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In honor of bikini season…

April 28th, 2014 No Comments

Korakia Pensione Palm Springs

Well, here’s where I am for the next five days….

Not the kind of place that motivates me to workout…But who would complain about working at Korakia in Palm Springs? Certainly not me. I’m here with my client The Palm Springs Photo Festival to connect their community online.  Considering the photographers leading the workshops, I’m honored to be amongst such talented people.

While I’m away from SOULCYCLE for 5 days, the least I can do is keep the two most important parts of my body strong.  Abs and ass obviously!!

In class, I’ve been telling riders “working for a tight ass is sometimes all the soul you need.”  It sounds shallow, but let’s be honest, a tight backside makes you feel sexier.

Tomorrow I’m hitting these two videos hard.  Will you be joining me??

 

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It’s worth the effort to get a good deal on a new car

February 6th, 2014 No Comments

Mercedes Benz CLA 2014 Mary Rambin

 

I’m sure it’s not a shock for you to read I’m a little snobby about my cars.  I like something that drives well and feels luxurious inside.  As far as brands go, I have no loyalty there.  I started with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, then hit BMW, Lexus, Audi, and now Mercedes.  At the time of purchase or lease contract signing, I loved them all. And I had to go through hell and high water to get them all.  But you know what…it was worth it!

I’m not going to bore you with how I secured each car.  What I will share is what I’ve learned:

1.  Call in the favor.

You know people in the car industry and they know a lot more than you do.  Figure out EXACTLY what car you want and then call in a favor to get it for a steal.  Be respectful and know exactly what you want before you make the call.

Other people who are helpful: loyalists.  If you have a friend who consistently buys the brand you want, take them with you to the dealership.  The salesman values that persona and you will get better treatment.

2.  Use a broker.

For three of my cars, I’ve used a broker to get the best deal possible and even  get rid of a lease.  On this Mercedes, Fadi was able to get $9200 off the MSRP and the monthly payment I was looking for (cheap!).  Plus, he delivered the car to my house!  On my Lexus, I had to give it up when I moved to NYC.  My broker convinced the dealership to take it back without any penalty.

3.  Figure out what you can live without.

I’m a “fully loaded” girl, but I’ve always had to make compromises.  On this Mercedes, I have a huge sunroof, but no back-up camera, a feature I loved on my Audi.

4.  Ask about custom orders.

Often dealers are waiting on custom ordered cars then their buyer declines it.  It has been my experience these cars are loaded, yet the dealers want to move the cars ASAP.  So ask if anything is on its way.

Mary Rambin Audi 2011

CASE AND POINT: STORY OF MY AUDI

Many of you continue to ask about how I ended up with my Audi.  I had no idea you were so interested!

Long story short: Through a broker, I leased a basic A4 because it was less expensive than the Lexus I wanted and was a popular car amongst consumers.  My car turned out to be lemon.  I turned it into the Audi in Houston where my long-time friend is the GM. He had a fully loaded custom order A4 Quatro that a customer didn’t want.  He made a sweet deal and I leased the bigger and better car.

One last point I need to make: if you’re going to get an Audi, don’t get the base models.  It’s a big boy car and you need a bigger budget to really be able to appreciate an Audi.

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Is that what I think it is?

February 4th, 2014 No Comments

Chanel sneakers

Yep, that is a Chanel “running” shoe. Or, as some of you call them ,sneakers.  Whether or not you can actually use it for jogging is unclear (I don’t think anyone has even asked the question or cares).  What we do know is that they caused more of scene than exposed nipples when they hit the runway…paired with suits an gowns.  Ummmm….what?!

Chanel sneakers black

If you’re a New Yorker and walk to work, the suit-sneaker combo isn’t uncommon for you.  It’s the only comfortable way to hustle around the island.  But no one needs expensive sneakers.  So it’s not that we need them, it’s that we want the little luxury.  Nike has done a good job supporting our feet with cute, functional activewear and our wallet with a more affordable price.  Now Chanel is upping the anti, just like they did with suits and bags.

The bottom line for me: if I’m buying Chanel, my money certainly isn’t going to sneakers.

Chanel high tops black

I suppose Chanel just wanted a foot in the crazy kicks game.  Although Lagerfeld has been quoted saying, “I don’t do sneakers.”  You know who does though?  Los Angeles.  I’ll see these all over the streets…and, honestly, I’ll stop for a moment of envy and then get on with my latte.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Summer collection:

Chanel sneakers 2014 summer

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It’s worse than the capri comeback. Uglier than Uggs…

October 1st, 2013 No Comments

That’s right.  Birkenstocks are back!

I saw one pair in NYC and then the trend spread like the plague in front of my eyes.  And I hate hate hate to admit it, but they look really cute paired with a feminine outfit.

Honestly, I don’t think I had a pair when they were popular the first time around.  Besides Uggs, there can’t be a more unflattering shoe for someone with a sasquatch-sized foot like mine.  Sigh.

 

Celebs seem to favor the Gizeh, the more feminine t-strap style.

INamed after the second largest city in Crete, the Chania style looks a little more edge.

Click here to browse their selection.  Prices start at $130.

I’ll let you know when I jump on the bandwagon.  My shoes or choice right now are Valentino flats, croc sandals, and these Phillip Morel gold sneakers.  Nothing fancy; no wedge or spikes.  They just make me smile.

Gold sneakers mary rambin

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Inspiration for your Christmas decor

November 28th, 2012 No Comments

A former client, Regina Gust, is a “seasonal” interior designer.  She is flown all over the country to decorate people’s homes for the holidays. (I can’t disclose how much she gets paid to do so, just know it might make you a little queasy.)

