Lighten Up! Thursday, Mar 29 2012 

Warmer weather and the summer fashion season bring many changes to our lives. We change out our jeans for mini skirts, our high heels for flip flops, and our leather jackets for bikinis. Why should we not also change what we carry around every day?

I happen to love (with a capital “L”) my new Michael Kors “Hamilton Large Tote” that my generous husband gave me this past Christmas. The structured, neutral look is perfect for interviews and to give off a professional, polished vibe. I love how I can fit everything in it- my iPad, sunglass case, an extra water bottle, winter gloves, and all my daily necessities.

 

Women have been known to schlep too much stuff with them everywhere. But what if I need my Tylenol? Or my nail file? Or hand sanitizer? Or an empty travel mug? It’s true, we do need lots of things at our disposal, but we do tend to carry way too much extracurricular weight around on our shoulders and forearms.

 

That’s why, for summer, I like to switch it up to a nice light, seasonal bag that I can throw around at the beach, at the pool, and in the sweltering car. In the summer, we do need to carry more stuff sometimes, but we don’t want to be bogged down with any more than we need to be. I love straw, canvas and other light materials for summer.

 

Of course I love Michael Kors, so why not stay true to what you love? His Gia E/W Tote, shown here in “Kiwi” is the perfect size for stowing an extra headscarf to protect your hairdo when driving with the top down.

Doesn’t this Marc Jacobs bag just look like it belongs on the beach?

The Rachel Zoe “Kate” tote is soft and light, but still gives off a “pulled together” vibe that you can bring to work in the summer months.

 

 

This year, I’m favoring my new Elliot Lucca purse- the white and gold tones still go with everything and looks professional enough to bring to work, but it’s casual and lightweight. Throw in your sunscreen, an extra pair of sunnies, a hairbrush, a beach read and of course some water to stay hydrated in the higher temps!

What are your favorite summer bags? What is your must-have summer item your purse?

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of michaelkors.com

second photo courtesy of refinery29.com

third photo courtesy of michaelkors.com

fourth photo courtesy of saksfifthavenue.com

fifth photo courtesy of rachelzoe.com

sixth photo courtesy of my iPhone (my Elliott Lucca bag)

seventh photo courtesy of drugstore.com

Advertisements

Fitness Focus: Cameron Diaz Wednesday, Mar 28 2012 

Remember that incredible shot from Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle with Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore, two of Hollywood’s hottest bodies, squaring off in their respective white and black bikinis? Yeah, the girl works out.

Hollywood has admired Cameron’s smokin’ bod for years. As I search for bikini workout inspiration, any image of Cameron has me doing squats and lunges right in my living room. 

 

Here are some of her go-to workouts:

 

Staying Active

Cameron has always loved to surf, run or take part in any outdoor activity that keeps her body in perfect shape. Here she is paddle boarding.

 

 

 

Getting’ Leggy With it

Cam loves to show off her stems, and if mine started at my neck and went on for days, I’d love to too. While Cameron and her trainer both maintain that she is committed to a regimen of healthy eating, and that she doesn’t live in the gym, they both admit that she works hard for her body.

Cameron credits Pilates (mat and Reformer), reverse lunges, curtsy squats (I worship these, in a love/hate sort of way) as well as plenty of cardio and using free weights.

She also swears by the squeezable ball-and it’s actually pretty easy to incorporate that into your Pilates routine once a week.

The Couple That Sweats Together

Cameron has also always shown an affinity for working out with the man in her life. Whether it’s that famous photo of her and JT smooching on surf boards, or if she’s hitting the gym with A-Rod, it’s no surprise that Cameron incorporates fitness into her daily life, and it’s only natural that her (equally gorgeous) mate would accompany her for a good workout. 

 

 

What’s your favorite workout to try and look more like Cameron?

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of cinemastore.it

second photo courtesy of bestactress.info

third photo courtesy of fitsugar.com

fourth photo courtesy of popsugar.com

fifth photo courtesy of fitsugar.com

sixth photo courtesy of zimbio.com

seventh photo courtesy of justjared.com

eighth photo courtesy of thislondon.co.uk

ninth photo courtesy of twistednews.com

 

Swimfan Tuesday, Mar 27 2012 

Beach weather is here in Charleston! I am so excited to explore my new home and see which beach has the softest sand and the cutest lifeguards (just kidding- I’ll be the redhead under the umbrella, slathered in sunscreen, reading Game of Thrones obsessively on my pink iPad)

But even if I’m not laying out soaking up those dangerous UV rays, I will go in the water, and I absolutely need a cute new bathing suit. I love the bright mint green color and tie details. Ties are one of my must-haves on a bikini bottom!This is currently on my shopping list before hitting the beach!

