Friday, February 26, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: Florida This Isn't

I was really hoping I would wake up in Florida and my only executive decision being beach or pool. But as you may have heard, a little snow storm blanketed the city with 17 inches of snow and counting. Although our plane did eventually take off from Newark Airport last night after a mere two-and-a-half hour delay, Michael and I weren't on it. So instead of sand and flip flops, we galavanted through the snowy city streets.

Me wearing my favorite knitted accessories.

We spent the day walking around Union Square. We went to the 18th annual Hot Chocolate Festival at The City Bakery. I had the Shangri-La flavor while Michael had the classic milk chocolate. I wish I knew about this festival earlier because they have a different flavor each day in February. After our drinks, we indulged on some comfort food from Chat 'n' Chew.

Piping Shangri-La hot chocolate from The City Bakery kept us warm.

Michael imitating art. Art imitating Michael.

Everyone was getting into the snow. Even Sam was intently chasing the snowflakes.

Sam overseeing the shoveling from above.

Snowy days are always fun, but I hope this is it. I'm longing for my flip flops.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bliss On A Snowy Day

Dear Bliss,

You have totally brightened my day with your lemon + sage body scrub. I'm in desperate need of a little sunshine in my life. I'm supposed to leave for Florida tonight, I want to frolic on the beach and feel sand between my newly polished toes. But here I am in dreary New York City, looking out my window to more snow and Florida seems so far away. I needed a boost of sunshine in a jar to lift my spirits and this body scrub was perfect.

The refreshing citrus scent smells so good and it gently exfoliated my rough, scruffy skin. It worked its magic by scrubbing away my dry, flaky skin that I get every winter. After, my skin felt velvety smooth and rose petal-soft. It made my whole body feel new again. I just love the amazing results from your body polish. I've never felt so clean!
I love that you apply the scrub before you hop into the shower. It really made a difference exfoliating my dry skin. Although it was a little messy, I felt invigorated and my skin was left wonderfully soft, silky and supple for days and those lucky enough to be close to me noticed it too.

I've had a professional body scrub right before my wedding, but your body polish worked just as magnificently.

It's amazing how quickly a day can change from dreariness to fabulousness. It made me feel so good I knew I had to pass the good word along.

I'm going to use you for now on, every week, to maintain my newly polished skin.

Now if only my flight to Florida tonight could be so smooth!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Workout Wear That's Fabulous and Functional

During the months of January and February, gyms across America are always packed with people who've made New Year's resolutions to lose weight and go to the gym. But by March, where did everyone go? I do see a pick up when the warmer weather finally arrives. I guess people realize bathing suit weather is quickly approaching.

Wearing fabulous and functional clothes to the gym is one way for me to stay motivated during this stretch of time. And who doesn't need all the help you can get. Wearing workout clothes that fit properly makes me feel stronger, more energetic and I'm overall more comfortable and confident.

Wearing old-fashioned baggy, ill-fitting clothes won't inspire you to stay strong throughout the year. Neither will it help if your clothes smell. Rather, you'll always feel more inspired to hit your groove at the gym with clothes that fit your body, can comfortably handle all your moves and you look fabulous in. A good gym outfit can even improve your workout. Now who wouldn't want to go to the gym when you can sport something you love.

I usually love to wear cropped compression pants. Trust me, they will go the distance with you and are worth every penny. I have compression shorts for cycling and pants for all my other aerobic activities -- like running, Pilates and body toning. A good pair should fit snugly (but not too tight) and are so lightweight you hardly feel them on your body. They are made with considerable stretch to go with all your daring moves and compressional panels to support muscles and reduce fatigue.

These cropped compression pants from LuLuLemon are my favorite workout pants. They're a bit expensive, but I swear I feel a difference in my workout when I wear them. They have all the great qualities good performance pants needs and this style come in four different colors. They have full support in areas I need them so there is little bouncing going on back there.

Cropped compression pants by LuLuLemon.

These are another great pair of cropped endurance pants by Moving Comfort. They are made with high performance fabric to help keep moisture way.
Cropped compression pants by Moving Comfort.

