Archive for January, 2015

Who Wears The Pants?

January 9, 2015

The People’s Choice Awards took place this week, and the first red carpet trend of the year has emerged from an otherwise rather lackluster assortment.
Strong, confident women in the world of television, film and music, shed their frou frou dresses in favor of pants ensembles. From jumpsuits to two piece looks, these women looked polished and sophisticated.

So, who wore the pants this year?
Parenthood’s Monica Potter may have botched introducing rapper Iggy Azalea, but her black halter top jumpsuit with chain detail was spot on.

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Ellen Pompeo of Grey’s Anatomy was pretty in peach, with sexy lace panels from Elie Saab.

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Disney’s Bella Throne looked sophisticated in a black Armani suit, sans blouse, for a discreetly sexy take on the tux.

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Funny lady Melissa McCarthy’s leather trimmed pantsuit fit her curves to perfection.

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Australian rapper Iggy Azaelia paired wide legged black trousers with a beaded cropped top.

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The evening’s hostess with the mostest, Anna Faris sparkled in a two piece look by Naeem Khan.

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Mission Possible

January 7, 2015

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New year’s resolutions seem to be top of mind this week, as we return from the holidays ready to embrace a new regime. At the gym this morning, my cycling instructor asked the class to fill out a card with our fitness goals for the year, so that he could be a part of helping us achieve them. Later, my pilates instructor spoke a little about setting an intention rather than a resolution for the year. Hers was to “dream bigger dreams”, and to “manifest magic in her life”.

When I returned home and saw the article in the New York Times Well Blog by Tara Parker-Pope about creating a personal mission statement for the year, I knew something was afoot.

Resolutions are typically singular acts of self improvement, such as exercising more, eating better, losing weight or spending more time with the family. They are also more often than not, abandoned in a matter of weeks.

Ms. Parker-Pope suggests viewing the new year’s declaration as a corporation might view their strategic plan; by composing a personal mission statement which clearly defines your goals and values. It is recommended that one focuses on the underlying motivation for change, rather than a single behavior.

The article lists several questions to explore when developing a personal mission statement, as used by the Corporate Athletic Program:

■ How do you want to be remembered?

■ How do you want people to describe you?

■ Who do you want to be?

■ Who or what matters most to you?

■ What are your deepest values?

■ How would you define success in your life?

■ What makes your life really worth living?

The answers to these questions should be helpful in crafting a strong mission statement. Then, more actionable ways of achieiving those goals can be set, and obstacles can be evaluated to help you reach a successful outcome.

Having a deeper understanding of who you are, and what is more important to you, is key to creating resolutions that a meaningful, and sustainable.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your mission statment, or resolution with us in the comments section.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Sifting

January 6, 2015

I have a confession to make. I don’t own a sifter.

While it’s entirely possible you don’t either, for someone who bakes as much as I do, it’s pretty surprising. It’s a relatively inexpensive item and sifting is often required for recipes. So what’s the deal?

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Sifting is defined as “put (a fine, loose, or powdery substance) through a sieve so as to remove lumps or large particles.” A sifter, for those of you who don’t have one either, is looks a bit like a large tin can with a handle on the outside, and has a mesh filter on the inside. There is some sort of mechanism to move the flour around, such as a crank, or a spring loaded device, serving to aerate the ingredients and propel them through the mesh filter.

Although I agree that the aerating and “de-lumping” is an important step in baking, I usually do it with a small wire whisk and a metal strainer. ( Truth be told, depending on what I am making, I don’t even bother with the strainer.)

If you are caught without a sifter when baking, simply place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and place the required ingredients into it, ( usually flour, and sometimes salt or a leavening agent, such as baking powder or soda) and whisk until it all passes through the sieve and into the bowl.

Nothing extra to store, or clean. That works for me!

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Beauty Buzz

January 5, 2015

The past year brought us lots of trends in the world of beauty. Some we loved; others, not so much. Here is a quick recap on some of the more notable fads, and where we see them going in 2015.

Ombre Hair: Hair that is lighter at the bottom and darker at the roots used to signal that someone was growing out a bad dye job. Not this year. Hair color that got progressively lighter from roots to ends became the mainstream color trend of the year. Those brave souls who went for a bigger style statement opted for a bolder version, adding technicolor tones to their ombre hair.

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Where it’s headed: With so many models and film stars embracing the “lob,”it looks like a fashionable way to get rid of the extreme color differential. We expect to see more natural looking hair color this year, with rich highlights. We are even seeing very young women going voluntarily grey, with interesting results.

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Big Butts and Freeing the Nipple: Many touted 2014 as the year of the butt. Kim Kardashian was the poster girl for the prominent posterior, but others from Nikki Minaj to internet sensation Jen Selter reinforced the trend. We aren’t quite sure how a big behind could become a trend, ( you get what you get and you don’t get upset!) but there was a documented increase in Brazilian butt lift procedures, as well as exercise regimes designed to build the bum. The term “belfie” was coined, as women took photos to document their derierres.

Ms. Kardashian also exposed her fair share of cleavage this year and many a red carpet look also involved side boob, cleavage and bare nipples. A film, entitled “Free the Nipple” was released, to promote a woman’s right to go topless, and the hashtag #freethenipple was born.

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Where it’s headed: We hope to see a little less over exposure this year, with more tasteful ways to look sexy taking the forefront. Many of the red carpet worthy gowns we say at spring 2015 fashion weeks offered a lowcut neckline, a slit or a peekaboo cutout, not all of the above. We think totally sheer without any lining at all, fully exposing undergarments and more is going by the wayside.

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Korean Skincare: Korean woman are known for their porcelain skin and their dedication to the care and maintenance of it. Korean skincare lines arrived stateside with a vengeance and along with it, complicated and innovative beauty regimes ranging from 10-step skincare programs, to snail creams.

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Where it’s headed:Hard to say. While broader accessability to products and more blogs devoted to them make it seem as though it will be a growth business, consumers are fickle and prone to run to the next big thing. As a trend towards time saving expands in other areas, (i.e. high intensity intervals to maximize workout times, precut and boxed food services to save home cooking time, quick blowout salons, etc.) this could bode poorly for a beauty routine that is so involved.

Major Eyebrows: Thanks to it-girl Cara Delevingne, fuller, perfectly groomed brows made a comeback, even launching a slang term to describe them: “on fleek.” (Meaning “on point, and fierce,” for those who don’t know.) While some trend followers were able to grow theirs out or enhance them with makeup, brow extensions actually became a thing. On the other side of the spectrum, celebs bleached their brows which served to temporarily negate them completely.

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Where it’s headed: Given that every celeb photographed with invisable brows were back “on fleek” within a day or so, we think the bleached look won’t catch on. More natural, fuller brows should have some staying power. The term “on fleek?” Please stop saying it NOW.

 

Flash Tatoos: These metallic temporary tatoos that resemble tribal jewelry are popping up everywhere and on everyone from Beyonce to Selena Gomez, and the girl at the mall.

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Where they are headed: South, we think. This seems like it is already getting a little played out and thankfully, this trend looks to be as temporary as the tatoos themselves. For now, leave it to the very young, and then just leave it.

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