Thursday, March 31, 2011


I came across this product in my April issue of Lucky magazine. That's right, Henna and PLACENTA conditioning hair treatment. Placenta, by definition, is the temporary organ that connects baby to mother's womb-also known as  the after birth. I was revolted. I actually had to go back and read again to make sure my eyes had seen correctly. I did a little googling to see if it was actually made out of placenta, or if by some misguided attempt at catchy/controversial name. I had a friend in high school who's favorite joke was throwing the word placenta into weird contexts just to get a laugh by grossing people out (think fried placenta), so maybe my interpretation was a little skewed by her twisted sense of humor.

Turns out it wasn't just a marketing technique gone wrong (to my horror). This product actually contains animal placenta extract, supposedly an excellent deep conditioner because of its high protein content. Ew.

Why was it featured? The president of Hunting Season (a NYC designer bag company), Danielle Corona, swears by it's moisturizing properties for hair. Here's to hoping she doesn't use such creative products to make her handbags!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Handy Tip

I keep an extra pair of thigh highs in my desk drawer for two reasons. The first you can probably guess. You never know when you're going to put a run in the absurdly delicate things, or have a meeting with conservative clients pop up when you forgot to wear your stockings. I favor Hanes Silky Reflections Lace Top thigh highs because they're not terribly expensive, they don't create any weird bulges or have freakishly constricting control top across the belly, they come in realistic skin tones, and when I ruin one I don't have to trash a whole pair, just put on one new leg. They suit all my needs.

The second reason I always keep some spare pantyhose around is slightly less common. Say you make it all the way to work only to realize you have deodorant all over your shirt, or you dripped a little latte on your skirt, these little babies are miracle workers. Simply bunch up a thigh high into a tight little ball, or pull the stocking taught over your knuckles. Then rub the stain like there's no tomorrow. It gets deodorant off of clothing every time without weird damp patches or little balls of paper towel. Ditto for most other surface stains.  And, it's something I have on hand far more often that a shout wipe or a tide pen.

How do I know this? To tell you the truth, I can't even remember where I learned this little gem I've been doing it so long. But if I had to guess, it would probably be from when my dad subscribed me to Good Housekeeping magazine for about a year. That magazine was FULL of handy little tips like this.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can I Get a Witness?

Ok, here's something new: a guy asserting that women are much better at well, pretty much everything than men, with research to prove it. Dan Abrams asserts that women are better cops, drivers, gamblers, spies, world leaders, beer tasters, and hedge fund mangers in his book Man Down. And what's more? He's a total fox (albeit, maybe a silver one).
In addition to the lofty claims of the title, he claims that women surpass male doctors because despite the fact that they make up 40% of the physician population, the comprise only 20% of all cases examined for medical misconduct or incompetence over a period of eight years in Britain. Other studies show that female doctors tend to be more encouraging and reassuring than male doctors and spend more time with patients leading to overall superior patient care.

The next myth he tackles is that men are better athletes than women. In terms of muscular endurance, women have almost twice that of men in the simplest measure possible, exertion over time. When exercising at the same activity in the same conditions, though women may not be faster or stronger than men, they can exercise for about 75% longer than men. Abrams suggests this could be due to the higher percentage of body fat (nothing like turning a negative into a positive) that helps regulate body temperature, and estrogen that helps protect muscles during exercise.

On top of all that? Women are better investors, taking the time to learn the full story before buying and selling stocks without the knowledge necessary. I'm not saying it's a competition. But if it was...we're winning!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Morning Glory Music

I had a quiet weekend this weekend of giving a loved one a little TLC. I got to do some of my favorite things, relax on the couch, cook good food, and watch movies. By the time I got to the movie place Saturday night, the selection was a little picked over. My top choices? Burlesque (don't judge me!), and Never Let Me Go. As luck would have it, neither were available for rental. So, I went for my back ups. Morning Glory, and Robin Hood. 

I didn't really want to see Morning Glory. The previews looked stupid, but it was the only comedy left that seemed a little enticing. And I loved it! I don't know why I had such low expectations, since it has three of my favorite actors: Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, and Rachel McAdams. It was such a feel good movie.

And as a bonus? It had great music! It features songs by Joss Stone, MY FAVE! Listen to this one off her new album Colour Me Free, and prepare to be pumped up with some good old fashioned girl power.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bonnaroo Buzz

Ben and Jerry’s, in typical hippie spirit, has partnered with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to create a signature ice cream flavor that will be available at the concert event this year. If you’re not quite as lucky as me, and won’t be able to attend the festival in June, Bonnaroo Buzz will be sold at Ben and Jerry’s scoop shops around the country and distributed in your local frozen food section to give you a piece of love and happiness right there in your living room. 