For tops, I like to have my arms able to reach their full range of motion. There is no shortage of sleeveless styles made from cotton or moisture wicking materials to keep the sweat away from you and keep you cool when your body temperature starts to rise.

This body-hugging tank top by LuLuLemon looks and fits great. It's made with certified organic cotton and spandex for natural comfort and stretch. It is constructed with a mesh bra and built-in pockets for removable cups.

A great-fitting and looking tank top from LuLuLemon.

This seamless racerback tank top by Nike offers freedom of movement and a built-in shelf bra for support.

This awesome tank top from Nike has sweat-wicking fabric and a sexy streamlined design.

Another tip is to wear seamless clothing when you are doing repetitive moves like running, elliptical and spinning. This helps to avoid rubbing and chafing.

My all-time favorite piece of equipment I bring to the gym is my heart rate monitor by Polar. This monitor keeps your workouts honest and guides you through your workouts to gain optimal training intensity.

With the right workout clothes, you'll have a little more motivation to go to the gym. Now you have one less excuse!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm Your Venus

I don't shave my legs as often as I should during the winter. It's not an issue of me wanting to make any sort of feminine statement. It's more of an issue of always finding myself rushing to get ready and knowing I can always cover my legs with pants, leggings or tights.

Don't get me wrong, I love having my legs feeling smooth as much as my husband does. It makes me feel sexy and confident. But I never had a razor I loved that much that would make shaving become as routine as washing my face.

To shave or not to shave during the winter. Click here to see the photo source.

The issue of shaved legs was recently a subject of national debate when Precious actress Mo'Nique won the Golden Globe for her amazing performance. The blaring headlines were not about her amazing role or her rousing acceptance speech, but for the fact that my cat could use her legs as a scratching post.

Mo'Nique sure didn't shave at the Golden Globes. Click here to see the photo source.

Shaving is a major concern right now since I'm heading south to Florida this weekend and I'm really looking forward to spending some time under hopefully, warmer sunnier skies. But if I want to splish splash around the pool, I clearly need to take some action.

Fortunately for everyone at the pool, I recent attended a product preview at the super chic Crosby Street Hotel and got to take home a loot bag of P&G's latest and greatest lineup of beauty products. I'm especially excited about their new collection of razors, shaving gels and after-shave moisturizers.

P&G's new lineup of razors and shaving creams leave my legs soft and oh-so smoooooth.

I'm one of 40 million who have used the Venus razor since its introduction in 2001 and have generally been pretty pleased with its performance. This older version had three blades and it was supposed to be much better than anything else on the market. I know, it's a razor and, unlike any other beauty product, I generally don't think about it.

Flash ahead to 2010 and the good scientists, biologist and even fragrance experts at P&G are working hard to figure out the best way to make our skin worthy of a goddess. The newest razor,Venus Embrace®, gives an even better shave thanks to five blades that actually adjust individually to stay in contact with your skin and a ribbon of moisture that loops around the oversized head. The razor is finished with a soft-grip handle for no-slip control and comes with a ShowerPod® for convenient in-shower storage. It's a fabulous piece of beauty equipment we all need in our showers. Overall, the razor was easy to use, lightweight and gently glided over all my delicate areas like my ankles, shins and knees.

The new Venus Embrace razor had five blades instead of three for a smooth, clean shave.

I couldn't tell you how often I replace the cartridge on my razor. I just keep on using it until I feel it's not working at its best and the newer cartridge makes the razor feel amazing again. Not sure if that's right or wrong, but that's my general rule.

If you prefer disposable razors, P&G also offers a full line of throw-away razors, also with five blades.

For even greater results, try the SatinCare® Shave Gel and SatinCare® In-Shower Moisturizer. These additions gave my shave an even closer feel and left my skin looking incredibly soft and silky. And the best part, there were no cuts or irritation on my legs or under my arms.

But in a pinch, here's a beauty tip you're going to love. I've coated my legs with a layer of shampoo and then applied another layer of conditioner in lieu of shaving cream. If you get any irritation, just apply a swipe of deodorant.

Another benefit of regular shaving is it helps keep skin healthy by exfoliating old, dry skin. It's also important to use a nourishing shave gel instead of soap or water to minimize irritation and soothe dryness.

