Saturday, June 30, 2012

Give Each Day A Fair Chance

by Sarah Davis

working girl in the city...
Get up and do your makeup every morning. Put on your favorite perfume and dress to impress, even for the gym. Give each day a fair chance. So often, we get up and immediately remember yesterday. So much can happen with the start of a new morning, if we choose to allow it to. Don't procrastinate. Wake up, work out, put on your eyeliner, and do something new. Despite what happened yesterday, either get up and try again or get up and continue your process of trying. For all of the people that you meet within each new day, give these new people a fair chance. Don't let people you've met before sour every new person you meet.  Believe that people are good if they show you they are good. Forgive, but don't waste time on people who need to be forgotten about.  Forgive and send people off with love, not because they deserve it, but because it's ugly to have a heart who blames many people for your unhappiness. Give yourself a fresh chance with each new day.  If you've failed a thousand times in the past, this determines nothing about today.  

Today: eat a delicious meal, get a fantastic manicure, run more than you've ever run before, prove to yourself that you can do something you never thought you could, go see a silly movie, write a handwritten love note, turn off your Blackberry or iPhone and go for a walk, book a flight to that vacation you probably don't have time for. Let life happen to you by doing more things that make you happy.  

Photo via here.

Mila Kunis Gets Personal in Glamour's August 2012 Issue

Mila Kunis did a fun photoshoot for the Glamour August 2012 Denim Issue which hits stands on July 10, along with a rather juicy interview about her dating life, her weight, and her political stance. She even hints that she does graffiti in LA! Here are a few highlights from the interview: 

On internet dating: One of my really good friends met her fiance on an OkCupid-style website. OkCupid’s really popular--all my girlfriends have joined. I love those sites. I go on and I pick the guys for my friends. I think it’s great. I’m really good at “About Me.” I feel like I could never write anything about myself, because that’s like a therapy session. But about your girlfriends? You just write what you love about your friends. If I didn’t do what I do, I would do Internet dating instead of going out to bars. In two seconds I would. It makes so much more sense.

On losing weight for her role in Black SwanThis is my normal body. It’s not 98 pounds. God, I’m probably 25 pounds heavier in muscle mass and weight at this point. What was crazy was, when I was shooting Black Swan, everyone was like, “Gosh, you’re really too skinny.” Then my weight started bouncing back and they’re like, “She looked better when she was anorexic-looking.” You can’t please anyone! It was just for work. I didn’t do it because I had issues. Now this is my normal weight that I started out with.

On if the tabloid rumors about her relationship with Ashton Kutcher (or any other celeb) is real: Ninety-nine percent of it is bulls--t. That is the biggest form of bullying ever, the paparazzi. Printing lies, making accusations, it’s just bullying.


Photo Credits: Glamour 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise Divorcing

After 5 years of marriage, it has been confirmed that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing. With all of the "Rock of Ages" jokes aside (obviously, many joked that Katie divorced Tom after seeing the film), both parties have released statements (as reported through People- who broke the story first) that they wish to keep the reasoning private. 

Image Credit: Vanity Fair

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Emma Stone Wears Chanel To "The Amazing Spider-Man" LA Premiere

LOS ANGELES 6/28- Emma Stone attended the premiere of her latest movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, this evening in Los Angeles.  She chose a lovely white (with a touch of floral) Chanel dress and paired it up with Christian Louboutin heels. We think she looks stunning and the look is very Summer-appropriate! The Amazing Spider-Man will premiere in theaters everywhere on Tuesday, July 3. 

Image Credit: Getty/Pop Sugar

Remembering Nora Ephron

by Sarah Davis

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be lady.  I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women."- Nora Ephron

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."- Nora Ephron

Writer-filmer Nora Ephron died at age 71 this past week of leukemia.  An iconic and legendary writer, she will be remembered as a top journalist (who wrote for Esquire and the New York Post), best selling author, and a female filmwriter who paved the road for female writers (and women in the film industry) with movies like When Harry Met Sally, Julie & Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail.  She was a writer who did it all, from magazine writing, to interviewing, to writing novels, to writing screenplays. Hilarious, honest, and sharp-witted, she will be remembered for her many writing pursuits, movies, and humorous take on the world. She will be remembered as inspiration for female writers everywhere (for me, in particular.)

Image Credit: New York Times

Spice Girls Reunite to Launch Viva Forever Musical in London

LONDON- The Spice Girls reunited for the first time on Tuesday (June 26) since they broke up in 2008 to launch "Viva Forever", a musical based on their music career. The girls informed the press that they hope to introduce girl power to the current generation with a musical that will contain many of their hit songs. 