As a marketing director from Ben and Jerry’s quipped, “Bonnaroo Buzz is going from playing intimate clubs to the national circuit.” Last year the flavor was only available in ice cream shops, but in the spirit of supporting rock and roll and doing good for the world, B&J’s expanded their distribution this year. Bonnaroo Buzz is a blend of coffee and malt ice cream with a whiskey caramel swirl and English toffee pieces. They picked the flavor combo since Tennessee is coffee country, and well, they just thought that Bonnaroo fans would be into swirls of whiskey and caramel. Well, I’m here to tell you Ben & Jerry’s, that you’re right. It sounds like a delicious frozen Irish coffee that will be delightfully refreshing in the Southern heat. Rock on.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Earlier this week, I participated in an adult spelling bee for charity benefiting Domus Kids. It was a pretty fun event. You formed teams, and they let you spell as a group, writing each word on a whiteboard to display for the judges. It took the pressure off of standing up before the crowd, and spelling from memory. Heckling was encouraged with food and adult beverages before the event kicked off. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

My team didn't win. We were knocked out by the word sarsaparilla, a yummy beverage akin to root beer. Who knew there was that extra r?

But I'll do anything for a few hours for a good cause, and Domus certainly is--through charter schools, residential and community programs they help kids and families to develop independent living and job skills. Their focus is critical thinking, doing well in school, and problem-solving-- pushing kids to reach high standards, and celebrating their successes. Their vision is, "No child being denied hope, love, or a fair chance in life." If you're interested in donating, you can do it here. If you're interested in volunteering, check out the opportunities available here.

I'm always looking for places I can make a difference through devoting a few hours of my time. What organizations, or charities do you donate your time to?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

American Beauty

No, I'm not talking about the movie. As anyone who watches America's Next Top Model could probably tell you, standards for beauty in the fashion industry change from year to year, morphing from "traditional" beauties like Christy Brinkley and Turlington to those with more unique features. The standard for gorgeous used to be a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, long flowing hair, and strikingly sculpted beauty. Models who walk the runways now might not stop you in your tracks on the subway, but are prized for their specialness, their individual look. Different is better, traditional is commercial.

The desired look for models has evolved from Twiggy's waif to to a love of an athletic, toned body (think Patti Hansen and Cindy Crawford) to Kate Moss's "short" waifish beauty,  and back again. More recently, there has been the love of the sexy bombshell that every Victoria's Secret model embodies: leggy, and busty with a flat stomach and round butt. Standards for the ideal beauty to be featured in every magazine and on TV show change with these idealized looks.

So what is the typical "American" beauty? Google image the word beauty, and you'll see that this is not a simple question. However, Allure magazine set out to find the answer with a beauty survey of 2,000 respondents designed to determine what our nation perceives as the most attractive physical archetype.

The results? The majority of men and women surveyed perceived a photo of Latina woman with dark eyes and dark hair as the most attractive from a variety of races and ethnicities. The male winner? A dark-haired, dark-eyed male model of Indian descent.

The reigning beauty standard of the past has expanded, likely in response to the increasing diversity and growing acceptance of all races and ethnicities that inhabit this great melting pot. Beauty has always taken on a range of forms, but a more inclusive conception of what is skin colors, and facial features are idealized has only appeared in recent years. With increased idealization of more forms of beauty, I hope to see a new generation of confident women emerge as more and more girls can find their likeness in the glossy pages of a magazine. Here's to hoping the next fashion and beauty revolution brings a transition away from emaciated and towards healthy figures.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I registered for AIDS Walk New York and am very excited! It is the second time I'm walking, with a team of 3 of my friends from college (I'm almost as excited for the cool team shirts we're bound to make, with Puffy paint! and glitter!). You'll remember from this post, that last time I walked I spotted Lourdes (Madonna's daughter) and her hottie dad. Annddd from this post that Hilary Duff walked in 2009 too! Bottom line is, I want to do as much as I can to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS, and have some fun while doing it. My team has fundraising goal of $1000. My personal fundraising goal is $300. If you feel a connection to this cause, I would greatly appreciate your help reaching it!

The AIDS Walk New York is the world's largest AIDS fundraising event. It occurs on Sunday, May 15th, 2011, and is 6.2 miles long looping through Central Park, and along the edges of the city. All donations support GMHC and other AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area. GMHC is the nation’s oldest and most comprehensive AIDS service organization, serving approximately 15,000 people living with HIV and AIDS and their families each year, and countless more through its prevention and advocacy work locally and nationally.