Hmm but first, I need that body. Any suggestions? Maybe less Easter candy, to start…

 

 

Media Credits:

photo courtesy of victoriassecret.com

 

 

My Own Kate Middleton Shoe Moment! Sunday, Mar 25 2012 

Yeah, right. Not really.

But I totally channeled the Duchess in these “copy-Kates” that I picked up last weekend. Super similar to Kate’s signature LK Bennett “Maddox” wedges that she wore the day after her wedding, the Antonio Melani (that I found at Dillards for I think $69) give me the confidence and air of the Duchess. The patent leather is perfect to wear to work for the transitional Spring season.

At least I like to tell myself that I’m channeling Kate. Yes, in my closet, they are my “Kate Middleton shoes”- and all my other shoes are just a little jealous.

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of shoewawa.com

second photo courtesy of katemiddletonfashion.blogspot.com

Lady Like Thursday, Mar 22 2012 

My obsession with Essie and their plethora of perfection nail colors has brought me such joy in these spring days.

This is an actual shot of all my Essie products on my bathroom counter. Told you it was an obsession!

 

Changing over my nail polish, experimenting with various hues and embracing the warmer weather means a new favorite! I was searching for that perfect nude-but-not-taupe color, with just a hint of a light purple to give me some color for my pink complexion.

 

Enter Essie’s “Lady Like.” Per-fec-tion. As the summer months arrive and I get bolder with my nail choices, I’ll experiment with some of Essie’s brighter, darker colors.

 

What’s your favorite Essie color?

 

 

 

Media Credits:
first photo from my iPhone (my bathroom counter! Ah!)

second photo courtesy of lacquerwear.com

From Today’s Kitchen: Quiche Au Fromage (Plus Spinach!) Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Springtime, and the living’s easy.

 

When searching for the perfect, light, healthy and above all easy Springtime recipe, look no further than a nice quiche. Delicate, tasty, yet still packed with nutrients, this dish has always been one of my favorites. My mom has been making Julia Child’s Quiche Au Fromage since I can remember- yes, I was that 6-year-old bringing a piece of chilled quiche for lunch in first grade.

I like to throw two quiches in the oven at once- it’s just as easy to make two, and the Pillsbury pie crusts come in a package of two. Eat one with a side salad for dinner, serve with fruit for a nice lunch, and put the other in the freezer or fridge to have on hand when company unexpectedly stops in. Wouldn’t you like a nice, chic dish to serve at the drop of a hat? It’s also convenient to bring to luncheons or pot-luck events, day or night, no matter the season. C’est parfait!

Here is the Julia Child recipe I’ve been using for Quiche Au Fromage. The other day, I added spinach. I’ve recently become obsessed with spinach and thought adding it to my quiche would add some antioxidants, protein and other super-food stuff.

 

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup chopped ham

1 chopped shallot

2-3 tablespoons butter

3-5 eggs ( I always use 5)

1 ½ cups half and half (I use the low-fat, it tastes fine)

pinch pepper

½ teaspoon salt

one uncooked pie pastry (Pillsbury)

 

What is your favorite easy Springtime recipe?

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of proteinpower.com

second photo courtesy of my iPhone (this was the quiche I made)

third photo courtesy of thedailygreen.com

Sun Kissed Tuesday, Mar 20 2012 

Happy First Day of Spring!

Spring has definitely arrived in Charleston, and those summer temperatures as well!

Summer always makes me grateful for my fabulous cosmetics products, and one of my all-time favorites is Guerlain’s “Terracotta” blush powder. I just worship their sheer bronzing powder in “Fair”- blondes and redheads alike can rejoice in this wonder. One swoop of this blush/bronzer extraordinaire is all I need to look like I basked in the warmth of the sun all weekend.

 

What’s your favorite beauty product for summer weather?

 

Media Credit:

photo courtesy of instyle.com

Fave Ab Workout: Side Plank Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

Holy summer weather, Batman! A solid 80 degree day every day this week is making me anxious to hit the gym ASAP so I can feel better in my shorts and tank tops and of course, the dreaded bikini since summer has arrived in Charleston!

I love a good ab workout. I love that sore feeling that somehow makes the thought of food unbearable. Teaching Pilates, where 90% of the hour-long class was primarily abs, I always tried to work in some oblique work in there to get that hard-to-achieve toned look. My go-to move has been the side plank. I tend to lower down onto my elbow for a few, then push up onto my head then go back down to finish the set once my wrist starts to tremble.