The five women reunited at the Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London for a press conference and to take a few photos. Victoria Beckham, who has become a wildly famous celebrity since the band broke up, jetted home immediately afterward, reportedly not staying to "hang with the girls" to get home to baby Harper before she went to bed, proving that life is much different now from when they were a musical group. While the musical isn't exactly a "reunion" for group, is anyone else as curious as me to see what this musical will be like? (Confession: I was a MAJOR Spice Girls fan when I was a kid.) 

Image Credit: Getty Images

Jessica Simpson Tweets First Photo of Baby Maxwell

New mother, Jessica Simpson tweeted the first photo of Maxwell Drew Johnson on Tuesday via Twitter. The photo came with a caption, "Howdy friends", and showed off the pouty-faced baby that the world seemed to wait forever for to meet.  In other Jess Simpson news, the singer-turned-fashion designer or, eh, reality star, is hard at work losing her baby weight.  Why? Because Weight Watchers is paying her $4 million dollars to lose the weight. 

Photo Credit: @jessicasimpson 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Worry About the Mud of the World

by Sarah Davis

"Money is the reason we exist. Everyone knows it, it's a fact. Kiss kiss."- Lana Del Rey

I've been sitting down every night for the past few weeks trying to write something inspirational for all of you, but all that comes out of my head is the honest truth about life. It is true that life throws you "lemons" and these are often avoidable or easy to not get worked up about.  But, there are much bigger problems out there besides your lemons.  You can make lemonade, you can make lemon pie, you can do whatever.  There are things you will never, ever be able to change.  Or, make them look more appetizing.  

For instance, there is war.  There are miscarriages.  There are children who have done nothing except be born who are getting abused.  There are adults who fight every day to not carry around the scars of being abused as a child but they will always be there.  There are people out there starving.  No amount of manifesting, or yoga, or reading self-help blogs is going to change that.  (This is a question that I get a lot from people asking the classic question (which I've been getting in high frequently as of late), "Is self-help a bunch of bullshit?" I also get told, "God can't be real because there is SO much suffering out there." These are thoughts that haven't just plagued you, or are original to your head.  Every human being to walk the planet has wondered the same stuff.  I wonder about it every morning over oatmeal and coffee.)

I remember reading the Bible last year for the first time in depth, as an adult.  One of the parts that stuck out to me the most, because it resembled where I was at in life, was that of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He had everything he ever wanted (more girlfriends than Hugh Hefner, power, knowledge and money) but he was searching for meaning in his life. One of the reasons he didn't see any meaning was because of how idiotic humanity is for wanting to change the world.  Every generation is born, every generation dies, and every generation tries to change the world (but never does) or how everything we acquire in life, we leave behind when we die. He even goes on to say that there is no difference between a man and an animal because neither one can escape the fate of death. Keep in mind, he knew this at the time the Bible was being written.  We try to change all of the hurt in the world and we try to eliminate suffering (all of us) but it is never going away.  It's one of the backbones of the Earth.  I remember reading this and thinking, "Man, the Bible isn't all that inspirational!" It's a dark and gloomy book about finding hope in a bad, bad world. It's important to remember that this world is dark. People do bad things. It isn't really all that safe for us. 

When you put it into this perspective, however, you see how important God is. You can see how important self help and taking care of your soul is. If you aren't satisfied spiritually, you're going to become a slave to the faux-hardships of this world. It's as though we are designed with a hole in our heart.  A hole that we can either fill with a hope that can only be found in God or spend our whole lives trying to fill with crap that will leave you feeling empty  (like everything Solomon had: money, riches, even a love of other human beings.) 

With all of that being said, it's important to remember that we aren't going to end human suffering, as a whole, and we can never escape it.  It's there.  The only thing we can really work on is our own suffering and we can only do this by filling up the hole in our heart with the right choices.  We can choose happiness even though this world lies to us and tells us there is no hope because everything can look so shitty, because we know that God has a plan. When we choose to fill our minds with fear and a search for things like money or temporary highs, we aren't following our intuition (or our personal connection with God.) When you truly follow your intuition, you will never go wrong.  It's important to remember that your intuition often sounds silly, but you have to listen to it.  The Earth is really convincing.  Evil is really convincing.  Fear is really convincing.  You can easily become plagued with thoughts like, "I will be alone forever" or "We better live it up because tonight is all we have." These thoughts are false and are completely a product of secular fear, though, and the only thing they lead us to are bad choices. You can easily get tangled up in this world, but you can't.  It's a place that you are visiting.  You don't have a lot of control over what's happening in Egypt or what's happening in a ghetto, but you have 100% control of your integrity, the way you live, your own thoughts, and how you treat the people around you.  DO SOMETHING WITH THAT.  You will meet the people you can change along your little journey, so don't worry about "the world and its suffering" because you won't be able to help anyone if your head is tying itself into a thousand knots. 

