metabolism by adding fresh lemon juice to your water and drinking at least 3 liters of water per day…
If you don't want to watch a video, and just want to print some things to add to your gym routine, here is an abdominal circuit a friend shared with me this week:
Corkboard allows you to organize, keep track of, recommend and discover things that you love! It is especially helpful for people who can’t remember very well (i.e. “honey, what was that restaurant we ate at in Chicago last month? I feel like it began with a T?”). Or if you want to do something, but can’t think of any ideas—go to your Corkboard! It takes a few seconds, and you can post whatever you want to remember in an organized manner. It has helped me tremendously!
The way it works:
Post notes, places, restaurants, bars, recipes, websites, books, ANYTHING that you want to remember and save for later use (even if you haven’t been there yet!).
How to post: 1. Sign up for an account and add posts to your personal corkboard. 2. Organize it however you like into different collections. For example, I have mine organized by city—my favorite places to eat, shop, go out (and who to ask for), what dishes are good and how much they cost—anything I want to remember about the place! Corkboard adds the website, address, and phone number and saves it!
When to use it: I get this question ALL the time, “Where are some great places to eat in L.A.?” and I can never remember off the top of my head—so now, I can log on to Corkboard and I have 38 listings under LA alone (I have 95 postings already-- including cities like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta & Las Vegas!)
Other cool features: Corkboard automatically adds info from yelp with ratings, address, website, phone numbers—and basically fills in the blanks of your post with any relevant info you may need. It also searches its database to see if anyone else has posted your idea--and it pops up for you to grab. You are also able to add a photo, and a website, and even corkboard (save) others’ postings with one click of a button...and its all FREE!
For more info, check out www.corkboard.it
Here is a sample posting of mine so you know what it looks like:
Friday, June 18, 2010
See what I mean? I know these looks are pretty extreme, so here are some examples of more ready to wear:
And here is one example of colors you can put together that compliment each other:
Can't find an accessory to "match" your outfit? A lot of times people try to match things to tie them in, but BREAK THAT HABIT!!! Adding a belt in a darker or lighter hue of the same color is a perfect solution. This is a fun way to have something compliment your 'fit, but not become too "match-y match-y". Other things to add depth--earrings, a necklace, bangles, shoes, sunglasses, or a summer scarf (but not all at once!) in different shades of the same color can come together nicely and I promise you will get lots of compliments!
P.S. Send feedback on what else you would like to hear about...
Napa Valley is great for girlfriends, sisters, and couples. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery and is just north of San Francisco. Napa Valley is obviously home to some of the country’s best wines and it is a world-famous wine growing region due to the cool nights and warm days throughout the year. The best time to visit Napa Valley depends on what type of trip you want--for quiet relaxation - go in the Winter, for and exciting trip thats all about you and your guests- try Spring; for a lot of fun and activity go in the Summer; and for "total sensory overload" - its all about Fall...
Here are the top 5 things to check out while being there:
1. An official wine tour at the Robert Mondavi Winery. Robert Mondavi was one of the pioneers in developing Napa Valley into what it is today—and has the hands down best Winery/Vineyard tour (even other wineries will recommend it). You get to taste fresh grapes used to produce the wine, and they do a few pairings with some tasty hour d'oeuvres. The tour guides are experts and are very passionate about what they do. The gift shop is pretty dope too—with lots of wine gadgets for the people who have everything!
2. An authentic mud bath and visit to the hot springs in Calistoga…try the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs. This was the smelliest, squishiest, goopy (imagine places mud should never go) and HOT experience I have had, but the effect was AMAZING! I have never had my skin literally GLOW, and feel so smooth! My sister and I had people stopping us quite frequently afterward to ask us what our secret was! So it was well worth it. I will say be careful because the extreme heat of the mud and the transition from sitting to standing as well as going from hot mud to a colder shower too suddenly almost caused me to faint (which they say frequently happens)! Also, if you are a bit modest—realize there is a crew of women that have to wash the mud off of you and you can either be naked—or wear a bathing suit you plan on throwing away afterward!
3. Old Faithful Geyser - The Old Faithful Geyser of California is one of three geysers in the world with the designation “old faithful.” These are the geysers that perform at regular intervals. Mount Saint Helena and the Palisades mountains are a gorgeous backdrop, and they have a mini petting zoo if you get bored waiting around!
4. Hamburger at Taylor's Roadside –they recently changed the name to Gott's Roadside on March 25, 2010. This casual road-side diner, conveniently located on Main Street in St. Helena, is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite in between shopping and wine-tasting. They have the cutest outside seating and picnic tables!
5. A trip to the vineyard of your favorite California wine—so you can brag about how you have actually been there when serving it to friends!