My favorite part is adding the twist move: reaching my arm up to the sky, then tucking and twisting under my body as far under and around as possible just makes me feel great. I love this so much that I add it in even when I’m not doing Pilates and work it into my strength training- standing with one leg straight and one knee bent onto the weight bench, I lean forward, hold a small weight in my hand and twist under as much I can. LOVE!

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of cookinglight.com

second photo courtesy of fitnessmagazine.com

Lust List: LK Bennett Thursday, Mar 15 2012 

Ok, so my Kate Middleton obsession/girl crush has been well established. And as much as I’d love to emulate her style every day, her McQueen gowns, Jimmy Choo pumps and Pucci blazers (how adorable did she look playing hockey today, by the way?) are a bit out of my reach. But what makes Kate so likeable and appealing to the entire world is her ability to pair top-end designers fit for royalty alongside attainable brands like Zara, J.Brand, and one of her trademarks- LK Bennett.

The Duchess of Cambridge has favored LK Bennett for years, and turned to her signature style for several recent engagements alongside the Queen. She kicked off the Jubilee Tour in a gorgeous “teal” LK Bennett dress and jacket.

Kate usually turns to LK Bennett for footwear, as well.

She famously stepped out in the patent black “Maddox” wedges on the day after her wedding to stroll the Palace yard with new hubby Prince William. I was so enamored with this look that when I saw a similar pair (not LK, sadly) on sale at Dillards, I just had scoop to them up ASAP. I’ve worn them twice so far and try to do so in my best classy Kate “strut and wave.”

Today, for a surprise engagement with Great Britain’s Women’s Hockey team to celebrate the upcoming Olympics, Kate wore red twill J.Brand skinny jeans, an Emilio Pucci blazer, the official GB Paralympic scarf (you can copy this, it’s only 10 euros) and of course, her trusty LK Bennett “Art” heels. She has worn these shoes on previous occasions as well.

Good news for us here in the States- Nordstrom has started carrying LK Bennett! Her “Maddox” wedges are available for $285, and the black “Sledge” pumps she wears so religiously are available for $325.00. http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/l-k-bennett I may just have to scoop up a pair of these as well.

Check out the Europe LK Bennett site: http://www.lkbennett.com/

Much thanks to www.whatkatewore.com and www.hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com for keeping me always up-to-date on what my favorite fashion icon is wearing. Love both these sites so much!

What has been your favorite Kate shoe moment?

Media Credits:

hockey photo courtesy of hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com

Jubilee Tour photo courtesy of whatkatewore.com

Palace photo courtesy of shoewawa.com

Olympic engagement photo courtesy of hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com

Sledge pump courtesy of polyvore.com

Big Spoon, Little Spoon Tuesday, Mar 13 2012 

When it comes to staying healthy and watching what you eat, there are many tips, tricks and secrets out there. You can pour liquid all over your plate after you’ve finished half your food, or follow the three-bite rule, or eat only green foods. Everyone has their own weird food idiosyncracy that they like to remember as their healthy eating mantra. As I prepare for the warm weather-which will be here sooner than I’m used to- and accompanying skin-baring styles, I turn to the method I like to call “spooning.”

It’s not anything like that. I like to follow the “big spoon, little spoon” rule when it comes to serving sizes! Each set of flatware from our wedding (love you, Sur la Table!) comes with two sizes of spoons.

One is larger, about a tablespoon-plus size, and one is much daintier and slighter, perfect for stirring my tea. I use these as my guidelines.

If I’m eating something healthy, like a helping of my Kashi cereal in the morning or a nice bowl of creamed spinach, I’ll use the big spoon. If I’m enjoying some Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food (shhhh) while catching up on Modern Family, I reach for the little spoon.

 

Numerous diet and health studies have shown that when you use a smaller spoon or a smaller plate for your helping, your eye tricks your belly into thinking you’re full more quickly, and you end up eating less.

 

I think to myself “Big Spoon Protein, Small Spoon Sugar.” I use this to track how much I eat of one thing, and make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients and not too many bad, empty calories on a daily basis. If it’s good for me or a “superfood” like kale, carrots, avocado, or eggs, I’ll use the big spoon when dishing out my ingredients or if I’m eating it out of the bowl. Peanut butter is my exception, and requires a big spoon- there’s protein in peanut butter, right?

This rule can also be applied to forks- use the big forks for veggies and healthy meats, and the small forks for pies and carbs. There’s a reason they’re called “dessert” forks! Forget Mary Poppins and her giddy song- a spoonful of sugar is not good for you. Unless it’s a little spoon:)

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of shutterstock.com

second photo courtesy of surlatable.com

third photo courtesy of foodnetworks.com

fourth photo courtesy of beststuff.com

fifth photo courtesy of eatlovefood.com

sixth photo courtesy of last.fm

Next Page »