Additionally, you can easily get caught up in the things we deem as positive here in the world: success, relationships, etc. Keep a mindful eye of the things that are really worth worrying, or stressing about, in life.
Image Credit: Pinterest

Friday, June 22, 2012

Artist Profile: Phil Seth of Forbidden Ink (Interview)

by Rose Davis
Recently I caught up with artist Phil Seth in his home studio in the South Side slopes- a studio with a perfect view of the Pittsburgh skyline. Phil has been on the scene for a while and has been making waves in the art world with his paintings and t-shirt line, Forbidden Ink. You've probably seen his work around or worn one of his t-shirts and not even known it.

Phil has an upcoming art show here in Pittsburgh about the city's tattoo culture. This new body of work depicts the artists who do tattoos and the lifestyle that goes along with it. With this concept in mind, Phil lined his room with empty frames and set out to fill each one. This new series is nothing short of amazing. These paintings are carefully rendered and the colors are so rich and melt together in a way that makes you want to reach out and touch them--but don't. You certainly do not want to miss this show at Artisan Gallery on July 6th. 

Rose Davis: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? 
Phil Seth: I'm from Zelienople, PA, North of Pittsburgh.  Currently living in Southside. 

RD: Your new show is titled “Only Skin Deep," what does the title mean to you? 
PS: Only Skin Deep is an exploration of creating art that is inspired by and a reflection of other art, in this case tattoos.   

RD: How do you prepare for a painting? Do you paint from life or take photographs or do you just unleash your imagination onto the canvas?
PS: The works usually begin with a photo shoot and a sort of in prompt to meeting, this is the most interesting part of the process where I get to talk with the models who are often tattoo artists themselves, see their studios or shops and let the painting references happen without planning.  The photos are then tweaked and manipulated how I see fit to generate a composition that I start to draw from. 

RD: How have you been influenced by the tattoo culture?
PS: I think Pittsburgh has a great tattoo community of talented artists, running thriving small businesses.  As an independent artist I have a lot of respect for the craft and have been hired to draw a handful of tattoos in my career.  Ironically have no tattoos, (this process has introduced me to some really talented artists so that’s going to change soon) but I think tattoo art has not only inspired my oil painting but also a lot of my freelance t-shirt design. 

RD: What's the weirdest place you have gotten inspiration from? 
PS: Recently in Budapest, I visited the House of Horror, which is a historical museum of two genocides.  During the tour there was a room full of 1920-40s propaganda, screen-printed posters, hand painted ads, all cool looking stuff despite their seriously negative connotations. 

RD: Did you study anywhere? Where did you learn your technique?
PS: I studied painting in Baltimore at Maryland Institute of College Arts then Design at Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  I Continue my studies in oil painting currently with the Conservatory of Oil Painting,(Academy of Southside) where I would say I get my pallet from. 

RD: You also have a clothing line, Forbidden Ink, how did this line come to be?
PS:Working as a T-shirt Designer for many years I always wanted to have my own ability to produce clothing myself, I slowly saved up money and from some small jobs I was able to get my own equipment.  So I still do custom jobs for clients but forbidden ink is my line.  The idea is that if something is off limits it makes you want it more. 

RD: Do you collaborate with other artists on for t-shirt designs? 
PS: This year Forbidden Ink Released our first artist series collaborating with artists of many mediums across the country and of course printed here in Pittsburgh.  It was an opportunity to widen the styles of line and promote the artists themselves. 

RD: Who or what would you say has been the greatest influence on your life and how have they influenced you as an artist? 
PS: That’s a tricky question, I think I’m good a absorbing inspiration from almost everything and everyone, the hardest part is remaining your own greatest influence. 

RD: Any other hobbies besides painting?
PS: I love painting and often paint in other styles than tradition oils like my current show. Also, photography has become one of my favorite hobbies and useful in work and art. I've been working on Costume Design for a certain time-traveling dj duo and building a motorized bicycle are two recent projects.

