Archive for April, 2012

Fast Food Fiasco

April 30, 2012

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, someone comes up with something that tops it all.

Pizza Hut, reeling from its successful hot dog crust pizza, has released a cheeseburger crust pizza in the Middle East.

Dubbed the “Crown Crust Cheeseburger Pizza”, this delicacy has mini burgers set into the crust along the perimeter of the pizza, topped with melted cheese. The center of the pizza is filled with more ground beef, lettuce and tomatoes, and drizzled with “special sauce”.

Are you salivating yet? Sorry, it is only offered for a limited period of time in their Middle Eastern locations.

Good thing we just wrote about natural stomach remedies, huh?

Barkanista Fashion Show

April 27, 2012

Students enrolled in the professional development certified program in pet product design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology showed their wares last week on canine models. The “barkanistas” strutted their stuff at the school, showing a wide array of styles for dogs of all kinds.

Jiyoung Moon’s clear plastic rain poncho, modeled by Lily, a papillon.

Lily also modeled a pink prom dress, by designer Cheryl Jackson.

“Best in Show” winner, Dawn Diesler showed a collection of handbags and leashes, in luxe skins. Here, Chappy Fox, a toy schnauzer, models a python and neon leather set, with studs.

Natural Relief

April 26, 2012

I was shopping at my local drugstore this week, and asked the pharmacist where the Maalox was. She replied that it had been voluntarily pulled from the shelves over a month ago. The most similar product, Mylanta, had also been recalled. Since different companies make the products, it couldn’t have been a manufacturing glitch.  This caused me to seriously question the safety of an over the counter drug that I have been using regularly for many years.

Armed with a bottle of Tums, I sat down to research natural remedies for stomach acid.  Surprisingly, most of them can be found in your kitchen cabinets.

Apple Cider Vinegar has been found to prevent and relieve heartburn.

Sipping a mixture of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 4 ounces of water before meals, is thought to prevent the over production of stomach acid.

Drinking a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar has been known to neutralize stomach acid and relieve the burning sensation.

Gum: Chewing gum increases the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the stomach acids and prevent reflux.

Bananas and apples are thought to have natural antacid effects.

Sipping chamomile tea, or ginger tea may also relieve heartburn symptoms. Ginger root capsules, or eating candied ginger are also effective.

Baking soda, mixed with water is another natural way to deal with stomach acid. Just mix ½ – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water, and drink it down. Be prepared to burp as the solution works it’s magic!

Health food stores carry papaya enzymes in pill form, which is a natural digestive aid. Papaya enzymes are also an anti-coagulant, and are not recommended for anyone with risk of stomach bleeding.

Always remember that even holistic remedies can have health risks if they are not right for you.  Consulting a doctor before taking any kind of supplement, is highly recommended.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

April 24, 2012

Cauliflower is an amazing vegetable. It tastes great roasted, and can masquerade as mashed potatoes. I recently started hearing about cauliflower pizza crust, and became intrigued. A little searching led to me a few recipes. This one is taken from “Eat, Drink, Smile” and adapted a bit. It is low calorie, and wheat and gluten free. It yields a soft, almost quiche-like crust that requires a fork to eat. It’s not a traditional pizza, but it is an interesting, tasty and healthy one.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut one head of cauliflower into florets and put them into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until it is the consistency of grain.

Place the cauliflower in a glass bowl and microwave it without adding water for about 7-8 minutes, depending on your microwave. Allow it to cool.

In a medium sized bowl, mix about 2 cups of the cauliflower with 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 eggs beaten, a finely minced clove of garlic and about ½ tablespoon each of dried oregano and dried basil and some sea salt to taste.

Cut parchment paper into circles (about 8-9”) to use as a guide to create the crusts. Place them on a cookie sheet, and spray with cooking spray. Spread the mixture onto the parchment rounds in a fairly thin, even manner. Bake the crusts for about 15 minutes or longer, taking them out before the edges get too brown.

