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Simply add citrus to brighten your dishes.

March 15th, 2012 No Comments

To me warm weather means citrus on everything! Salads, fish, and quinoa dishes all benefit from a little slice of sweetness.

This VERY SIMPLE technique to cut citrus makes a big difference because you don’t get the bitter skin and rind. Another benefit is the water from the fruit allows you to not need as much oil or dressing.

The chef in the video – Corey Shoemaker at the Enchantment Resort (my review here) – is recognized on this year’s Conde Nast Gold List for his truly inventive spa food. Make his recipes!

My favorite citrus salad: Romain, grapefruit, avocado, sliced almonds, Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette (the secret to my summer salads).

What are yours?? Share them in the comments!

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Cool new tech for 2012 from CES in Las Vegas

January 11th, 2012 3 Comments

Right now I’m in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show for the 4th year in a row. At this conference, the biggest names in technology (with the exception of Apple) unveil their new innovations they will be selling in the upcoming year. Production on these products usually hasn’t begun yet, and price points haven’t been determined. But! We can see and play with what’s set to hit the market.

This year has been the least impressive yet, honestly. The booth displays have been dialed back and no one seems to be buzzing about one game-changing product. That being said, following are a few of the things I saw yesterday I think you’ll enjoy.


The television technology is always the most interesting to me. 3D and resolution are the two major features that continue to improve. As you very well know, all of the major brands produce amazing tv’s. Samsung and Panasonic historically have been the most impressive in my opinion. Surprisingly this year, the LG flat screen has the sleekest design of all of the sets I saw. Toshiba still leads the way in 3D, although LG is making a major play for that market too. But the most notable tech for tv actually came from Sharp! The old dog has a great new trick – the first 8k LCD with the absolute best resolution you’ve ever laid eyes on. My picture stinks, so check out this video where you can see the clarity of the picture. It’s seriously like you’re actually seeing the image with your own eyes!

This is one of the new Samsung screens. What’s on display here is Comcast‘s xfinity On Demand feature that has a new look and integration. To get Comcast, you’ll no longer need a set-top box because you can have the app on your tv.


Samsung is upgrading the wifi “social media” camera I’ve enjoyed using over the last year. Now it has 18x zoom and a bigger screen in the back. My model is $199 so I’m guessing this will cost about the same.

What I didn’t snap a picture of was their bigger digital cameras with removable lenses. Those bad boys are impressive on every level. Anyone from a novice to a professional who wants to create truly beautiful images can use it. These models are for people looking to capture “art” instead of just memories that will only live on your computer.

Canon didn’t show anything noteworthy in my opinion.


Last year the super small Sony laptop was the hot topic. Within seconds of playing with it, I had more complaints about it than applause. I haven’t heard much about it since. Samsung showed a 3D laptop last year and are continuing that feature on their asymmetrical desktop. The design is sleek in an effort to compete with Mac, but at the end of the day, it still runs Windows.


DIY solar panels for your house from Sharp. They all come in a box and you simply snap them together on your roof. They claim it’s super simple, which I can’t imagine, but your man can probably figure it out. It also has a system that quantifies how much energy it’s generating and saving you from purchasing. The panels should cost $600-800 and you can buy them a la cart so you can grow the system and your energy bill savings over time.

Now, I’ve also heard rumors that there will solar “paper” you can simply unroll on your roof in the near future. This will be easier and cheaper to install. The technology comes from the same thing they use to make flatscreen tv’s so “they” (whoever that is) will also develop lights and tv’s you can unroll on your wall.

Surround sound systems changes the game when it comes to watching movies and playing video games at home.

Dolby always has a huge booth and is probably the best in the market. Samsung is renovating the vacuum tube sound technology (above) to create “clean” sound which displayed notably better surround sound than Panasonic‘s traditional system.

I’m not sure if I showed you the Samsung “social media” refrigerator from CES last year. Well, here it is again. There is no denying the fridge that sets different temperatures for each compartment, syncs with all of your devices, incorporates every social media platform you’d like it to, reports the weather and the news, and serves as a display for family photos is awesome….but I was disappointed to see they hadn’t improved upon it from last year.

For example, LG‘s refrigerator has a “blast chiller” to instantly cool a bottle of wine or beer. We’ve all been there in desperate need to pour a glass of sav blanc only to discover there isn’t a bottle already cold! This is tech we actually need!


I played with the new Nokia Microsoft Lumia 900 4G phone (on the far right in the photo), an upgrade from the current model that runs Windows. Please note, this is NOT an Android phone. The interface is user-friendly and the design is cool, but it has a completely different set of applications than the iPhone and Android phones. So, are all of our favorite companies going to create a new app for this thing?? I just don’t get it. I guess if all of your eggs aren’t in the Apple basket, you’re excited for these launches.

For more details and a credible review, go here to see what the LA Times says. (Photo from LA Times)

Everyone was talking about the Comicbook app that you can use to draw on pictures on your Samsung mobile devices. Considering how much people are enhancing their snapshots right now, it’s a strong marketing play, but again, not enough for me to ditch my iPhone.