RD: Whats next?
PS: Friday the 13th Monster themed t-shirt party to follow up the painting show with a bang, featuring Forbidden Ink and many other local clothing artists.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Can't Find Love? Here's Why

by Marnie Nir of The Handel Group®

Are you one of the millions of Americans out there searching for love but can't find it? Are you frustrated and annoyed with the dating scene? Is your favorite line, "All the good ones are taken"? Most single people are unaware that their inability to find love has nothing to do with a dearth of potential partners, but with their inability to look at themselves.
You are the problem. Yes, you.
We often quote and blame statistics on why we don't have what we want instead of doing the real work toget what we want. If you wanted a great body, you would change your eating habits and workout, right? Complaining only burns so many calories. When it comes to love, people don't think there is any work to do. They think love should happen to them like it does in the movies. It doesn't. Living in a fantasy world when it comes to love will only keep you from finding it.
Have you ever noticed that you date the same kind of guy or girl? Are you having the same relationship over and over with different people? Have many of your relationships fallen apart for similar reasons? That's because you haven't looked at yourself and who you are in a relationship. You've been sitting on the sidelines complaining about your past and current dating failures without doing anything about it.
I had a client who theorized that men didn't find her attractive. But when we went through her dating history, we saw that she had dated asexual men and even a few men her friends thought might be gay. By dating asexual men, she got to stay doe-eyed and victimized.
It wasn't until my client examined her past that she saw she dated men she wasn't particularly attracted to and who were not attracted to her. Now she tells her story differently. She actually laughs at how she was the real culprit. She is not an anomaly -- it's what we all do. We all have theories that we are out to prove and that hold us back from true love.
It's time to question whom you pick and why. Take real action to find love:
  1. Dream
    Sit down and write up your dream relationship. Don't roll your eyes -- this is important. If you aren't willing to say what you want, how will you ever get it? Write it in the present tense. What is your partner like? What is your relationship like? How does it feel? Be specific and use details. When you can see your dream, it'll be easier to squash your inner chicken that has been trying to prove how difficult it is to find love.
  2. Purge
    After writing your dream, reread it and see where you've slipped in negative beliefs, such as, "My partner doesn't cheat" and "We don't doubt each other." Can you see that those beliefs are from past negative experiences? You are creating a new, positive relationship, so don't put any negative thoughts in your dream.Take each negative passage and put them aside in a separate paragraph .
    Now write out (purge) all of the reasons why you can't have that relationship you just beautifully described. Spew all of your excuses, all your "truths." Really go for it. Why can't you have love?
  3. Investigate
    When you're done with your purge, look at it. You are staring at all your dysfunctional theories on love. I bet you have many! Now take a look at your past relationships See if you can see any patterns. Do you date liars? Get bored by nice men or women? Have all your partners cheated on you? Do you date mean people or tolerate addicts? There are no accidents.
  4. Deal
    Once you've listed all of your theories on love, you'll be able to see that you haven't been fighting for your dream or working on yourself at all. Instead, you've busily been trying toprove these theories. Once you see your sneaky theories for what they are, you can start living true to your own ideals and find "the one" by being the one you'd want to date.
  5. Finding the One Is Possible
    Now that you know yourself and what you actually want, you can shift your thinking about love. Throw out all your old theories and write some new ones. See what happens. I bet you will be amazed at the next partner you attract. Hopefully, he or she won't be your usual "type" -- and for the first time, you'll know it's a good thing!

    About Marnie Nir:  Humor, compassion and candor are the driving forces in Marnie Nir's work as a Coach with The Handel Group®. She finally returned from Florida to her home state of New York, but has shuffled around, from New York to California and back again. Marnie’s professional and personal life has come full-circle as well. A student of Slavic Language and Literature at UCLA, Marnie graduated with a BA and an understanding of Russian Literature as “purification through suffering.” Years later, after several jobs in publicity and production, most notably for the Moscow Circus, she began to see that, at least in her own life, suffering was not mandatory. After marrying and giving birth to her first child, Marniestarted coaching with her sister, Lauren Zander, creating the dream of who she wanted to be as a mother. However, her work with Lauren took everything in her life to a much deeper level. More than a decade later, she is now the mother of two, a trained Coach in The Handel Method®, a freelance writer, a blogger for the Huffington Post, as well as her own blog, Sourmilf, and formerly a columnist for the Jupiter Post and Westport News. Most notably, she and her writing partner have penned a television show which has producers on board, that’s currently being pitched.
    As with every area of her life, Marnie’s coaching is characterized by joyful honesty and courageous commitment. She brings lightness and levity to her work with her clients. “I have zero problem telling on myself. I use my inner jerk to point out theirs.” Consequently she is continually inspired by the difference that telling the truth offers to her clients. For Marnie, it’s about building the muscle of personal integrity, where what comes out of your mouth is so. “In this way, you can really go from ‘I will go to the gym,’ to ‘I will win an Emmy.’”
    Having been married for more than 18 years, Marnie particularly enjoys working with wives, mothers and singles, because she is well-acquainted with the challenges they face and speaks b*#ch, martyr and chicken fluently. Marnie offers her clients the tools they need to author the lives they want, with wit, sincerity and her occasional truck-driver mouth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ashley Tisdale Joining "Sons of Anarchy" Cast