I have her blogging her arrangements and tips on tumblr so you can grab her concepts to use in your own home.  Knowing Regina she’d love to bust into your house and help you, but as you can see, she’s a busy girl.

Follow her on tumblr@Regina_Gust, and on Facebook.

A few tips I’ve picked up thus far:

 You don’t need a pop of color if you don’t want one. Let the green pine shine through.

A blue tint amongst warm colors is refreshing.

If you opt for a traditional palette, use lime green accents to give your arrangements some life.

Purple should not be discounted.  It’s just as festive as red! (I’m glad a professional agrees with me on that one.)

Black and white combos were very trendy at the holiday market this year.  I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

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REAL deals on your favorite designers

November 27th, 2012 No Comments

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Moving to Atlanta gave me another opportunity to clean out my closet! I found a load of designer pieces I was ready to part with.  Some were worn in, most looked like new, and a handful had never been worn (ugh).  What should I do with this stuff?  My first move was to give the cashmere and big brand pieces to friends. I like finding my clothes good fashionista homes :) Then I posted a lot of stuff on Threadflip (get invite here and shop my closet here), the new DIY resale site based in San Fran.  Great concept, big brands, reputable fashion bloggers, beautiful execution, and flawless functionality.  My shoes were the hot ticket item on that platform, but the clothes didn’t sell.  My next move was to go to a local consignment store, but the very day I was on my way over I saw an ad for TheRealReal  in Atlantan magazine. I know, the name is a little weird, but their concept is awesome. They claimed high end designer resale of flawless items, 70% of the selling price to the consigner, in-house pick up with their white glove service, and they will do all of the photography and shipping.  SOLD!

Today, Nicole came over and checked out my stuff with a very critical eye.  The biggest thing she was hunting for was not flaws, but brands.  Online shoppers want the label.  I totally get that.  So unfortunatley she didn’t take it all (honestly, I wouldn’t have either), but she did take a good chunk.  The rest I’m now taking over to the resale store and we’ll see what happens.

Check out TheRealReal to shop for yourself and even gifts, seriously.  I can now attest it’s a legit source for quality designer clothes at a steal price.  If you want to consign, contact Nicole directly at nicole.fornaro@therealreal.com (If you do consign with them, tell them I sent you!)

 

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Have you thought about it this way??

October 29th, 2012 4 Comments

 

“If it’s this bad now, imagine how bad it will be in 5, 10 years?” 

He is referring to flexibility, but IT could be anything.

This weekend I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Tony and take one of his yoga classes.  It was basic, but any yogi knows that holding poses is physically and mentally challenging. Tony claims that yoga and flexibility is the key to his fitness.  Admittedly I haven’t taken yoga in a while, but thankfully my range of motion is still pretty good.  At one point he came over to me and said, “hey, Gumbie’s sister, can you try to make this look hard?!”  I guess I was successful in keeping my cool as my legs were DYING!

After class, I went up to him to grab this pic (As you can see, Tony is just as ripped in person as he is in the videos.  It’s pretty amazing actually!) and told him that his program has changed the lives of several close friends.  With his program of muscle confusion and regimented nutrition, they shed 30/40/50 pounds and continued the lifestyle after the 90 days.  I believe it’s his different attitude towards fitness that keeps people motivated.  He doesn’t try to scare people into gaining strength, he encourages you to just get moving and then push yourself.  And he never raises his voice.  (I kinda wish that he would, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be his nature.)

P90X DVDs have always been my go-to for travel exercises when I know I won’t be near a gym. No matter which one I chose, they’re always a welcome change from my usual workout routine. As the cold weather comes down upon us (or a super storm for that matter), you should consider buying the DVDs to use at home.  You can find used sets on Amazon for as low as $80, which is much cheaper than a trainer or gym membership.  P90X 2 is supposed to be more intense, so I look forward to trying it!

Many thanks Tony!

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Goodbye TripAdvisor random reviews, Hello Gogobot friend recommendations

October 26th, 2012 1 Comment

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It took less than a minute for me to be wildly facinated with Gogobot, a travel website that will make our travel planning SOOO much easier. Apparently it’s been around for 2 years and has now matured into a fully-stocked resource.

Last night I got a hand-held tour through the app by founder and CEO Travis Katz. As he explained the features, I was mezmerized as the functionality seem to good to be true. I am going to try to fully explain the facets of Gogobot as Travis did for me, but you’ll need to play with the site or app to really appreciate it.

Gogobot is a travel website that provides trustworthy travel guides and reviews. How do we know they are legit? Because they are written by your friends! Gogobot aggregates all of your friends’ posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Four Square so when they take a photo and tag it/check in at destination, restaurant, or activity, it will feed into your Gogobot so you can easily access them. This way, you don’t have to rely on random accounts from people you don’t know and certainly have no reason to trust. They can also easily create city guides to share with anyone (this is going to make my life so much easier!) Travis recently partnered with Travel + Leisure for hotel reviews and I’m sure other publications will follow. To me, GoGobot seems like a great platform for NYTimes 36 hours guides and Luxe guide walking tours. (Fingers crossed.)

I hope Travis will chime in below and complete this overview with the details I unfortunately have forgotten.

In the meantime, sign up and start planning your next vacation, or even night out on the town. You don’t have to go anywhere to reap the benefits of Gogobot.

**Sorry the picture is blurry. Blogging on my ipad. Promise to change it ASAP.

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