Jul 30, 2010

Valley Social: Yoga @ the Biltmore

Looking for an alternative to the typical Sunday morning church service? Refresh your spirit and balance your chi with Sunday yoga @ the Biltmore.

Hosted by Lululemon Athletica, this free weekly event takes place on the lawn in front of the store (see picture to the left) @ 1030a. Space is limited and it fills up fast so everyone is encouraged to arrive early to grab their spot.

Sunday's class will be hosted by instructor Laura Bleam, Owner of Sumits Yoga on Camelback.

Jul 29, 2010

Fashion Fix: New Mommy Style

I definitely feel for Christina Milian and all the drama she's been going through with The-Dream, but I must admit I'm already tired of seeing her "random" appearances around town in LA. To me there's nothing worse than staged press shots. Yes, we get it - - you took off the ring, your body is rocking and you're really happy!

However, when I saw her and this uber cute Fendi Baby Carrier I had to put my hating on pause! Doesn't baby Violet look adorable ----->

For all of those new moms out there, this carrier is available online for $325.

If you have even more money to blow, Gucci offers their Signature Logo Baby Carrier for $850 which has been flaunted around Hollywood by the likes of Gwen Stefani.

Whether you're looking to splurge on yourself, your baby or any new moms in your life I'm sure they'd love to receive this gift!

N♥il Art: Summer Color

I'm a nail polish junkie and I couldn't pass up on this fun shade as I was heading out of Forever21. I've never given their polishes a second look, but at $2.80/bottle how could I not buy it.

This neon burnt orange is the best way to add some life to the the overcast days AZ is experiencing (monsoon season). Yes, it's VERY bright... but if you aren't afraid of some color then I'd say go for it.

Application: Be warned that the cheap price reflects the thick consistency. It took a steady hand and some patience to apply this polish as it can goo gop up pretty quickly. I used my Essie Good to Go top coat (the best top coat in my opinion) so I'm sure this cheap polish will last a few days.

Jul 28, 2010

Valley Social: InterContinental Motelucia Resort & Spa

This past weekend I got together with the girls to enjoy relaxing times at the AAA 4-diamond rated InterContinental Motelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. It's hard to put into words how stunningly gorgeous this place is- - so I snapped a few pics!

It's easy to fixate on the lack of quality urban nightlife in Arizona and forget how beautiful this state is. To think, this is only minutes away from my house. This resort provided the relaxing weekend we all needed! I felt so recharged... Looking forward to spending the rest of my summer by the pool.

If you find yourself wanting to escape the day to day grind of your life and visit Arizona (or plan a staycation if you're already here), check out these summer specials the resort is having thru September 6th. You won't be disappointed.

Jul 27, 2010

N♥tural Hair Tips

Most naturals know that shampoo can wreak havoc on your curls. While you still want to clean your hair/scalp, you don't want shampoos full of sulfates. Once I made the transition back to natural hair I found myself with tons of shampoo and nothing to do with it. I started brainstorming ideas on what to do with the bottles I had left over (I only use Moroccan Oil's Moisture Repair Shampoo which is sulfate-phosphate & paraben free) and I came up with some ideas you may be able to use too!

1. Bubble Baths - I love taking bubble baths and have found that nothing creates better suds than my Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo. This stuff provides bubbles for days and a moisturizing feel to my long soaks.

2. Scarves - I've become better about washing my hair scarves out more often. I try to give them a good rinse at least once every 2 weeks and nothing cleans them out better than some shampoo.

3. My Dog - Just because I don't use the shampoo doesn't mean my dog Jazzy can't. I love lathering her up and giving her coat a treat.

What do you do with your old shampoo?

Jul 26, 2010

Sushi and Champagne

Since revamping my diet I had not eaten out. A friends birthday was approaching and I was interested in seeing if I could rise to the occasion. My goal? Find a healthy way to enjoy my food, drinks and girlfriends without throwing my diet out of the window. I guess I shouldn't call it a "diet" because it's more of a permanent lifestyle change (not some get thin quick thing), but a "diet" in the sense of meaning "the food I eat".