Former Disney star Ashley Tisdale is reportedly joining the cast of Sons of Anarchy as a "high-priced desirable escort" (yep, you read right) named Emma Jean for the show's fifth season. Her racy character is going to create complications (for a two-episode appearance) for the infamous bike club. Do you think Ashley (who is now 26 years old) will be able to depart from her days of being a child star when so many of her peers aren't having such an easy time doing so (see: Miley Cyrus)? The fifth season of Sons of Anarchy will premier on FX in September 2012. 

Healthy Living Spotlight: Navitas Naturals Superfood Powders

by Sarah & Rose
We mentioned in a blog last week about vitamins (find it here) that it is incredibly important to get enough nutrients in your body.  Lately, I have been OBSESSED with adding superfood powders from Navitas Naturals to the smoothies I make because they are amazing.  You can find these at Whole Foods and they aren't too expensive, as far as smoothie supplement powders are concerned (they are usually about $7-20).  If you invest in a bag, it will last you a while.  What I also love about these is that while I use them primarily for smoothies, you can do anything with them, even bake brownies!  Their website has many delish recipes to explore, as well, so if you don't know what to do with your supplements, you aren't left hanging.  They have your back.  

Additionally, they make Cacao Goji Super Food Power Snacks, which my sister and I each got a bag and fell in love with. They taste amazing and you don't feel guilty about eating something sweet because you know you're putting good things into your body that are going to fuel you, not weigh you down. After trying them once, I keep them in my bag at all times now for those moments in the day when you're starving, but really don't have the time to get food. These power snacks are full of nutrients and they taste really good.  

TIP: My favorite combination of their products to put in a smoothie is to blend coconut water, frozen fruit, a Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Packet (you can find it in the freezer section of Whole Foods in packs of 4) Then add a Tablespoon of Maca Powder, Chia seeds, and Cacao Powder. I also LOVE to add a scoop of Green Vibrance powder (which is a completely different brand than Navitas Naturals) to this smoothie. You can find Green Vibrance at Whole Foods in the vitamin aisle. Another thing that I like to do in the morning is sprinkle Chia seeds onto oatmeal.  The only real difference is that your oatmeal becomes a little more crunchy.  Chia seeds are great to eat before working out because they are known to give your body a lot of added energy. 

If you love Navitas Naturals powders, comment below and tell us how you use them! There are SO many ways to use these products, that it's always nice to hear how someone else uses them.  You can visit their website for recipes that other people have submitted, as well! Cheers to good health! 

Also, read a blog that we put together in January about how to make the perfect smoothie (find it here)!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Emma Stone Covers Vogue July 2012

Emma Stone looks gorgeous on the July cover of Vogue. Many faces have graced the cover of Vogue over the years, but Emma Stone truly looks stunning and proves that she isn't afraid of fashion. To top it off, she's hilarious. This is Emma's first time to cover the iconic fashion magazine and she was photographed by Mario Testino. Emma is currently promoting her latest film, The Amazing Spider-Man, which will hit theaters on July 3. 

Image Credits: Vogue, Mario Testino

6 Things To Avoid Doing On Facebook

by Sarah

1. Post photos of actual wounds or fresh-out-of-the-birth-canal babies.  I know it's big news to you that you're bleeding or have a deep wound, but some people on Facebook don't like to see blood when they're trying to make their work day go faster.  Babies are a wonderful gift and you'll probably feel a high (like, an "I can do anything because I've pushed this kid out!"type of high), but clean up your kid, stick him in a fun wicker basket and take a photo there.  Again, some people don't like to be in your delivery room with you, even if it's only via photographs. Umbilical cords or a mobile upload of the knife your doc used to do a C-section are creepy for everyone to see and it's nice to be respectful of other people. 

What to do instead: Keep it light! You can update anything you want (in words) but be cautious with the photos. 