All this talk about Venus has humming that totally awesome song from Bananarama that was released in 1986. I'll leave you with their video to sing along. Click here to see it.

Yeah! Baby, you've got it!

I'm definitely packing my new Venus Embrace razor with me for Florida. It's definitely worthy for it brings smooth legs to a whole new level. I'm just hoping the weather will make it possible to show off.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tibi Knows How To Wear Sequins During The Day

I love wearing sequins. Lucky for me, fashion retailers and designers, including the fun, colorful line Tibi, are also digging the sparkle this season. It seems they are adding glimmering wattage to everything in their path - including T-shirts, tanks, tunics, cocktail dresses and lots of accessories. And why not, with more and more women on the go, we need fresh, new clothing options that can take us through our long, busy days.

Lately I have been breaking out sequins on my way out the door in the morning. I used to feel like I was doing the walk of shame. But now there are plenty of ways to wear sequins even with the sun is up and I can walk with greater confidence.

I had the good fortune of being invited by my fashion blogging friend Kristin backstage for Tibi's Fall 2010 Fashion Show at the Bryant Park Tents. I was doing cartwheels when I saw all the glittery sequins and shiny fabrics the contemporary line was showing. Tibi's designer Amy Smilovic told me it's safe to wear sequins for day and not look like you're going to a nightclub. The trick is playing down the glitz with something more casual.

"There's a full sequin gown but it's worn over a gray T-shirt with a brown leather belt," Smilovic said before the show. "It's the idea of taking something that's so luxe and precious and taking it way down and playing it cook so it seems fun and kind of little cavalier."

Tibi's Fall 2010 looks are sophisticated and have lots of fun sparkle.
Tibi's sequined top and fur topper would make any 40-year old fabulously chic.

So if you love the sequins and your daytime job isn't on the Vegas strip, you can easily juxtapose your sparkly number with low-key, casual pieces. Get ready to break out all your utilitarian basics - like cargo pants, boyfriend blazers, knit cardigans and anorak jacket and add a dose of shine! And unless you insist on the power suit, sequins add a great feminine twist under suits.

What do you think of wearing sequins during the day? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Curls Just Wanna Have Fun

Do girls with curls have more fun?

That's what famed hair stylist Kevin Ryan set out to achieve at the Tibi Fall 2010 fashion show last night at Bryant Park. Trying to match Tibi's playful, youthful spirit, Ryan carefully wound tons of spiral curls onto the models.

Curls ruled backstage at Tibi

The youthful look was created by using lots of soft, pink Bobbi Brown makeup.

"The Tibi girls are fun girls. They all seem like they’re going somewhere and they’re going to rip it up a little," Ryan said backstage. "We’ve done them tight with fabric last season which we enjoyed this season This time we were just playing around with a few looks and textures and some of them just felt too old so in the end, we thought the curl is great."

Ryan said changing up your look by adding an interesting texture like curls could really lift your spirits and even spice up your relationship.

Guess who also had curls?

As someone with normally straight hair, I of course always wanted curly hair. I was able to go high glamour thanks to the incredibly skillful hands of a Ted Gibson hair stylist at a recent event. The last time I had curls was from a bad, smelly perm back in the 80s.

My curls are bouncing and behaving

If you have straight hair like mine, Ryan said creating party-ready curls can be done at home that won't damage your hair. He suggested taking your hair in small sections and twirl it around those old-fashion rollers your grandma used to use or use a curling iron with a small barrel to get those alluring curls. For a fuller effect, piece the hair out after it has cooled and use a light hair spray to keep the style all day or night long.

Tell me, how do you want to change up your hair?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: Knitting and Roses

In honor of Valentine's Day and my love of all things knitting, take a peak at all the amazing, lovely handmade knits of art found on Etsy. They are perfect for showing your love. The pieces on Etsy are so inspiring. What's better that giving (and receiving) a Valentine that's homemade either made by you or someone fabulous at Etsy. You can always say you made it.

Pink wrist warmers from organic cotton yarn.

Strawberry and cranberry ruffled ruffled scarf.