**bonus points for side trips
Fortunately if you are in a hurry--San Francisco has the famous 49 Mile Scenic Drive--a tour you can take yourself--all you need is a car! You will see all the highlights of this spectacular city-- including Alcatraz, Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Palace of Fine Arts. For a full list of the 49 sights to see go to http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/maps/49miledrive.asp
If you want to see the famous California redwoods--this is an easily accessible, close to San Fran 560 acre forest of old-growth redwood trees located in Mill Valley just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
So I borrowed this video from my sister, and I was blown away by the segment on eyebrows! It features celebrity make up artist Sam Fine and his easy to follow guidance helps even the most experienced of make up artists up the ante. Here is a little snip it that I found on Youtube so you know the secret!
He also covers how to "clean up" your brows with tweezers and added some finishing touches by dusting translucent powder over the top so they don’t look waxy, and by using clear mascara to brush the head of the brow to make it look more natural. If you are thirsty for more tips from this make up guru--you can purchase Sam Fine: The Basics of Beauty on Amazon.com for about $25—or you can just look up more free clips on you tube!
If you are not a drinker of alcohol, that doesn’t mean this is not for you—it would still be beneficial to know what wines are all about. Wine has tannins (phenolic compounds extracted from the skins, stems, and seeds of grapes) in it which means more antioxidants and research shows that a glass per day has health benefits. That’s right—wine can be healthy! Now, you may be a beginner or you may be “seasoned” with wine, but learn where you can and add your seasoned advice in the comments!
I’m going to tell you this in the order that I expanded my palate—which was relatively easy with patience and a trip to Napa Valley wine country for some education (I will do a travel blog on Napa soon)! *****Disclaimer—this is all my opinion, not based on fact or any how to guide.
For semi-beginners-- it was easiest for me to start with a sweet dessert wine like a Moscato or even something fruity like Sangria (white or red). After that you can ease into a Riesling or White Zinfandel which are also fairly sweet. But don’t get stuck in the sweet zone! Wine can be an acquired taste, and it requires you to try the same wine on more than one occasion. In fact it takes around 20 times for your taste buds to determine if you like a taste or not—so don’t give up too quickly!
Following Riesling, you may want to progress to a Gewürztraminer—a wine with what I like to call “spice” or you may want to go dryer and head in the direction of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay and then a Sauvingnon Blanc. Following the popular whites, you are ready for a pinky toe dip into REDS.
Rose…may be a good transition to ease you into the vast pool of reds. Merlot is a good second…followed by Shiraz which is out of Australia and is considered the finest red wine grown there(it is also known as Syrah in the US). Next I would do a Pinot Noir, followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon. After you are finished with the basics of both WHITES and REDS--there are a plethora of other tasty wines to delve into—if you have tried some—please share! Occasionally I go to a wine tasting (there are free tastings/flights of wine every Friday around the corner) and I will be sure to share my favorites with years, and prices. Until then, here are some party friendly new releases, so cheers!
Murphy-Goode 2008 Chardonnay ($14). Smooth and supple, from cooler sites in California, with a mix of apple, pear, lemon and vanilla.
Murphy-Goode 2008 Pinot Noir ($14). Clean and varietal, with no "filler" grapes blended in to boost the color. Barrel-aged.
Boomtown 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($15). A smooth and satiny cabernet, chocolaty, round and ripe red fruits with a streak of licorice.
Ciao Bella 2009 Pinot Grigio ($13). An easy-drinking, fresh white wine with grapefruit and pear flavors front and center.
Eliseo Silva 2007 Merlot ($10). Soft and easy-drinking, with plum and cherry fruit now at its peak.
Hyatt Vineyards 2008 Pinot Gris ($9). Crisp and full-bodied, with fresh pear and apple and white peach fruit flavors. The clever blend includes muscat, viognier and riesling.
Saviah Cellars 2008 The Jack Red Wine ($15). Mostly merlot, it's full-bodied and fruit forward, with hints of earth, herb and spice.
Silver Lake 2008 Roza Hills Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay ($12). Buttery and round, loaded with peaches and creamy vanilla flavors.
Vin du Lac 2008 Les Amis Riesling ($14). With muscat and gewürztraminer in the blend, it's fresh, fruity and slightly sweet; an all-purpose white wine to sip on the deck.
Washington Hills 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($10). Black cherry and cassis fruit anchors a wine with dark streaks of espresso, bitter chocolate and smoke.
Hope this helps!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Paisley Rebirth Necklace $80 Anthropologie.com - for the effortlessly chic...