2. Post about how much you hate your job (especially on company time).  Employers and informant "rat" co-workers do check your Facebook page, FYI. In fact, they LOVE it. Keep in mind that Facebook pages CAN be printed out. If you have terrible things to say, everyone knows the best place to do it is on Twitter. Venting about how much you hate your job might make you feel a little better for a moment, but it isn't good for your image. Plus, you can actually get fired if the time of your vicious status update matches a time you were supposed to be working on a project at work. 

What to do instead: Look for a job you will like online! No worries, you're just on the wrong website. Try a website with current job listings in your area or a city you'd like to move to.  Just know that there is a job out there for you that you won't want to trash on Facebook because you will love it so much. Complaining won't get you to it, though. 

3. Talk about your financial issues.  It is just as taboo to hop onto Facebook and talk about your trust fund as it is to vent about why you just don't qualify for Unemployment.  Hello, this is personal information? Why don't you just post your social security number so we can get a better idea of what you're going through?

What to do instead: Chat with people who can actually help (like the bank or the people at Unemployment.)  They can give you real advice and it won't be public knowledge.  

4. Trash your ex.  Nothing says, "I'm a sore loser" more than logging into your Facebook account and saying beyond horrible things about your ex.  Even worse, nothing says "I'm truly insane" like tagging your ex in a crazy rant about what they did wrong in your relationship.  C'mon, get it together! There has to be a bar full of day drinkers who actually want to listen to your pathetic cry-baby reasoning somewhere close by.  All that this proves to your Facebook friends is that you would 100% do this to them if by some chance, they ever dated you in the future. Exposing your ex on a social networking site only shows your character, not their character flaws, because since you're already acting irrationally, people will assume you could be making rumors up.  You've already jumped aboard the boat of insanity, you're capable of anything at this point.

What to do instead: Be the better person and move on.  Take some time to meditate before saying things you will regret.  Additionally, if you have something really pressing to say to your ex, it might be a good idea to get coffee with them or call them up.  They definitely won't listen to you if they've been tagged in a post that explains why you are heart broken over them.  Destiny's Child said it best here, folks: "You know I'm not gonna diss you on the internet, because my mama taught me better than that!"

5. Post seductive (or photos of your duck-face that you think are seductive) on Facebook.  Seriously, everyone's over it.  The only people who aren't are trolling dudes. On an additional note: do not post nude photos of yourself.  This may seem like a no-brainer for 99% of you, but some girls are still doing it, thinking that Hugh Hefner might see, invite them to come live at his house, and they will be the next Kendra. 

What to do instead: Just don't this at all.  

6. Posting a sad status update about how ugly or fat you feel today, just so someone will comment and say, "You're gorgeous, why are you writing this?!" Another FYI: Prince Charming isn't going to say anything about how gorgeous you are, but all of the trolling dudes will (if they are oblivious to what you're up to.)

What to do instead: Um, you know you're beautiful. Go to the gym and get fit or make a healthy salad.  Find your center.  Locate your self-worth.  Choose to not beat yourself up (especially where everyone can read it) and do something that will make you feel beautiful again.  Don't rely on men to tell you how beautiful you are.  You need to know that already before meeting your match, or you'll be left crying on a curb, because no one can be there for you 24/7 with affirmations except yourself.  

Photo Credit: You can find this image on Pinterest here.  Original location unknown.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Urban Active Fitness Presents: "It's All in the Labels"

