Friday, February 28, 2014

:: getting my gatsby on ::

I love this movie, I don't care what everyone says. I've cuddled up on the sofa and watched it four times so far. And I intend to do it again this weekend. That Daisy is a mess, but I still keep hoping it might all work out...


Happy weekend!
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

:: pitta, kapha, vata...what? ::

I spent last weekend at the fabulous Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, out in the Berkshires. It's such an amazing gem out in Western Massachusetts, and I'm going to devote a whole blog post on it soon. But for now, I want to write more about the ayurveda workshop I went to and how I'm going to try to integrate it into my life. There is SO much to learn about eating with the seasons and giving your body what it needs in this world of crazy chemicals and bioengineered "food".

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. And a portion of that is diet. There is sooooooo much to learn, and I know approximately .000001 % of it now, so I'm not going to attempt to explain it all. But I took a quiz similar to the one here to determine how I should eat. Not only are the results based on the physical (how we store fat, how active we are, where we hold stress) but also the emotional and behavioral (how we love, how we react to criticism, what we fear). Fascinating, seriously. There are three "doshas" listed below (source):

Vatas tend to be thin, light and quick in thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of their lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.

Pittas are the most lively and tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.

Kaphas tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.

Our workshop was given by Dr. John Douillard and was based chiefly off his book The Three Season Diet. He says that eating with the seasons and with our doshas makes our digestion better, helps us lose excess weight and removes issues like bloating, indigestion, etc.

The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended: Lose Weight, Beat Food Cravings, and Get Fit

While I'm still trying to master what foods to eat when, I'm starting with his suggestion of eating only three meals a day (no snacking! no grazing!) to stabilize blood sugar and avoid spiking (and to give the body a rest from constantly digesting) and a really big lunch with just a tiny dinner. So far, I'm sleeping better at night with no big meal in my belly. I'm going to give it a few weeks before I step on the scale and see what's happening there.

Has anyone tried an ayurvedic diet? I am a SPONGE for this stuff right now!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

:: discovery: the sea buckthorn berry ::

Do you know what a sea buckthorn berry is? Neither did I. Until the folks at Sibu Beauty sent me a bottle of their Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial Cream to try out. I have really dry skin and this Boston winter weather doesn't help me out AT ALL. It's hard to find a happy medium between a lotion that my skin will drink in and something so thick that it just sits on my skin all day.

I've been using this cream for about a week as a daytime moisturizer. My skin sucked it in so quickly that it almost felt I wasn't using anything. I finally started pairing it with organic rosewater (spritz the rosewater on my face, followed quickly by the lotion) and it's the perfect combo. Light enough for day so my makeup doesn't feel like it's going to slide off, but substantial enough to do its job, which is to make sure my face doesn't flake off before spring.

As a side note, I was at a yoga and ayurveda retreat this weekend (more about that in a future post) and we were staying in dorm-like space. When I was at the sink taking care of my morning biz, two (TWO!) people asked me what moisturizer I was using because they loved the smell. It's citrus-y and light and case you didn't know what a sea buckthorn berry smelled like.

So what IS the story on these buckthorns? I'm glad you asked. Grown in the Himalayas, they're fair trade berries full of omegas, vitamins and antioxidants, all of which are good for your skin. They're also available as a liquid supplement to give your hair, skin and nails a little extra sparkle.

And Sibu itself is all up on the buckthorn train. They're cruelty free and vegan, fair trade and all natural, with a full line of sea buckthorn skin care. Want to learn a little more? Click here.

Anyone else know of any other skincare lines I should try?
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

:: operation slouch ::

My girlfriends and I are having a clothing swap in a few weeks and I'm on the hunt for everything and anything slouchy, a la the beautiful Jennifer Beals below:

It's intentionally messy, which is so, so, SO different from regular old messy. And when find the right one (the samples here are definite contenders, especially that one in the middle--basically all I need), I'm pairing it with a Tina's tee and some skinny jeans. Or maybe no pants at all if I decide to follow Jennifer's lead.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

:: spin city: flywheel at the pru ::

I went to a great blogger event on Saturday at Flywheel in the Pru...good to know I wasn't totally dragging, but it still kinda kicked my ass. In a good way. I'm certified to teach spinning, but got a little distracted with other workouts over the past few years, and this totally got me back in the saddle (ha ha).

Rachele taught our class and I actually saw steam coming off her AND she played some Gin Wigmore as she whipped us into shape. Total. Badass. Please and thank you.

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There are tons and tons of classes, as you can see from the colorful schedule above, and we're still smiling post-workout in the photo to the right (Kristin, me, and Janelle), always a good sign.

