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Cleaning tips for tricky containers

June 18th, 2014 No Comments

 

BOTTLES + VASES w/small openings:  To clean them, fill with water and drop in a tab of denture cleaner.  Let it sit overnight.  Shake water and rinse.  To dry, roll up  a paper towel and stick it in 3/4 of the way down.  The towel will collect the moisture.

DECANTER: Simply rinse with warm soapy water and then use above paper towel trick.

VOTIVES: When a votive has burned out in its holder, put the holder in the freezer.  The wax should shrink and you can pull it out easily.

GRINDER: Send a hard piece of white bread through to collect and push out old spices.

CAST IRON SKILLET: Soap is a no-no, so use coarse sea salt and a soft sponge to scrub out remaining food and preserve its seasoning.

REGULAR PANS: If you need to remove burned food, fill it with soapy water and add a dryer sheet.  Let it sit overnight then wipe it away easily the next morning.

LABELS: If you want to reuse a jar with a label, let it soak in a warm soap water then use the backside of a knife to easily scrape away the label and glue.

COPPER: All you need is lemon and coarse salt.  Cut the lemon in half, apply salt, scrub away.

(Tips gathered from life experience and the domestic goddess herself, Martha Stewart. All images link back to source.)

 

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Never wear an iPhone arm band again!

June 17th, 2014 2 Comments

I can’t stand wearing those iPhone armbands when I go for a run or workout in the gym.  Reluctantly, I slide my phone into the waistband of my pants or the strap of my bra.  No, I don’t care how weird it looks.  This solution is much more comfortable than those arm bands.

Thankfully there is a new solution on the market: The FlipBelt.

 

GENIUS in my opinion:

  • FUNCTIONAL: holds all of my stuff w/access for my earbuds to come out.
  • FITS TIGHT: spandex lycra blended belt sizes range from XS – XL
  • FASHIONABLE: comes in 10 colors and looks like part of your workout pants
  • AFFORDABLE: $29

Buy one online here.

Here’s a video intro.  A little lo-pro, but they have to start somewhere!

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Content and confused. That’s just won’t fly.

June 4th, 2014 1 Comment

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Two things happened yesterday:

  1. A longtime reader recognized Mason and I in Toluca Lake.
  2. Leven and I caught up on her return to NYC after settling in with the love of her life.

Seemingly, these two occurrences have nothing in common.  For me, after only a couple minutes of reflection, they were like headlights pointing straight into my soul.

Barbara, the reader, said she has been a fan of MTM for a long time and makes my recipes often (the granola protein bars specifically).  I apologized for not blogging as much lately to which she acknowledged my absence.  My heart sank at that moment…It’s a funny thing about a blog, sometimes you feel like you’re sharing experiences with everybody and other times you feel like you’re typing a journal for yourself.  These days I have to be honest, I don’t feel like I have a lot of exciting things to write about…And maybe that’s the point: why don’t I find my life exciting?  Thankfully, I can answer this question: I miss traveling and exploring new places.  However, I’m grateful for the beautiful life I do have at home and should find joy and satisfaction in sharing my simplicities.

Leven, has all of a sudden moved back to New York to be with the love of her life, Jim, an actor.  In your 20′s, life is about living on a whim and I couldn’t be happier she can do that.  When she spoke about Jim, she glowed and giggled but also showed her serious side.  When she articulates her concerns, she’s passionate and decisive in a very mature and practical way.  That’s how I know she’s truly in love with him.  And from what I can tell by his Facebook page, the feeling is mutual.  My heart sank for the second time.

I feel like these encounters should light a fire in my heart not extinguish any flame that was there.

Opportunities for “more” exist on every front in my life.  There are so many I think I’m confused about what to grab??  I wouldn’t say I feel defeated, I would say I feel like I don’t know exactly what is going to make me “happy.”

So that’s where I am….neither here nor there.  Content and confused.  Trying to figure it all out…..and when I look back and reflect on my behavior and choices, I see that I’m not saying “yes” or “no.”  Instead I’m just working in the moment.  For a type A, strong-willed, passionate woman, that just won’t fly.

 

 

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This year’s swimsuit can be a safe and even sexy place to hide.

June 3rd, 2014 No Comments

Celebrities in one piece bathing suits

I wore a shirt today in my SoulCycle class that said, “I eat cake for breakfast.”  If I took that shirt off, by the looks of my tummy at the moment, you would believe that’s true!

Thankfully, me and my love handles can hide out his summer in a one-piece.  It only took 3 years of celebs strutting around in them to overturn the soccer-mom stigma and resurface as a suitable. Bad pun interned. (Quick side note: I applaud moms for dressing on the conservative side around children.)

Since one-pieces are now trendy, I figured it would be easy to find a few sexy styles.  Such is not the case!  My favorite retailers either only have a couple cutes ones to choose from, a big selection of “slimming” and full coverage styles, or the side cut-outs.

Can we talk about this for a second?  What is the point of a one piece suit without any sides?  If you’re going for exposure, why not wear a bikini and save yourself the ridiculous tan lines?

Enough of that.  Here are the one pieces I found online.  My suggestion would be to go shop the mall if you want a big selection.