by Josh Bowen of Urban Active Fitness
couple of years ago it became crystal clear to me. A concept that I had taken for granted for so many years as a trainer. It was not until I sat down at my parents' dinner table, with the intention to discuss nutritional habits and my mother (who has been a nurse for 45 years) drops a bomb on me. “I have no idea what the labels that are on the back of foods, no clue what it means.” WHAT! “You don’t know how to read a food label?” “You are a nurse!” Now before all the nurses out there decide to bomb my house, I am in no way saying that nurses lack knowledge in any way. What I am saying is, in general, most people do not know how to read food labels. Thus, not understanding what and how much of the foods we are eating. This is a big problem. But, this is a problem I intend to solve with today’s entry! Yes, JB to the rescue!
OK. Let’s start simple. Take a look at the food label above. We will start at the top;  Serving size. This generally references how many servings are contained and what the size of each serving is. This is where some people go wrong because they will see the total calorie amount and tend to overeat because they consume too many servings. Regardless of what the food is, keep mindful of how much of it you are eating by keeping track of the serving size.
Got it? Good! Now lets look at the calories per serving. So regardless of the serving size this will tell you how many calories per each serving. So if something is 100 calories per serving and you eat 2 servings, thats 200 calories (and yes I am a University of Kentucky graduate!) To the right you will see calories from fat. To attain this number you take the total number of fat grams and multiply it by 9 (fat is 9 calories per gram). Now be careful here, fat is not the enemy. These food labels give you the impression that fat is the enemy, it is not. Avocados will have a lot of fat calories but they are good for you!
Now lets take a look a little lower. Fat is the red headed step child of the 3 macronutrients but I digress. The top line will show you the total fat grams and then its broken down into Saturated fat, Unsaturated Fat and Trans Fat. In some foods you will see unsaturated fat broken down into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Each will have the total number of grams and a percentage. That percentage is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. This may or may not apply to you. If you are eating less calories, the percentage would be less and vice versa.
Going on down the list you will see sodium, potassium and cholesterol. As I have said in past blogs, choosing foods with more potassium than sodium is always a great idea. This will help with the reduction of water retention.
Now onto carbohydrates. Pay close attention to this one because it can get confusing. Underneath carbohydrates is Dietary Fiber and Sugar. Dietary fiber blunts the effects of insulin so you want a decent amount of fiber in your foods. From time to time you will see the phrase “net carbs” this refers to taking the total amount of sugar and subtracting the total amount of fiber from it. Hence the term “net carbs.” Pay attention to something interesting, on every nutrient you will see a % daily value compared to a 2000 calorie diet, with the exception of sugar. There is no recommended daily consumption of sugar. This is because we shouldn’t be eating SUGAR!!!!
The last nutrient is protein. Again, the same drill for fat and carbs, total number of grams. As a review, fat is 9 calories per gram, protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram respectively.
Most foods will list Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. The percentages are based upon RDI (recommended daily intake) for these nutrients. The percentages are per serving how much of these nutrients you are getting based upon a 2000 calorie diet.
This is vital skill to learn and will keep you out of a calorie surplus because you understand how much per serving. Keep all of these in mind when you are choosing a food. Use these tips to help you decide on a food:
 1. Pick foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
2. Pick foods that a nutrient dense and high in calcium.
3. Pick foods that have more potassium than sodium.
4. Typically, foods that do not have a food label (fresh vegetables and fruits) are better for you!
Easy enough, huh? Next time I want to discuss ingredients and how this can tell you whether you should eat this food or not! A very helpful skill that can come into play and help you continue your fitness lifestyle. Nutrition is 80% of the equation, concentrate on it and your body will change!

Josh Bowen will be joining Style & Wisdom every Monday for the next few weeks for a series of blog posts about obtaining maximum fitness results.  Josh Bowen has been the Quality Control Director of Personal Training at Urban Active Fitness since 2007 and has trained and directed 400 trainers in 7 states.  Josh has certified trainers, proctored hundreds of seminars and conference calls, and contributed to ten published articles about fitness.  His mission is to spread the word of fitness to as many people as he can through personal training with a motto of "train, motivate, and inspire!" For more useful tips from Josh Bowen, you can find daily posts from him on Urban Active's blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chatting With NYC Womenswear Designer, Mara Hoffman

Mara Hoffman has to be one of the coolest fashion designers on the scene. Well known for her prints, particularly the use of tribal prints in her designs, the Manhattan-based designer began her line in 2000 and has grown into not only a household name, but a household favorite. While she offers complete womenswear collections, she is the queen of swimsuits. They are all simply amazing. If I could, I would buy every piece she has ever designed.  Perhaps after a few of my books get published, I'll do it! I recently was able to catch up with Mara Hoffman and she spilled on what's currently in her purse, what her runway shows are like backstage, and where she loves to eat in NYC.  Enjoy! 

Sarah Davis: Your work is often described as mystical.  What is the meaning behind some of your references to third eyes, Mayan references, etc. in your work? 
Mara Hoffman: I love mystical, cosmic, esoteric subjects, and symbolism. The all seeing eyes are for protection and vision. Who doesn’t need a little more of both??

SD: We're obsessed with your swimsuits here at Style & Wisdom, but you've recently said your line is so much more than that. Can you explain that a little and how it will factor into your future endeavors? 
MH: Well, I was a RTW line before a swim line so the swim has roots in RTW. Also, I look forward to  expanding the entire vision and really turning the brand into a lifestyle brand including homeware and even a kid’s line!