Anyways, we headed to Stingray Sushi and my spirits were high because sushi is relatively healthy. AZ summer nights are still pretty hot (averaging in the 90s) so I was armed with my 1L bottle of Smart Water (a great way to stay hydrated, a bottle of water before you go out is highly recommended so you don't use alcohol to quench your thirst). I ordered my favorite Philly Roll (319 calories) and a mimosa (75 calories) and guess what? That was it!

I managed to have an enjoyable night out for less than 400 calories. I even shocked myself.

For anyone in the process of changing their eating habits, stay encouraged that you can still maintain your social life and keep your waistline in check.

Jul 23, 2010

Drink Smarter

The weekend is here and I wanted to share a few tips I found on how to reduce calories, enjoy responsibly and drink smarter:

1. Alternate alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks to save calories. It's also a good idea to start your night off with a glass of water so you can stay hydrated and not use cocktails to quench your thirst.

2. Choose wine, light beer, or simple cocktails made with low-calorie mixers. Mix cocktails with water, club soda, low calorie juices, artificial sweeteners or sugar-free syrups for easy calorie savings.

3. Skip the mixer altogether. Try ordering your favorite spirit or one of the new flavored liquors on the rocks.

4. Dilute your drink. Another option is diluting your drink with club soda or sparkling water. Wine spritzers are a low-calorie standby. And if you usually drink vodka and cranberry, for example, try it with club soda, just a splash of cranberry juice, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a wedge of citrus or pineapple to add flavor and few calories.

5. Have a game plan. Before you head out for a night on the town, determine how many drinks you're going to drink and stick to that. It's easy to get caught up in having a good time once you catch a buzz and drink more than you intended. If you're going to have 2 or 3 drinks, stick to that.

Jul 22, 2010

N♥il Art Update

My take on Minx Nails is still my favorite look for the summer, but I wanted to give my nails a small break and rocked the following looks... nothing too special but I still wanted to share.

** My favorite polish: "Chinchilly" by Essie... nice and simple **


If you're someone that likes to add a personal touch to your BBQ's and weekend soirees, here are a few of my favorite summertime drinks (with a healthy spin) for you to try!

1. Lynchburg Lemonade

Lynchburg Lemonade is a great summer drink. Unfortunately, it is also loaded with sugar (standard recipes have up to 40 grams of sugar, between the soda, the sweet and sour mix, and the orange liqueur). This recipe has three grams of carb from the lemon and lime juices. It also has fewer than half the calories of standard recipes.

  • 1 jigger (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons) Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • a few drops of orange extract
  • 1 cup diet lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7up)

Pour ingredients into a glass. Add ice, and stir. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Each serving has 3 grams effective carbohydrate and 107 calories.

2. Mojito

Mojitos are very refreshing, which makes them a great summer drink. The trickiest part of making a sugar-free Mojito is that sugar helps release the flavor from the mint (think of sugared strawberries and the juice that forms -- it's a similar thing). Special attention needs to be given to the "muddling" part -- really smash those mint leaves! Also, sugar alcohols (the best being erythritol) are much better than other sugar substitutes for releasing the mint. The cooling aspect of erythritol works really well in a mojito.

  • 1 oz. (2 tablespoons) lime juice or lime wedges from about a third of a lime
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon erythritol or other sugar substitute equalling a tablespoon or sugar (see note above)
  • 1 jigger (1½ oz.) white rum (nutritional analysis uses 80 proof)
  • Club soda

1. Put mint, lime or lime juice, and sweetener into the bottom of a highball glass. "Muddle" by mashing ingredients together. Traditionally, a "muddler", which looks like a miniature wooden baseball bat, is used to accomplish this. However, the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula works fine.