Even though there has been success with drug treatments that are prolonging some people's lives, they don't work for everyone. These treatments can also take their toll physically, and for many cause awful side-effects. I am also concerned that so many young people in New York City are getting infected. There is a dire need for comprehensive prevention programs and services that target youth in their language. And above all, there is still no cure in sight.

I would really appreciate your help. If you would like to make a donation, and sponsor me, use this link below to visit my personal fundraising Web page. Please feel free to share the link with anyone you think might want to make a donation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Going Local

You know you should eat your vegetables. People have been harping on that your entire life. Yet lately, things have gotten more complex. There's the organic and local movements to consider. Not only should you consume 5 servings of the green stuff a day, but you should try to make sure that it's not grown using lots of horrible pesticides and chemicals, and that it was grown somewhere within 50 miles of where you live. For a busy girl who has a hard time finding a few moments to go to the grocery store anytime before 10pm, this can be a daunting task.

Local Harvest is making it a little easier on you. Their comprehensive website allows you to search by a zip code near you for farmer's markets that are conveniently located, or sign up for a farm share, in which you pay a set rate, and then get a set amount of in season vegetables, flowers or eggs once a week for 25 weeks.

Now, just for fun, so cute pictures of veggies dressed as animals.
Endive and Zucchini as a Duck

Baby Eggplant as Penguins
Bok Choy as Fish
I scream, you scream, we all scream for spilled ice cream
Navel Orange and Kumkwats Upset
Green Papaya as a Pig

Cauliflower and Olives as Sheep

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I love astrology. Not only do I think I am the consummate Aries (headstrong? impulsive? ambitious? that's me!), but it's just plain fun in the morning when I'm getting my day started to have a little preview of how things might go. Or, at the end of an awful day, it's nice to check out my horoscope, and feel a little better for the fact that the constellations predicted it. Sometimes the galaxies are dead on. Do I always take forecasts from the cosmos to run my life? With a grain of salt.

Well, for the past few weeks, all horoscope signs have been pointing to a major planetary shift turning the typically assertive Aries into a powerhouse who can make anything happen. Yes, the stars are asking me to go out there, grab my dreams, and make them a reality. Over and over again. And you know what? I think I'll listen. I'll take this opportunity to say yes, I'm going to make things happen the way I want to. Thanks for the hints universe!

Think about it. After the year is through, what will you look back and wish you had said yes to?

I wish I had said Yes!
When you asked me out to walk
among the leaves
the turning leaves
You were offering me
the sound of dreams,
And I turned you down

Not today, I smiled
Maybe, tomorrow?

But I wish I had said Yes!
I wish we had shared this light.

Next time don't ask
Just take me!
Order me to dress!

I am going to need your help
To begin the Year of Yes.

by Shaista Tayabali (Via Yes and

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pet Peeve

I read a lot of magazines monthly. My most recent tally of subscriptions is up to 10 including Vogue, Marie Claire, W, Self, Allure, Lucky, Glamour, Women's Health, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar. I love magazines. I like the pictures, the glossy feel when I flip through the pages, the ads, and of course, the articles--the main meat. I love reading them cover to cover. I'm a traditionalist. I read front to back, skipping over anything that doesn't hold my interest along the way.

The only thing I dislike about magazines? They way they always have to split the articles. When I am midway through reading, I CANNOT stand when it says in tiny print, "continued on page 263." Then I have to find a bookmark, find the tiny little page numbers, and scan through all the other bits of columns they translplanted to the end of the magazine that should be reserved for weird little ads. It disrupts my whole reading flow. Then, when I've finished the column, I have to find my way back to my original spot if my bookmark has not fallen out.

Why? Why can't they just put it on the next page?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going Retro

Normally, I’m not really into the whole retro look. I can’t find a shade of red lipstick that doesn’t look garish with my pale skin, and waving my hair is just too much work. I don’t tend to wear vintage clothing, because as much as I love the idea of thrifting, well, the idea of wearing someone else’s old clothes just really freaks me out. I donate to thrift stores, but I never really find myself buying anything. Though I admire the 50’s pinup look, it’s never been something I’ve been able to find the appropriate pieces for to really pull off.

I’ve been swimsuit shopping lately. I am heading to Hawaii in a little over a month for a good friend’s wedding, and I’ve been on a mission to get in shape for my birthday. As a reward, and a little birthday gift to myself, I have been planning to get a new bikini. I’ve tried on many, but as all of you ladies out there know, finding a flattering, but cute swim suit can be very difficult. I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I work out, and no matter how long I hold my plank and side plank poses for, there still tends to be a little pocket of fat on my lower belly that just.won’t.go.away. My solution? Cover it up.