Rich cranberry acrylic yarn, perfect for sensitive wearers, simply slip one end through the loop on this "stay put" scarf" and you're good to go.

Roaring red wool-blended ruffled shawl looks and feel soft and comfy.
Every woman deserves a knitted bouquet of roses. A dozen knit flowers in three different patterns grace this soft, feminine scarf.

Be alluring in this "feather and fan" lace scarf made of the finest Italian merino wool.

Share the love with these totally adorable hand-knitted heart broaches.

Of course, red roses are always a sure-fire winner. Thanks so much Michael!!! They're so beautiful!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

NYC Blizzard of 2010 - NOT

Despite dire warnings of a snowpocalypse, I woke up yesterday to a pretty wimpy looking snow fall. But the storm of the season picked up some gusto by later in the afternoon and in the end it dropped about 10 inches of that pretty powdery stuff on Central Park. I especially love watching the snow fall in the city, it's a nice break for the normal hussle and bussle, forcing you to slow down, carefully navigate the sidewalks to avoid the deep slush and enjoy life. I stayed indoors, curled up on my coach with my book and sipped lots of hot chocolate. Today, I ventured out to Central Park to take a peak of the damage done.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Be My Valentine

Valentine's Day is just a few days away and if you are like most people, myself included, you've procrastinated about what to do.

Whether you're planning something special with your honey or your best buds or simply want to treat your hardworking self to something, I've found some fabulous ideas for sharing the love with yourself or others.

A small bouquet of flowers, cups of steaming hot chocolate, long walks through the park and even books do make great V-Day gifts. I love this idea because it's simply so sweet, proving the Valentine's gifts don't have to be expensive so long as they are imaginative and you make a sweet impression by your thoughtfulness.

One of the more romantic days I've ever spent was when I was in Barcelona a few years back. I was lucky enough to be there on April 23 when the entire city celebrates it's Valentine's Day called St. George's Day (La Diada de Sant Jordi). It's a day so sweet and playful, goofy, yet romantic with the entire city going bananas along the grand avenues. On Sant Jordi Day, the streets are filled with utterly romantic scenes of men giving women roses and women giving the men books in exchange. The tradition started when the Patron Saint of Catalonia, international knight-errant Saint George, allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful princess. From the dragon's blood bloomed a rosebush, from which the ancient hero picked the prettiest rose for the princess. Years pass and in 1923 the traditional Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, thus creating the traditions for Sant Jordi Day.

St. George, the patron saint of Catalonia.

Here are some other romantic ideas for Valentine's Day or any other day for that matter:

*Spend the Sunday afternoon walking in the park, share sips of bubbly and a cupcake. It's a romantic treat anyone would love. Who would want something gooey and sweet? I know I do. These special V-Day cupcakes from Crumbs are always a hit.

Valentine's Day cupcakes from Crumbs.

*Take a class together. Food and wine are always an intimate affair. Michael and I once took a wine and cheese class together at Murray's Cheese for a recent Valentine's Day and had a great time. Or if you want to show your passion, check out the classes at Babeland, a woman-friendly sex shop in New York and Seattle.

*Enjoy a side-by-side massage or take a long, hot soak in the tub. To reach an ideal amount of relaxation, have the right bath products to enjoy the experience. Why not add bath bubbles, either scented or non, bath salts, essential oil such as lavender or aloe vera and candles to help create a romantic setting. I love ALL the bath and body products at Margarita Bloom. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky if you try their super cute Sweet Notes of Love Fortune Cookie Soap Gift Box. Each box is filled with 12 fortune cookies and behold a love fortune. Also in time for Valentine's Day, you might want to try their Strawberry Sweetheart Massage Butter Bar.

Text Color
Margarita Bloom has lots of sweet goodies for the bath and body.