2. Fill the glass about ¾ of the way with ice. Add the rum and top with club soda. Stir and enjoy.

Each serving has 2 grams effective carbohydrate and 103 calories.

3. Margarita

Margaritas tend to be very high in sugar. Traditional ones have Triple Sec or Cointreau, both orange liqueurs with 5 grams of carb per tablespoon (16 grams per jigger). Margaritas made with sweet and sour mix are usually worse, as 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of sweet and sour mix has at least 17 grams of sugar, and sometimes more.

  • 1 jigger (1.5 oz) tequila
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 oz) lime juice - bottled more convenient, fresh tastes a lot better
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 Tablespoon's worth artificial sweetener (I like to use liquid, carb-free types)
  • Ice - small handful
  • Margarita salt or kosher salt

1. Wet the rim of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt.

2. Combine all ingredients. You can either serve it over ice (in Mexico I've usually been served it this way, but I can't say I've had extensive experience), or strained into the glass, or blended in a blender.

2 grams of carbohydrate using bottled lime juice, 2.5 for fresh.

Jul 21, 2010

Reality Check: The Fabulous Beekman Boys

What do the former VP of Martha Stewart Living, a drag queen turned ad exec and New York Times bestselling author, a farm in upstate New York, a few quirky neighbors, goats, pigs and a llama all have in common?

They're all part of my favorite reality show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys!

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge are a couple of city boys trying their hand at the "simple life". They bought a farm and are tackling life, love, barnyard animals and soap as they journey from life in NYC to Beekman Farm.

I love the relationship these two guys have. Brent is the overly anal, obsessive compulsive, neat freak, perfectionist... and Josh is the calming voice of reason (and comedic insight). This show is a breath of fresh air in the world of reality tv couples.

Episodes air Wednesday @ 9/8c on Planet Green.

Jul 20, 2010

Cocktails, Calories, Oh my!

It's summertime and there's nothing more refreshing than a nice, cold drink - - especially if you throw some patron in it. It's easy to know which foods are healthier to eat, but when it comes to liquor most of us are clueless.

I've been working with a personal trainer and on a mission to become more of an "active" eater. I want to be aware of what I'm putting into my body and what effect it will have on me. #1 priority - - alcoholic drinks.

When I was 21 I used to down long islands like a pro. Of course it was usually complete with a night of dancing and thank God... because Long Islands pack about 780 calories in each drink! Yes, a whopping 780 calories in an 8oz serving. That's enough to make your eyes bulge. Now, imagine a night out with about 4-5 drinks, topped off with the must-have late night trip to Wendy's or Denny's. You can imagine the damage we've done to our waistlines over the years.

Recently my favorite drink has been a patron margarita which boasts 420 calories in a 12oz serving, not as bad as the margarita but still a bad look. I've been on a mission to educate myself and others on better drink options so you can still enjoy the summer but not make your workouts and diet pointless. Below are a few drink options all under 200 calories.

  • Martini (2.5 oz): 160
  • Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
  • Red wine (5 oz):120
  • White wine (5 oz): 12
  • Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
  • Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
  • Champagne (5oz): 106-120
  • Screwdriver (8 oz): 190
  • Mimosa (4 oz): 75
  • Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
  • Mike's Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

Jul 19, 2010

Happy Feet

Since making the investment in a personal trainer, I felt the need to invest in a great pair of running shoes. I have flat feet and working out in my Adidas and Shox was starting to hurt. I needed something with support and I needed it quick.

I made a trip to Road Runner Sports and with the help of a sales associate named Rebecca (so helpful by the way), I was able to pick out these Saucony Guide 3 shoes. I was a little hesitant on the color (I barely like sneakers, but when I wear them I want pink/black/white) but after trying them on my feet fell in love. These shoes are great to workout in and provide a great deal of support.