Enter this year’s wonderful retro swimwear collection. I’m not sure where the retro styles came from, but I’m going to go ahead and give the credit to the hipster population that stores like Urban Outfitters cater to. There is a ton of high waisted, halter/bustier style suits out there right now, and I, for one, am thrilled. With a bottom ending just below my belly button, who needs hundreds of reverse crunches when my lower abs will be nicely concealed under the blue stripes of my suit?

I searched far and wide on swim wear sites ranging from Asos to Figleaves. I tried on suits at Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and the Gap. I settled on the hot little number you see on the model above. It’s the Long Soak bikini from Anthropologie in Blue Motif. If you’re looking for a high waist suit, they have a plethora. And, since it looks so pretty on the model’s perfect body, it will obvi look just as gorg on my normal person body. I love the classically nautical fine blue stripes, while the well placed darts and ruching on the bum should create a lovely hourglass illusion. Fingers crossed I like it as much when it arrives in my mailbox!

Obligatory St. Patrick's Day Post

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Art Into Fasion

The museum exhibit I’m dying to see? Art Into Fashion: Roberto Capucci at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It opens this Wednesday, and runs through June 5th 2011. It is the first time his work is collected en masse for an exhibition in the United States, and it will cover over 80 of his works, including his drawings and sketches from the very start of his designing career to as works from as recent as 2007.

You may well be wondering who is Capucci, and why should I care? He’s an Italian designer, born in from in 1930. He is known for his sculptural dresses made from innovative materials ranging from pebbles and raffia, to liquid filled pockets of plastic. 
Capucci is best known throughout the fashion world as an architect of fashion, a sculptor of clothing. His dresses can be described as nothing else but lavish show stoppers. Their dramatic silhouettes are not for everyday wear, but to be admired as a spectacular display of beauty during a grand event. Customers of Capucci include screen sirens Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Swanson. His skill with pleating is unrivalled. His use of contrasting colors? Gorgeous. His creativity of design, and color palette? Sheer genius.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lindy Promotions

I'll give you one guess where I am right now. That's right, you've got it, celebrating St. Patrick's Day again with a lovely stroll around the Seaport sponsored by Lindy Promotions on this wonderful NYC day.

If you live in NYC, and haven't heard of Lindy Promotions yet, it's time you did. They organize loads of seasonally fun, and affordable events. AND to top it all off, they partner with the City Harvest food bank to give you a discount if you donate. So, all your fun is getting cheaper and going to a good cause. What could be better?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Fun

Check out these cute little folded paper creations. These are some of the most original origami creations I've seen. Makes you want to go do an art project. Am I right?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. After the lush celebration of Mardi Gras, many people are now entering the deprivation of Lent. Not only am I a day late, but this year I’m not giving anything up. Why? Because that's what I think Jesus would do. Instead of blindly suffering (didn't Jesus already do that for us?), I’ve decided to pick up a new positive habit that helps people rather than learning through loss. The one I chose? Being nicer to strangers.

Typically I walk around with a rather stern face on to discourage weirdos from talking to me or getting in my way when I’m walking somewhere. The past few days, I’ve been in such a good mood I’ve been smiling at and talking to everyone. And you know what? It's not half bad. I had braces for so many years, I might as well show off my perfectly straight teeth, right?

I'll take it a step farther, and even say this. Being nice to strangers is fun! It makes waiting in line for things go more quickly. People tend to be nice back. And sometimes they’ll even do something nice for you in return or give you something (just don't accept any candy) simply because you made their day a little better.That's incentive for you, right?

Things I've gotten for free for being nice to strangers:
  • A Kayaking Trip
  • Drinks
  • A Jet Ski Ride
  • Good Conversation
  • A New Computer Charger
  • Some Laughs
  • A Lesson on How to Hoola Hoop Dance
  • An Extra time around on the Carousel
  • Chocolate
  • Tips in a Fitness Class
As a side note, it helps if you smile and bat your eyelashes while being nice. Now get out there and be friendly. Imagine if we all tried it for 40 days. Wouldn't that be better than not eating chocolate, or drinking soda?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Words of Wisdom

"You’re not married because that’s not where you are in the story of your life right now. Take a moment to breathe. Put your feet up. Eat one of those tiny cups of chocolate pudding that, according to television commercials, stop time. Wherever you are in life, really, that’s where you’re supposed to be. That’s not some hippie jive talk. That is the truth. If everybody’s life unfolded according to their precious and predictable little plans, then the world would be plagued with millions of billionaire rock star-celebrity chef-novelists flying around in golden helicopters"

Don't read the quote above, without reading the hilarious article paired with it on Yes and Yes via The Frisky.
Then take a moment to have a chuckle, and just be happy with your life exactly how it is right now. Even if it's not exactly what you had planned, I'm sure it's not half bad.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Guaranteed Food Coma

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday everyone! So, start preparing a hedonistic day for yourself, in which you indulge in all of your pleasures (whatever they may be) before the 40 days of abstaining that begin with Ash Wednesday. Each year, my fat Tuesday celebration takes a slightly different route.