One pièce bandeau bathing suit by Vix

Vix $194

Minkoh one piece bathing suit

Minkoh on Shop Intermix $205

Marc by Marc Jacobs one piece bathing suit

Marc by Marc Jacobs $160 – Sold Out on ShopBop

In White on Bloomingdales ON SALE $96

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Flatten your tummy by tightening it from the inside out

June 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Abs with a yoga block

I like to think of this has my bikini season crunch because it will pull back your pull back your abdominal wall quicker than we can say, “I don’t eat carbs.”  And let’s be serious, we don’t really mean that! As a bonus, you’ll also strengthen those pesky inner thigh muscles.

The crunch is pretty technical, so pay attention.  It won’t work unless you meticulously perform it properly every time.

The Setup:

  1. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Flex your feet and push towards the ceiling with the balls of your feet, not your heels.
  4. If this is too challenging, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Take a yoga block or rolled up towel and place it between your upper thighs.
  6. Squeeze.  Hard!

The set up is challenging on it’s own.  So if your core is weak, start off by seeing how long you can hold this position.

Adding Movement:

  1. Continue to squeeze the block; don’t let up on it as you move.
  2. Inhale deeply as you lift you tailbone off the ground barely an inch.
  3. Pull your elbows in around your face.
  4. Exhale using your core to push the air out as you raise your shoulder blades as far as you can off the ground.
  5. Hold at the top until you have exhaled all of the air and contracted your abs completely.
  6. Lower down to your starting position and repeat 15 times.

The key points to remember: squeeze the block, lift your shoulders up all the way, and pull your navel in as far as it will go.

Now that you’ve started to pull in your waistline from the inside, get to work on the outside.  Replace complex carbs like bread with fibrous fruits and veggies.  That is, IF you want your bathing suit body.  (If I’m being honest, most days, I don’t really care :))

(I found this exercise in class at Cura Yoga that has two studios in Houston that have tons of great power yoga classes!)

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How to revive sweaty lettuce

May 29th, 2014 No Comments

Mixed baby lettuces from the farmers’ market make my MY FAVORITE salad.No matter if I grab just arugula or an herbal blend, the flavor in each leaf is so prominent I feel like my salad is a treat instead of torture.  Even if it’s just the lettuce in the bowl.

Now with the summer heat settling in, my problem is getting the lettuce home without it sweating in the bag.  Thankfully the farmer I buy it from had a great solution!

  1. Buy your lettuce last
  2. Hold the bag by the corners and swing it around away from you so it puffs up like a ballon. Tie it off.  This way the lettuce won’t get smushed by heavy veggies.  (I also place it on top of everything else.)
  3. When you get home, open the bag and wipe out any condensation with a paper towel.  Then press a paper towel flat onto one side of the bag.
  4. Swing the bag around and tie it off again.  Place it in the fridge on the top shelf.

You’ll find it regains some of its crispness and will keep for several days!

CLICK HERE for some of my favorite salad recipes and quick tricks.

Storing fresh lettuce

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SoulCycle tested sweat-proof makeup for summer

May 27th, 2014 1 Comment

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One of my SoulCycle secrets: I wear makeup to teach class.  Putting myself together from head to toe helps me pull my focus in and present my best self to the room.

Why do you care: The products I use are cheap and sweat-proof! I’m not saying you need to wear makeup to workout, I’m saying you might want these guns in your arsenal when the heat hits and you have to go mingle at a pool party

Above are my three staple cosmetics that withstand not one but two classes and sometimes a hot yoga class at the end.   That’s A LOT of sweat and I emerge looking decent with everything (with the exception of my hair) is still in place.  COLORSTAY and WATERPROOF are right on the money! I also pencil in my eyebrows and wear lipstick, but those are usually toast by the end.

As you all know I  wear Jouer Cosmetics and Chanel on a daily basis, but I’m not footing that kind of bill for stage makeup I’m wearing in the dark. Revlon and L’Oreal do the trick and I only break out if I don’t wash them off afterwards.

 

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Shopping the old-fashioned way

May 20th, 2014 No Comments

You know what I mean: going into the brick and mortar store Neiman Marcus and browsing their curated collection of designer deliciousness.

It’s a rare occurrence for me these days and always a pleasure.

A few treats from yesterday here:

SUMMER STAPLES

Designer Shoes Summer 2014

For the past year my style has been dominated by monochromatic outfits  in either white and nude or blue and black All of the pieces are neutral with a little attitude.  Yesterday I was on the hunt for a sassy black mule but didn’t find anything that needed to come home with me.  On the lighter side, I found several stems I love: (top left clockwise) Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Lawrence Dacade, Jimmy Choo.

I’m a huge fan of the ankle sleeve (white Jimmy Choo) although I wouldn’t buy it in white.  A few nights on my feet and those babies would be black!

TOM FORD

Tom Ford Handbags 2014

I wish I could have the same adoration for TF’s new handbags.  Despite the fact that they’re made of the finest leather and hardware, the styles are unattractive to me.  On the left, I see an oversized cigarette case folded over.  My grandmother was a smoker, so maybe that’s why???  On the right a lazy Birkin being held up by a Celine Edge backbone.  It’s almost like TF gave all of his sex appeal to the clothing and had nothing left for the accessories.

BALENCIAGA

Balenciaga Summer 2014

Looks like there’s been a shift to the sophisticated side.  While the classic City Bag still hangs on the racks, she’s looking a bit slouchy next to the very structured Tube design.

LET’S PLAY HIDE AND…SALE!

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Here are the rules.  You, Mr. Sales Associate, hide this Fendi bag in the back room.  Don’t tell anyone where you’ve put it.  Then when she goes on sale, you run run run to the phone, call me, and I’ll find you to ring her up.

 

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