SD: Who or what has been your biggest fashion inspiration? 
MH: I’d say travel, and the exploration of indigenous people.

SD: What is a typical runway show like for you? Calm, chaotic, right in the middle? What is one secret that goes on backstage at a Fashion Week Runway show that no one would ever guess goes on? 
MH: I try to keep it as calm as possible backstage. Basically, if it’s not done by the time you’re there it’s not going to get done. It’s also about a really solid team…

SD: You are a crazy successful designer and you're a mother, how do you balance it all?  
MH: It can be tough. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is truly my partner and the best father ever.  I try to create balance but it can be hard. I feel like a mother to 2 separate families: my actual son and my business.  I am passionate about both so it inspires me to keep going.

SD: Favorite spot in New York City to grab a bite? 
MH: I love Souen.

SD: What is a trend right now in fashion that you love? Something you hate? 
MH: I love wacky prints. I’m not really a hater.

SD: Tell us a little bit about your upcoming Resort Collection. What can we expect from it? 
MH: A casual cool mini collection with a tropical twist!

SD: What is your personal style? 
MH: Super duper casual with some MH touches…

SD: What type of woman do you design for? 
MH: I like to think that I design for a wide range of women.  We try to include pieces for the daring sexier ladies as well as a bit more conservative. The common thread though would be that she has a love of color and really enjoys dressing. The pieces are meant to be mini celebrations that you can wear!

SD: Can you give some tips to the young female entrepreneur or fashion student who hopes to be at the level of success you are at right now some day? 
MH: It’s about learning how to focus and surrender and knowing when to apply both. Devote your self full-heartedly to the thing that you love and your vision and stay POSITIVE.

SD: Celebrity crush? 

SD: What's in your purse right now?
MH: A big mess. Hairclips, baby binkies, receipts, almonds, cell phone charger, etc etc..

SD: Finally, your own personal words of wisdom (in life, love, or success)? 
MH: Today’s thoughts equal tomorrow’s reality. Be a magician and manifest a beautiful life. It’s ours for the taking.

Image Credits: LoveLaceLuxe
Special thanks to People's Revolution.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Healthy Living Spotlight: Pure Matters All-Natural Vitamins

by Sarah

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: Pure Matters is offering Style & Wisdom readers the Women's Stress Multi-Vitamin (90 count -30 day size bottle) for only $9.95 (which is 60% off).  You will also receive 30% off of the entire Pure Matters site.  This offer is good through 7/15! Click here to place your order.

Taking vitamins is an important part of healthy living.  I've always been told that even if you think you're eating enough vitamins in your food, you should at least be taking a multi-vitamin.  In other words, a multi-vitamin should be the bare minimum of your vitamin regime.  I think it's important to shine light on the importance of vitamins for girls like me: the working girl who doesn't always have time for balanced meal.  It's really easy to subsitute a good breakfast with just a cup of coffee from Starbucks or skip a meal to shed a few pounds so you look good in a cocktail dress, but what you're losing out on when you skip meals is nutrients.  That's why I love taking vitamins and drinking smoothies that are packed with nutrition and why I LOVE to blog about these things; because I didn't always have these in my diet and I feel better, work harder, and think more positively when I make time for them.  

I recently have been taking Pure Matters vitamins and I have to rave about them.  They are completely organic and chemical free, which I think is of vital importance when choosing anything to put in your body.  I've been taking the Women's Stress Multi-Vitamin for a few weeks now and with a healthy diet and challenging myself at the gym, I have more energy and my skin looks healthier.  I really like this multi-vitamin, additionally, because it isn't a really large pill, which might sound silly, but a lot of vitamins on the market resemble horse pills. They seem abnormally large and smell awful.  They make taking vitamins seem like a dreadful chore, whereas I actually enjoy taking Pure Matters vitamins (because it's stress-free and I feel like I'm putting something into my body that is going to really help me live a healthier life.)

Another thing that I love about this company is that after you order your vitamins online, they come in a fun box, that reminds me of an Easter basket (with blue "grass" as their packing material). You really get the impression that someone hand-packed your box of vitamins and they did it to make you feel special (which is really nice because sometimes I order things online and my box arrives looking like a football team used it as a make-shift football during a game.) They also keep track of when you purchased your vitamins and then send you reminders via email to order a few weeks ahead of the time you will run out, so that you never have to miss a few days of taking your vitamins because you didn't order in time.  

For more information on Pure Matters or to place an order, visit  (They also have a GREAT allergy formula that is a healthy alternative to common allergy medicines that I highly suggest during allergy season.) 
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