A couple years ago, I went to a Cajun festival at the delicious creole restaurant Delta Grill. They had all my favorite New Orleans-esque cuisine (Jambalaya! Crayfish! Hurricaines! Oh Yum!). Then to top it off, they had the most delicious Cajun Martinis made with vodka marinated in jalapenos for a long long time, served with a refreshing floating okra pod when you need a break from the heat. Delish. I christened them the Dirty Cajun, for being like a wonderful dirty martini with a Cajun twist.

This year, I've been abstaining from carbs and junk food as part of a get fit plan for my 26th birthday. So, naturally, the pleasure I'm dreaming of on fat Tuesday is a large greasy doughnut. Not just any doughtnut mind you, a special Polish doughnut that is only made once a year, the Paczki.

Pronounced poonch-ki, this little devil is like the godfather of the Boston Creme. Thanks to my Polish heritage, and my mother's gigantic sweet tooth, I grew up eating these delights once a year. They are a doughnut-like pastry (but heavier, thicker dough), filled with an array of delicious custard flavors including: apple, lemon, raspberry, and then deep fried. They'll cost you about 500 calories, and 25 grams of fat. And yes, that is per doughnut, not for the entire box (which you'll be tempted to wolf down). The Poles? We actually call Fat Tuesday Paczki Day (Fat, big custard filled doughnut? similar meanings there, right?), and use the day to consume these in large quantities. But beware, an irresistible food coma will follow. Be sure you are near a comfy bed with a cozy blanket and some warmed milk before eating too many.

For all of you New Yorkers checking in, I did a little Yelping, and it looks like Star Bakery in Williamsburg is the place to go for these treats, anywhere in Greenpoint where the name ends in ski, or the East Village Meat Market on 2nd. I myself will be checking out the Polish GI Deli on 1st and 7th for my yearly treat.

What will you do to indulge this year?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Currently Celebrating

I am currently celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Hoboken, NJ. But why? It's not the actual holiday yet, you may be thinking. Fact. Want to know another true story?

New Yorker's love St. Paddy's Day so much, that we:
  • Invade surrounding areas up to a week and a half early to celebrate
  • Hold pub crawls the weekend before
  • Have a big parade on the actual day of
  • Probably celebrate the weekend after
So, put on some green and get in the spirit! I personally purchased this green gingham top especially for the occasion.
What would you wear for St. Patty's Day? How do you celebrate?

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Shoes

My favorite new wardrobe item? These cheeky cheetah print heels, dubbed the Wild Thing. I bought them on impulse at Forever 21 on a night with a little bit of spring fever. Their open toes are not yet quite in season. But at $28? They’re a steal.

The total height is around 5 inches, making me a talllll lady with them on, yet with a 1.5 platform, and wedge construction they are really quite easy on the feet.

Today I paired them with black opaque tights, a knee length pencil skirt, gray top, and brown cardi. Voila! Work appropriate animal print. Last weekend I wore them with tights, a black tank dress, and a long green cardi. Voila! Beer garden appropriate!

They’re proving to be the most versatile little item new to my closet in a while. I can wait to wear them with short shorts and breezy little dresses. A little animal print adds a lotta pop to an outfit.

What would you pair these shoes with?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deal of the Day

Like fancy shampoo and conditioner? Hate paying salon prices for it? I’m your new best friend. I typically buy drug store hair products. Do I love Aveda and Bumble and Bumble? Of course. But, I just can’t deal with paying that much to wash my hair, and my hair isn’t finicky enough to reject Pantene or John Frieda.

A couple weeks ago, my roomy mentioned that she gets her hair products at TJ Maxx. I thought, how resourceful! What a great idea! Then, I promptly forgot. Then I was at TJ’s shopping for some new shoes or a new purse or BOTH! I was waiting for my Mom near the dressing room, and happened upon the beauty products section.

GLORIOUS! They carry the big bottles, I’m talking 32 oz for prices around $7. That’s almost how much I pay for a small bottle of the stuff at Duane Reade. I selected Peter Coppola Body Builder Pump Up Shampoo and some organic aloe vera conditioner, both for a total of about $14. It will last me for months. I’ve already told everyone I can think of. Now, go out there, and save yourself some money.


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