Beach Bounty Necklace $50 Anthropologie.com - perfect for anything beach-y
Sunken Ship Necklace $48 Anthropologie.com - great with an all white theme
Accessories can really exaggerate a look and create a greater effect, making a difference in overall presentation. Adding a textured clutch, drop earring, chunky necklace, scarf, hairstyle, chrome cuff, or pop of nail color can really take your look from drab to fab in 5 minutes flat!
I am a chameleon and I can look totally different from day to day depending on how I feel--but I will have a "look" in mind that I am going for. So find out what inspires you for today, tomorrow or any occasion and take it all the way!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The other day I was baffled at the fact that someone (I won’t name names) was flat out CRYING because she would only have access to her cell phone once a day (but could still text). My first thought was-- come on son—crying?! I remember the days of NO CELL PHONES and even now—this weekend-- I left my cell phone in another city for 3 days and I worked it out!
Losing my cell phone allowed me to become more observant and I ended up people watching a bit more than usual. What I found was disturbing --at more and more social gatherings I am starting to look around to discover that almost EVERYONE is typing away, texting away, tweeting away, checking emails, notes, blogs, weather, directions or new photo albums—instead of actually BEING AT THE EVENT. Nobody small talks anymore—why waste time when you can whip out your cell phone to keep yourself occupied. It doesn’t help that Facebook alerts you every time any type of activity occurs and is even slightly related to you.
I get it—you don’t have anyone to talk to or are left alone for a moment and you think hmm, let me just check my phone really quick—and that quick check turns into 10 minutes or more of staring at a mesmerizing display of instant technology. And here I thought I was being compassionate-- wondering why Polly Sue* is so quiet and aloof and the next day I’ll discover 10 tweets about what was going on around her and what she thought about it! Well I never!
TIP: Did you know that frequently it is people on the Autism spectrum (a social skills disorder) that come up with these apps, gadgets, and sites and it is we, the people who actually have the social capacity to interact appropriately who are abusing them? Etiquette books will have to be re-written to include cell phone guidelines!
I usually leave my phone in my bag so that I don’t become victim to this, but even I have to catch myself—I have had someone (my husband!) yell my name to get my attention and I realize that I have been warped into cell phone land where you are lucky to hear the echoes of the world around you…and its not an ugly 7 headed beast who lures you in…it’s the sweetest little bee that brings a flutter to your heart when it buzzes ever so gently to inform you that “you have a new comment”…
*names have been changed to protect the innocent ;)
Monday, June 7, 2010
2 heads romaine lettuce
Small block of Parmesian cheese (or a small container of those pre shredded curls)
¾ cup of Ceasar dressing of your choice (I prefer the Oil based lighter versions over the creamy)
Fresh ground black pepper & salt
1 sourdough baguette
1 can anchovy (optional)
2 sliced grilled chicken breast (optional)
Slice the bread into ½ inch slices, top with olive oil salt and pepper and bake at 325 for 5 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and then bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut up the lettuce, mix all of the other ingredients and garnish with the fresh Parmesan crisps. Yum!
If you are more experienced—this is one of my favs from Giada De Laurentiis’s Everyday Italian:
Chicken With Mustard Mascarpone Marsala sauce
If cooking is just not in you—or you just don't have the time--try semi-homemade with some Kashi frozen dinners. You can make it taste like your own with a few added spices and a protein. Just be sure to discard the box! Kashi is known for tasty, wholesome, all natural ingredients like their hearty 7 Whole Grain pilaf, fresh vegetables, and seasoned chicken--all you have to do is heat it up and each box retails for between 3 and 4 dollars (that's cheaper than fast food!) Check them out at http://kashi.com/our_foods
If you absolutely must get fast food, here are some healthier options: Panera Bread (Delicious, and free range chicken), and for a sweet treat, try Asian style frozen yogurt, like Pinkberry –they offer fresh fruit (cut daily) to accompany your creation choc-full of live and active cultures (good for digestion)- so much so that Pinkberry carries the seal of approval from the National Yogurt Association.
Hope this helps and happy eating!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This is one of my favorite quotes and essentially how I live life--simply. What you should take from it? Don’t limit yourself! We all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences that make us who we are. Your challenge is to be the best YOU that you can be! So dare to be a modern renaissance woman—challenge yourself in areas you are not familiar with, travel to places you have only dreamed about (if you have little money, than do it in your mind!), try a new activity with girlfriends, or a new food at a familiar restaurant. Learn about another culture or try on a fabulous dress! Read about what is happening in other countries or learn a new word in the dictionary. It is absolutely up to you!
I will cover everything the young woman faces today from my point of view—from Health & Fitness, Travel, Careers, Relationships, Culture, Politics/Current events to Fashion/Style. So if you are up to the challenge, hang on and enjoy the ride!