Add the toppings of you choice. I used a chunky tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, and added pepperoni for those who desired it,and sprinkled it with chopped arugula when it was done.

Put it back into the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, until the toppings are hot and bubbling.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Photo: Spencer Jones/ Glasshouse Images exclusively for Indigo Jones

What’s in YOUR Gym Bag?

April 23, 2012

Today I decided to clean out my gym bag.

This bag is the clown car of all gym bags. I am amazed at what I pulled out of here, and I spared you the photo of the sweaty workout clothes, and dirty socks!

Every day, I lug this bag as I take B across town to school, go to the gym, walk 1-¼ miles or so to the office, and then back again, with a short grocery stop on the way home. In addition to this, I have an insulated lunch bag, and whatever clothes I need to wear for the day. On the way home, I add the groceries to the mix. DId I mention that I do all of this in 4-5″ heels? No wonder my shoulders and neck ache.
While many of my friends dream of employing chefs and laundresses, what I really need is a Sherpa.

Mind you, my gym has all of the various and sundry necessities: Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, deodorant, hair gel, mouthwash, razors and shaving cream. They even have great hairdryers, and cotton balls, Q-tips and feminine hygiene supplies. So why I am I carrying all stuff around?

Let’s take a look at the innards of my gym bag, shall we?

  • 2 pairs of sneakers: One for running/cross training and one specific for cycling. They are not interchangeable, and I often combine more than one type of exercise in a session.
  • Elastic knee brace and gel toe spacers: Over the counter remedies for my constant, yet chronic aches and pains. The big bottle of Advil? Same story.
  • Make-up bag
  • 1 metal water bottle: Water is a must for hydration, and disposable plastic bottles are bad for people and the environment. My beat up Cycle for Survival/Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital water bottle is a motivator to keep pushing and stay healthy.
  • IPhone and ear buds. Not only does it keep me plugged in at all times,my Equinox app functions as my gym membership card and lets me book my bike for cycling class and keep track of my workouts. Spotify provides the soundtrack via perfect playlists!
  • Hair elastics: A ponytail is a must! 5 ponytail holders? Not so necessary!
  • Deodorant, organic argon oil for my hair, and some feminine hygiene products.
  • Tums and an extra contact lens.
  • 2 mini flash drives, because one never knows when they will need to transfer data unexpectedly. I do know, that the likelihood that I will be doing this at the gym is quite low.
  • 5(yes 5!) different lipsticks and lip treatments. I never wear makeup at the gym, but the gooey tube of clear lip balm keeps me from chewing on my lips when the effort gets tough! The other 4? I’m not really sure why they are there!
  • Cash, Metrocard and my lock.
  • Wallet, sunglasses and keys. All legit.
  • 2 types of hairbrushes, one for brushing and one for styling.
  • Altoids: Have you ever gone absolutely anaerobic next to someone who ate garlic for dinner? Don’t be that person; have a mint.  The person on the next treadmill or bike will thank you for it!

I am about to repack this, and see what I can live without. I suspect it won’t be much more than a few lipsticks and a flash drive or 2.

I bet I am not the only one out there carrying my life around in a nylon tote bag. I just showed you mine, now you show me yours! What crazy things do you carry in your bag?

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images exclusively for Indigo Jones

Aisle Style

April 20, 2012

Now that marriage equality has finally been legalized in several states, people of the same gender are celebrating their commitment to one another in a more traditional way. While the world is slowly waking up to the concept of same-sex marriage, the bridal market is sadly lagging behind.

Magazines feature lots of ideas for brides marrying the man of their dreams, but what if that person waiting at the altar happens to be another woman?
Alternative fashion looks for the big day are relatively scarce. Many lesbian women are not comfortable in a dress, especially a big, fluffy white one.

Designers are slowly introducing white pant suits into their collections to meet the needs of same-sex brides, as well as those looking for a less traditional take on wedding attire.

Times they are a changing and its time for the marketplace to evolve to accommodate it. Do we see “white space” here?