If you're on the hunt for a new pair of sneakers I'd recommend heading into Road Runner Sports for their free foot analysis and custom insoles (price varies). It's about a 10 min process complete with food measuring, treadmill foot analysis and a stability test (all pretty cool to see on the computer by the way) and you're able to get a custom insole as well as having them pin point which shoe would best serve your needs.

Road Runner Sports
43 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281

*Tempe Marketplace location

Jul 16, 2010

"Oh, so you eloped?"

Whenever people find out that my husband and I went to Vegas to get married I'm always asked the following: "Oh, so you eloped?"

Getting asked this question is the sure fire way to get under my skin. Every time I hear it I think to myself, I'm no dictionary.com, but doesn't elope mean to secretly run off and get married. You know, like engaged and underage style.

"No, we just went to Vegas. It was actually planned." I respond, always with a lingering hint of attitude and annoyance in my tone.

Something so simple shouldn't be the source of so much frustration but it definitely is. I think there's a gross misconception that if you go to Vegas it equals quickie, shot gun style wedding... or brings up the image of a bun already in the oven or the result of a wild night with too much liquor.

The truth of the matter is when my husband and I decided to go to Vegas it was the easiest place to get married. They have a bazillion (yes that's a word) places that will welcome you into wedded bliss 24/7, it's affordable and well, Vegas is a pretty fun city!

As we waited in line to get our marriage license it was nothing like I imagined. No crazy, drunk, random folks... just googly eyed couples excited to sign their single lives away and make the leap into forever. I would actually recommend people go to Vegas and get married. It was an amazing experience.

On a side note, I wanted to make sure I wasn't losing my mind so I looked up the definition of "elope" - - a friendly way to educate the blog world on the real meaning (because it doesn't mean "vegas" lol):

–verb (used without object), e·loped, e·lop·ing.

to run off secretly to be married, without the consent or knowledge of one's parents.
2. to run away with a lover.
3. to leave without permission or notification; escape.

Jul 15, 2010

Don't Need to Breed

My girlfriend and I were having a conversation the other day about how crazy Hollywood is going to be between Lil Wayne, The-Dream and Diddy having a million kids. Folks are going to have to be very careful who they date... like a mini world full of half brothers and sisters.

Well, we got on the topic of how having a baby with Lil Wayne is like playing Russian roulette with the gene pool... thankfully most of the chicks have been cute... but if him and Shanell have a baby I can't even begin to guess what it'll look like! Not saying she's unattractive, but she looks just like him and well, you figure out the rest... lol

Jul 14, 2010

21 Forever?

I've written previous blogs about women of a certain age prancing around Forever21 like it's the cat's meow... well, consider my mother one of those women! The horror, the horror.

My mother called me while I was out of town asking about stores called "Urban Chic" and "21 Forever". I told her those stores didn't exist, that there was an Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 but they weren't for her demographic (she's 55). I further explained to her that she couldn't even get the names right (yet another reason she had no business going in there) and refused to give her directions to them. Well, the woman was determined because upon my arrival back to AZ she proceeded to show me what she got at "21 Forever" o_O.... some bracelets and this top - - the same damn top that I have!!! Let me say that it was definitely a conservative top, something I would've worn as a dress... but still, the world is coming to an end when MY mother likes Forever 21.

*le sigh*

She was thrilled with all the cheap jewelry and couldn't wait to go back and see what other tops they had.

Now I must say that my mom just lost like 30+ lbs so she's excited to fit into clothes she hasn't worn in a while. She said that "Urban Chic" (urban outfitters) wasn't her speed but she would be going back to Forever21. I can't say I'm thrilled about this... Hell, I feel torn that I still shop there... but it is what it is.

Jul 13, 2010

Another one bites the dust...

So, just as I wrote my blog about men cheating, news broke of The Dream frolicking on the beach with his personal assistant... all the while his WIFE, Christina Milian, was at home with their 5 mo old daughter Violet.