G-shock (from Casio), another blast from the past, is a making a play for my money with their new watch. It’s UGLY, but so helpful with the warning that beeps to say, “hey blondie, left your phone somewhere…again!” and then helps find my phone when I’ve misplaced it. Would be an awesome gift for your forgetful man, the style is a little more up his alley than mine :)

Both Motorola and Panasonic (above) both displayed programs for you to quantify your fitness regemin and goals so your progress is tangible. An article in the NYTimes the other day said people who write down and track their fitness progress are more likely to maintain it.

The other cool thing about these systems: they use Google maps so you can run or ride a real route anywhere in the world.

I have no idea why you would need a wearable camera, but it looks pretty cool and the quality of the video is impressive. The headset looks comfortable and unobtrusive, so if you’re hunting for a wearable camera, look no further than Panasonic.

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THAT little thing is a HD video camera??

July 27th, 2011 No Comments

Apparently so!

Joy just bought the Go Pro Hero (Naked for $260) to shoot video around her studio and during yoga classes.

It’s mildly waterproof, but once you put it in it’s little case it’s fully protected.  The case also allows you to strap it onto your head!

The weird part about it is that it doesn’t have a screen so you can’t see what you’re shooting.  You’re supposed to just point it in the general direction of the action.  Hmmm….

Looking forward to seeing her first attempts.

I’m still loving the Samsung SH 100 for $200.

(Full disclosure: Samsung provided my camera for free to work on their Coast to Coast campaign.)

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The winner of the new Samsung SH 100 Social Media Camera is….

June 19th, 2011 1 Comment

Last night I did a drawing for the winner of the new SH 100 Samsung camera.  I put in one slip of paper for every picture submission and reader comment made on the Samsung posts.

I want to thank you all of you for participating.  It was fun to read your reactions and see pics from your life.  Here are a few good ones:

“Crinkle Nose” from @LisaBagg

“Where Dad Proposed to Mom” From @TheMrBlyth

Tree from @SDornon

One of her own designs from @leMelDesigns

And now for the winner….!!!!

(I wish someone else was here to share the excitement with me!!!)

The winner is @LisaBagg!!! I am honestly shocked the winner submitted a picture because comments counted as an entries.  I feel like I wrote down reader names Phil, Serena, Classy & Fabulous, and Tiffany so many times!!!  Many thanks to all of you for reading and writing back.

Hopefully more contests to come!



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Wisdom, cookies, and a free camera!

June 16th, 2011 1 Comment

On my second night at Dos Brisas, they left me words of wisdom and two delicious oatmeal raisin cookies by my bed.  I took the opportunity to whip out my Samsung SH 100 and make a cool pic with one click.

You have one day left to win the camera by doing the same thing!

Replicate this effect or three others and submit it by 12 PST tomorrow.  Click here for the entry details.

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It’s too easy to win the Samsung camera. Enter a pic!!!

June 15th, 2011 No Comments

Here’s an example of one of the effects you are going for in your picture submission.  It’s called a “vignette” where the perimeter is darkened to draw your eye towards the center of the picture.  On the camera, this feature also saturates the colors.

Click here to see the rules on submitting a photo.  You have three days left!

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Snap a quick pic and win the new social media camera from Samsung here!

June 10th, 2011 10 Comments

For the last couple of weeks you’ve seen pictures and posts here about the new Samsung SH100 camera.  I don’t know if it’s THE BEST on the market, but it’s pretty impressive for $200.  Features include:

  • 14 megapixels
  • HD video
  • Touchscreen navigation
  • Wifi connection
  • Uploads pictures to facebook and photobucket
  • Emails pictures to contacts (and tumblr!)
  • Wireless back up to a PC
  • Fun filters to enhance photos before or after the shot
  • Basic editing – “beauty enhancement” and red eye

Did I mention it just takes a crystal picture picture? Well, you can see that for yourself

Want one???  For free???

As I mentioned in my Samsung intro post a few weeks ago, those of you who commented on any photo taken with the camera that was relevant to the picture or content will be entered into the drawing to win.  For every comment you made, your name will get an entry.  And you can still participate in the contest.

** The Contest **

Review the four pictures below. I enhanced each picture with one click on the SH 100 itself.   Here’s what you have to do: Take a picture of anything you want and recreate the effect in one of the pictures below using any means you need to (Photoshop, Instagram, etc).

Here are your four options:

Your replica of the effect doesn’t have to be perfect, but close.  For every picture you submit that achieves the effect, you’ll get one entry into the drawing.  So snap away! Because the objective of the camera is to not only take a good picture, but also to share them with friends:


“I’m entering this pic to winthe new social media @SamsungCameraUSA camera from @MaryRambin.You can too here: http://bit.ly/kHSa8E

I will post a couple of favorites on the blog unless you specify you would like yours to stay private.


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The Samsung SH100 in action

June 1st, 2011 4 Comments

Love this pic of Hasti I took  using the “Old Film” filter on the Samsung SH100 backstage at a fashion show I was in recently.

There are 12 filters you can use to enhance your photos instantly a la Instagram. I only like 5, and so far this is my favorite.

My friend’s Olympus has something similar, but it’s more expensive and doesn’t connect to the internet.

(Full Disclosure: In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that my time and efforts have been compensated by Samsung for my participation in the Coast to Coast Photo Post campaign, and I was also provided a Samsung SH100 camera. Although I have a material connection to Samsung, any publicly stated opinions of Samsung remain my own.)

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