Bottom photo: Carolina Herrera/ Fall 2013 bridal collection

Unrecipe of the Week

April 19, 2012

I love to cook. I am confident and intuitive in the kitchen, and I don’t need to rely on a recipe to make a wonderful meal. Except when I want to hard boil eggs.

Go ahead and Google “how to make a hard-boiled egg” and you will get many different answers, ranging from 9-17 minutes. Some add vinegar or salt to the water, others don’t. After a little trial and error, here is my  fool-proof method:

Fool-Proof Hard Boiled Eggs:

Place large eggs in a small pot, and cover them with cold water. Set the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down so the water is gently simmering,and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes.

When the eggs are done, run cold water into the pot (with the cooking water still in it) to start the cooling process. Peel and enjoy!

WikiHow has an interesting way of telling if the eggs are done or not: Whirl the egg on a table or countertop. If the egg spins quickly and evenly, it is hard-boiled. If it spins slowly and wobbles off to one side, it is soft-boiled.

photo: Glasshouse Images

More than Just a Pretty Face?

April 18, 2012

These days, a recognizable name seems to be worth more than a barrel of talent or carefully cultivated skills.

Models complain that actresses and musicians have taken over the magazine covers that used to be their domain. Serious actors complain that reality stars get all the ratings and attention previously focused on them.  Fashion designers complain that models, actors, musicians and reality stars all have signature collections that they pretend to design. Jessica Simpson, (singer and reality star) even has a gig on a reality TV show, where she mentors young wannabees as if she actually designs the stuff bearing her name herself!

Today’s entry into the marketplace really rubs salt into our wounds.

Giselle Bundchen’s niece not only has a modeling contract with a Brazilian apparel firm, but she now has her own line bearing her name.

Did I mention she is 5 years old?

The collection, Duda Bundchen for Brandili Mundi, will hit the stores in July,
According to Germano Costa, the commercial and marketing director of Brandili Textile, “ Duda told us her preferences on prints, cuts and details, and based on the briefing we received from her, we came up with a collaborative collection.”

Let’s see if this little entrepreneur with good genes can actually guide a team of real designers (who must have LOVED taking direction from a 5 year old!) to create a successful brand.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my (insert random career that I have no talent for here) class.

Never Say Never

April 17, 2012

Fashion is a funny thing. I remember many years ago being quoted in Instyle magazine that a “denim don’t” was wearing high heels or a dressy top with jeans. For those of you that know me well, that look has become a staple for me.

My former co-workers know that I firmly believe that animal prints belong only on animals, yet you have all seen my furry leopard booties that I wear constantly.

The mixing of stripes and prints has long been considered a fashion faux pas, but this season it’s considered a chic modern way to express your style.

As fashion evolves, and our eye adjusts, many of those old school rules get broken.

One thing I never expected to emerge as a trend is the animal sweater. You know the ones I’m talking about; the kind a distant relative with questionable taste might send you for a gift.  The ones you see in airports on people you might be inclined to make fun of ( don’t get all judge-y here, you know you do it too !) I can’t even tell you they’re back because I’m not sure they were ever fashionable in the first place.

This season, designers across the globe showed intarsia sweaters with animal motifs. Lions and tigers and bears, (oh my!) as well as the occasional horse or owl. The look is very ’80s in most cases, and skews toward the tacky side.

It’s not something I think I will be sporting come fall, but one thing I have learned after all these years in the fashion biz, is to never say never”.

Shakin’ the Bacon

April 16, 2012

Not to be outdone by Denny’s vile bacon milkshake, Burger King recently announced the debut of their new bacon sundae.
Only available in the Nashville location, the bacon sundae appears to be made of soft serve ice cream, and chocolate sauce and is sprinkled with bacon bits. Unlike it’s alleged inspiration, which featured artificial bacon flavored syrup; this is served with an actual strip of real bacon as a garnish.

No word yet on what it tastes like, or the nutritional info. If anyone out there is in Nashville and wants to give it a try, let us know what you think!

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