Folks are already tired of hearing about it but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

While the press release states that they've been separated since late '09 (just 3 months after their marriage - - major o_O for that one) I think it's complete bullshit that The Dream didn't release it until AFTER the photos. Talk about pouring salt into the wound... to be getting it in with your personal assistant... the same assistant that's been around your wife, your home and your child. It's just a bad look altogether!

People, people... when will folks STOP getting married if they have NO intention of actually being faithful. Hell, if you want options don't get married. Marriage is like the anti option, option lol.

This has started bugging me out more recently because I'm married now and I'm tired of seeing folks shit on it left and right. Nobody forces you to get married. If you want to live the playboy single life do that! George Clooney is constantly rotating his line up and nobody is mad at him... but getting married just to be on bullshit is well, bullshit!

Yes, Christina will come up on a nice amount of cash, but I do believe that she was going after the white picket fence, happy marriage and kids... not the cash payout.

*le sigh*

Everyone: Marriage takes work. If you don't want to make someone else your #1 priority... put in 150% each and every day... be faithful and committed - - marriage is NOT for you!

Jul 12, 2010

Vacations = Relationship Amnesia?

This past weekend I ran into a few friends I hadn't seen in some years and had the chance to catch up. They had just gotten back from vacationing in Puerto Rico and when I mentioned that my husband and I were still looking for places to honey moon they quickly told me not to go there with him because "he'd cheat..."


I had to press pause on the convo at that point and clarify to my friends that I'd gotten myself a great one... my husband was beyond faithful, we could travel anywhere together, and he'd never cheat. They just don't make 'em like my man anymore. They smiled at me, probably thinking in the back of their minds "yeah right" but I left things at that.

The convo did get me thinking: too often men go on vacation and their relationships really do go out the window.

I used to date a guy that took numerous trips to Brazil with his buddies... and I saw the pics and videos of their trips - - it's enough to make you itch just looking at them. Like, instantly go to the clinic to get a test, a pill and a shot! The stuff some men do while on a vacation is sickening. I couldn't trust him in a different room in the club, let alone thousands of miles away in another country. However, that was the nature of the relationship - - there was a lack of trust.

I don't believe that all men cheat, nor do I believe that a vacation is a sure fire way for your man to experience relationship amnesia. I think people will, time and time again, show you their character and it's up to you to do with that what you will. Cheaters cheat. Liars lie. Users use... it doesn't matter if they cross state lines, zip codes or time zones. People will always let their true colors show.

Ladies: What has your experience been like having your man go on a guy's vacation?

Men: Is it possible for you to visit an exotic (Miami, Brazil, Puerto Rico, etc...) locale while in a relationship and not cheat?

Jul 8, 2010

Reverse Wedgie

I was back in Chicago last weekend and found this guy passed out at a BBQ I went to. Now, is it just me or can you see a MAJOR reverse wedgie/male camel toe on this dude. It's slightly disturbing.

Can't say I've seen anything this funny in a while!

Best Skinny Jeans Ever

The hunt for a great fitting pair of jeans can be quite the task for any woman. Throw my height of 5'2", butt and thighs into the mix and well, you can imagine that it's a daunting process. I wanted to share with everyone the BEST fitting pair of skinny jeans I've come across for thick, petite girls out there: Always Skinny jeans by Gap.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical because I've never been a fan of Gap... a bit too bland and boring for my taste, but I urge you to go in there and try these jeans on.... the fit is PERFECTION! No joke... the waist has no gaps, the stretch is great, and it's available in all lengths (regular, petite and tall). They have about 5 different washes for the jeans and they range in price from $59.50 - $69.50.

I was sold when these jeans eased over my thighs. There was no struggle, having to jump and wiggle around, or plie to make them fit. On top of that the petite length was heavenly!

Icing on the cake? For the entire month of July shoppers will receive 40% off any ONE regular priced item every Wednesday of the month. So, July 7th/14th/21st/28th. That discount is also available at all GapKids, babyGap and GapBody stores.

Powered by Blogger.
Designed By Boutique-Website-Design