Be good to yourself or that special someone with a truly astonishing piece of fine jewelry. What's even better than jewelry you may wonder? Jewelry on sale. The fabulous and always ahead of the game Wendy Brandes is hosting a sale on her unbelievably gorgeous designs will now be Thursday Feb. 11 (due to the snow) at Fair Folks and a Goat on the Upper East Side starting at 5:30 and discounts will range up to 50%. She has something for everyone, I swear to it. So if you like to wear your heart on your finger, you'll love the Diane Ring, inspired by the late Princess of Wales efforts in the AIDS epidemic. What's better than jewelry for Valentine's Day. Jewelry on sale. If you are snow-bound or live out of the area, you can holla at her at and let the designer know what piece(s) you're loving and she'll tell you the price(s).

Wendy Brandes's Diane Ring.

Valentine's Day is about doing what you love and enjoying the sweet side of life. What are you going to do to celebrate the day?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pour Some Sugar on Me

I have a caboodle full of lip colors and balms, you can even say I’m obsessed. I recently decided to indulge on Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment by Fresh because I love all things by Fresh, have read rave reviews and badly needed something to quench my dry, chapped lips. I'm happy to report to you I was blown away by Fresh's lip treatment.

I want to wear this rosy lip treatment to work, to go out to dinner and to bed at night. It’s that great.

At first I was loathe to drop the $22.50 on another lip product, but this paraben-free lip moisturizer is like no other. This daily must-have soothes and softens my lips, while giving them the sexy, plump look of a just-bitten pout.

This treatment does not work the way ordinary lip balms work. The lip moisturizer from Fresh hydrates your lips without being sticky and repairs them by removing the annoying dry, flakey skin on your lips that are so common during the winter. This will also help your favorite colored lipstick have a smooth finish.

I also find the smell just fabulous. For a refreshing jolt, I’m addicted to the citrusy scent. I’ll just unscrew the top off and take a whiff of the lemony scent and my spirits are instantly uplifted. Also, the tint is just the perfect amount of sheer rosy hue that makes your lips look like you were just bitten. It’s perfect for everyday and year-round use.

But the best part about Fresh’s Sugar Rose Lip Treatment is the way it leaves your lips. It instantly provides nourishment, hydration and smoothness, soothing cracked or chapped lips and diminishing the appearance of fine lines. Your lips will feel smooth and supple for hours.

The Rose Sugar Lip Treatment is the sexy sister to the original Sugar Lip Treatment and has the same amazing, all-natural ingredients like nourishing oils, hydrating butter and a bright addictive citrus flavor and is finished with a touch of rose water for a feminine touch.

I have a long history of loving Fresh products and will continue to use their products. Check out my review of their popular Brown Sugar Body Polish here.

If you already have a lip treatment you love and insist on using it, I urge you to go out and give this gem a try.

It will leave your lips primed for kissing.

The Rose Sugar Lip Treatment is available at Fresh, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Bluemercury.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: Score A Touchdown By Pairing Chili and Wine

Michael traditionally makes a mean chili. It's become a Super Bowl tradition.

And the odds are high we'll be snacking the night away with everyone else on chicken wings, chips and dip and pizza rolls as the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts battle it out during Super Bowl 44 in Miami Sunday night.

While I realize beer generally come to mind for these sort of occasion, we'll be sipping some vino.

What is it about chicken wings and beer?

I asked my fabulous friend, author of The Ski House Cookbook and food blogger Tina what are some great pairings.

"You might be surprised to find out that slightly sweet wines pair well with spicy foods, so a 12-pack may not be the best choice," Tina said.

So if you're like me and like your grapes over your hops, here are a few ideas from Tina to that can help you uncork a bottle of wine while enjoying traditional game day snacks:

Potato Chips - Pinot Gris or Prosecco
Buttered Popcorn - Chardonnay or Prosecco
Chips & Salsa - for mild salsa a Chardonnay or Sangiovese (Chianti); for spicy salsa an off-dry Riesling
Chips and Guacamole - Chardonnay
Veggie Tray - Sauvignon Blanc
Pizza - depends on the toppings but Chardonnay for cheese, Pinto Noir for mushrooms or Sangiovese (Chianti) or Barbera for meat
Ribs (with BBQ sauce) - off dry Riesling or Zinfandel
BBQ dishes - fruity Rosé
Wings - Prosecco, off dry Riesling, Albariño
Chili - if it's really spicy: an off-dry Riesling, mild chili: Zinfandel

And in honor of The Saints and Jazzfest, you might want to try a food icon from the Crescent City, Crawfish Monica. It's mind-blowing delicious. Trust me. If you go for this decadent meal, I would pair it with a dry white wine.