Here are a few things you should know:

  • The first class is free. Um, so there are ZERO reasons not to try this out. 
  • The bikes are arranged in a stadium format so even in the back, you still have a great view of the instructor. 
  • For those passive aggressive competitors (like me) who like to compete but don't really want to be seen competing, the "torque board" keeps track of how you're doing against the other cyclists with your chosen handle. 
  • The place is roomy! It's always a pain to reach down and adjust your bike and hit the bike next to you with a body part (head, butt, etc.)...these bikes are just far enough apart to feel comfortable. 
  • They add arms! Spinning is such a great, low-impact cardio workout, but I have to then go and get some arm weights and do another mini workout. With Flywheel, they build it right into the class, so you leave feeling super accomplished. 
  • You borrow shoes from them so you can clip in and safely cycle your little heart out. 
  • This may only be important to me, but there's Bliss soap in the bathrooms. Bonus points. 

Tell me if you go!!!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

:: a v-day outfit, kinda/not really ::

Killing two birds with one stone here, folks. I'm not a super duper Valentine's Day lover, but I do love red. And right now, I'm loving it with dove gray. That dusty kind of gray that's soft and powdery and makes you want to get all up in a cable knit throw and watch 500 Days of Summer. Add some white wine and we've reached Friday perfection. Happy weekend!
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

:: metching and kvetching ::

I'm trying to eat a little healthier and sometimes that makes me angry. But the recipe below makes me happy! It's for metch, a traditional Armenian side dish made from bulgar. It's similar to tabbouleh but thicker and grainier (with less parsley), and not as tangy. You can eat it warm or cold, as a side dish or spread on crackers. Really, the options are endless. Here's a super healthy and delicious option served on cucumbers, courtesy of Miss Jeanie's Catering:


  • 1 cup uncooked bulgar wheat 
  • 1/2 vidalia onion (chopped teeny tiny--everything below also chopped really small...) 
  • 1 jalapeno – optional (seeded & chopped) 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped) 
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped) 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 8 oz tomato sauce 
  • 8 oz water 
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1 tbsp paprika salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cup parsley 
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions  

1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat
2. Add onions and all 3 peppers
3. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat
4. Allow to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions and peppers and discard (or use for something else).
6. Make sure to leave as much liquid as possible in the pot
7. Add tomato sauce, water and lemon and stir well
8. Add paprika and bring mixture to a boil
9. Add bulgar wheat
10. Cover and remove from heat
11. Allow to sit until the liquid disappears, approximately 15 minutes
12. Salt and pepper to taste
13. Add parsley and scallions and stir well

Serve as a side dish or salad, hot or cold!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

:: embarrassingly distracted by sparkles ::

That should actually be the alternate name of this blog. I recently rediscovered a great gem (ha ha) of a bracelet shop in Sisco + Berluti. In maybe 2009, I did a feature story on them for a local newspaper back when they were known as Westwood-based Sisco Family Jewels. They make crazy beautiful bracelets all made out of semi-precious stones in a variety of colors and textures. And they're stacked on the wrists of lovelies from Anne Hathaway to Jessica Alba to Michelle Obama, from here to Hollywood:

Here are what mine look like:

And as if pretty wasn't enough, there's a philanthropy hook here, too. The family team uses the success of their jewelry line to help causes that carry significant meaning for their family, including Half the Sky Foundation, which works to care for orphans in China, and Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer.

Visit their website, or if you're strolling in Beacon Hill, grab some at Wish!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

:: hunter green is spring's new navy ::

It might not sound too springy springy, but if you think about leaves and grass and getting beyond all this white stuff, hunter green and spring are right around the corner. Normally, this hunter/forest green is more of a winter color for me, but this spring it's much so that it can even me used as a neutral to replace brown, black or navy. It goes with everything, especially our 2014 superstar, radiant orchid.

green machine

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

:: dry shampoo: i'm starting to get it ::

I've had dry shampoo sitting in my bathroom cabinet for ages and until recently, I had never used it. I feel like I have to start over with my hair every day...things just don't seem right if I haven't washed my hair each morning. But I've experienced a few hectic mornings lately where time just wasn't on my side. And out of desperation, I gave dry shampoo a whirl.

It was rough going at first (I didn't read the directions and thought I could just spray it in my hair and have to RUB it in. Now I know), but I've really gotten the hang of it now. For those dry shampoo virgins, by spraying it on your roots and rubbing it in, excess oil is absorbed and any scents (smoke, food, subway hobo, etc.) are masked. I actually got complemented last week on my hair and it was three days without shampooing. I'm still reeling.

Here are the two I feel like I've mastered so far:


Pssssst smells clean and amazing and lasts forever. I got mine at Ricky's (5.3 oz for $6.99). My only complaint is that if you spray it too close to your crown, it can look a little chalky. And my dark brown hair does not like that.

Batiste works great as well, although the blush scent I'm trying now smells like my old roommate who was obsessed with anything gardenia-scented. I got this one at Folica (5.05 oz for $8.99). There are plenty of other scents that I'll try next time (fresh, tropical).

Also, for those of us who color our hair, the less shampooing we do, the more we preserve our color. So, that alone should convince you to give it a shot.

Any other brands out there I should try? I'm totally on this bandwagon now...
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