Always remember, trying to match wine with signature Superbowl feasts there are always exceptions as not all recipes are the same and not all wines are the same.

And to celebrate along with the winner (com' on Saints - WHO 'DAT!) Tina said to pop open Champagne or a sparkling wine like a Cava or Prosecco). But if you're lucky enough to be in Miami for the game, why not go for a Cuba Libre or Mojito.

Whether you are rooting for The Saints or The Colts, you'll score a touchdown with these great pairing.

Kickoff is 6:25 on CBS.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rent-The-Runway For You Next Big Occasion

The red carpet is sizzling with gorgeous gowns on celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry. But I too have major events to attend to in the coming months, like my 40th birthday next month, and don’t have a thing to wear. On top of that, right now I can't justify splurging on another dress I might wear only once.

Rent The Runway to the rescue. Whew! Crisis averted.

I love this merino wool ruched dress by Catherine Malandrino. It can be mine for $50 for four crazy nights. It retails for $425.

This silk chiffon stunner by Temperley London is another great choice for the big night. It retails for $3,295, but it could be briefly mine for for $300.

The membership-only website is a new way of shopping for women like us who love fashion and want to look fabulous for an exciting dinner date or a girls' night out on the town , but don't want to open our wallets on the high designer prices. is an exciting new Web site that works like Netflix and lets you rent the latest designs from a bevy of luxury and contemporary designers for a recession-friendly price and then you simply drop it in the mail the next day.

“We are bringing the dream of a rotating closet to reality,” Lara Crystal of RTR said. "Finding that perfect dress is just a click away."

The way it works is first you browse from current season styles for a dress your love from an impressive list of highly coveted designers like Matthew Williamson, Robert Rodriquez, Yigal Azrouel and Catherine Malandrino. The dresses are organized by designer, style, trend (like timeless classics, return of the mini, flirty and feminine and lingerie inspired) or occasion (winter wedding, black tie affair, meet the parents or cocktail party). You get to keep the dress for four or eights days and you even receive a second size dress FREE to ensure a perfect fit when you pick a designer for the first time.

So that super flattering Catherine Malandrino ruched dress I’ve been eyeing for my big bash pictured above, which retails for $425, can be mine for $50. And if I’m undecided between two looks, I can have the second style (and the additional size) shipped to me for an additional $25.

I can wear it, look chic for the night and then simply pop in right in the mail in a handy, pre-paid stamped and addressed envelope, also provided. Dry cleaning is also included.

This shimmering frock by Badgley Mischka channels 1920s sensibilities and will absolutely help you light up the night. The A-line style dress retails for $595, but it can be yours for $75.

All the dresses are shipped in a RTR garment bag you get to keep as well as a “fix kit” of emergency going out products like fashion tape, bra converter, deodorant wipeouts.

RTR works closely with the designers to get their dresses directly in the hands of potential customers. So you get to have an evening in a Matthew Williamson dress and in return the fashion company hopes you will have such a great time you will be a loyal customer.

Co-founders and sectionmates at Harvard Business School Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss started the business in 2009 after learning Jennifer Hyman’s sister couldn’t wear the too-expensive designer dress she loved because it was out of her price range.

Co-founders of Rent-The-Runway Jennifer Hyman, left, and Jennifer Carter Fleiss. Photo courtesy of RTR.

The cost of the rental is about 10% of the retail price and rental starts at just $50. There are about 1,500 dresses online from 37 designers and RTR is adding to the list all the time. This month they will have added Temperely London and Le Roc. In April, RTR will be adding jewelry from such designers as Ciner, Miquel Ases, Chan Luu, Kenneth Jay Lane and Gerard Yosca.

“We’re giving women access to the complete Carrie Bradshaw experience without the high cost,” Lara said.

If you want to become a member of Rent The Runway, holla back at me and I'll send you an invite for immediate membership.

Now you can’t complain you don’t have a thing to wear.