Monday, November 15, 2010

Have An Apple A Day

There is merit to the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - scientist in Hawaii and Finland have found antioxidants in apples that inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancer cells. They also found that regular consumption of apples decreases the risk of lung cancer. In separate studies, the regular consumption of apples was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and improvement pulmonary health.

Women's Health Study found that consuming high amounts of phytochemicals, also known as flavonoids, reduces a cardiovascular event.

Apples help lower the bad cholesterol due the high content of a type of flavonoid called procyanidin which is a good HDL-cholesterol.

Flavonoids are also known to fight free radicals and might help in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

In Finland, a study of apple consumption was tied to a reduced risk of Type II diabetes.

University of Illinois found that apples boost the immune system. Soluble fiber found in apples can change pro-inflammatory cells into anti-inflammatory cells which promote healing and recovery from infection.

Don't peel the apples... the apple peels contain much of the beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals.  Remember to wash the fruit under warm water.


Source: Elana Sandler

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

While browsing the internet for something completely off-topic, I came across a website containing recipes for some traditional Native American food. With Thanksgiving around the corner I thought this might be a great source to share... so here it is: Native American Recipes

A nice change from the usual mashed potatoes and gravy, which I still will be serving anyway but this year accompanied by corn pudding and fry bread.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't forget to pack your freshness.

To avoid any musty, dingy even just plain bad odor in you suitcase, take a single piece of a dryer sheet (ex: Bounce) and place it in the suitcase. Zip up and put away in storage.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Just came back home from an amazing bachelorette weekend in the fabulous Las Vegas; we stayed at a new hotel spa: Vdara.  Highly recommend it for a relaxing sleep after a long night of the rowdy Vegas venues.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Closet Case Continuum

The pantry in my kitchen was terrible, dirty walls, plastic wall paper in sporadic places, haphazard wooden boards with faux wood-grain shelf liners, and ugly plastic bins. Ugh. Plus it's a very small space, but utilized properly, it could store all the necessities. The previous owner took no pride in his pantry at all. For about a $100 and an afternoon, I transformed the dirty disarray into a static clean delight.

I tore down all pre-existing shelving with pleasure. Demo in small doses is good for the body and soul.
Kilz primer is phenomenal for problem walls; I used three coats - that's how bad the pantry was, and left it the stark white color.

From Home Depot, I purchased two 84" shelf rails, found in the closet system isle, $14 a pop. Matching white brackets, 12 of those and 6 white shelves. Including the primer, I spent $ 98. Demo and patching up took about an hour, after everything dried, I sanded and painted for another hour or so. Installation of the shelving unit took 25 minutes. I am very happy with the results, ... just want to look at the damned thing.

Below is a photo of the fruit of my labor, a nice clean pantry closet that stores everything I need it to. Photo sucks, but you get the idea.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friends, Beer, Chemistry - Sounds Like a Party!

Ever find yourself in this situation?  Food is all done and out on the buffet table, the music is playing, the grill is hot, friends are ringing the door bell and oh! you forgot to chill the beverages.  Not to worry, science to the rescue. My favorite TV personalities, the Mythbusters, have demonstrated that getting beer to it's perfect drinking temperature takes only 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. How? you ask... adding a mixture of salt & water to the ice in your cooler. The salt melts the ice and lowers the waters freezing point resulting in water that is as much as 10F colder almost instantly.  Use a generous amount of salt for large coolers, just pour it on. Room temperature beverages will chill to perfection in 5 minutes. 


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rolling Pizza Stones

Had this discussion with a friend the other night; how do you clean a pizza stone? Apparently it's easy to ruin one by washing it with soap. The stone I own, did not come with cleaning instructions, so I did some research [as mine is still on the counter top with day old crust and cheese stuck to it] and this is what I found unanimous and universal for cleaning it:

- Use a kitchen scraper to get rid of the stuck on pieces.
- Wipe with a damp [water only] sponge or cloth.
- Submerge in warm, clean water, again - no soap! Soak for 20 minutes to completely saturate the porous ceramic surface.
- Air dry overnight.

So know we all know.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Get Your Spice Girls!

As far as food is concerned there is nothing worse than a bland dinner at the end of a long day, but  cooking while tired [and hungry] can be just as thrilling, the remedy: stocking up on spice-mixes to quickly flavor your meals, you can pick them up at any supermarket. My fave: Jamaican Curry Mix, Masala Mix, Wasabi Powder and Steak Seasoning. Throwing together a few ingredients of your choice and seasoning the hell out of it with the mixes results in a quick, scrumptious meal. So for those days when you want to eat well at home and skip the takeout menu try some quick stir-fry recipes:

Combine chopped veggies and boiled noodles in a wok, on medium heat.  Add a generous mix of seasoning, mix well and serve.

I use frozen pre-chopped veggies [zero prep work] and wheat pasta noodles, I boil those while I'm setting the table. Fastest meal I cooked took 5 minutes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Healthy Lunch That Satisfies the Naughty Side

There is too much bread and carbs in our lives, because they taste soooo good, but they are soooo bad in large quantities. Today I altered a basic recipe into a healthier one. So... My Cheese Tortellini & Broccoli Alfredo. Serves two.
1 serving of cheese tortellini
2 cups of fresh broccoli
1/2 serving of alfredo sauce
pinch or two of sea salt

Follow the serving size portions on your packaging

Boil the tortellini as usual, chop the broccoli into quarter coin size and steam for 2 minutes. Heat the sauce on low for 2 minutes in a wide pan, combine all ingredients in the pan used to heat up the sauce, stir for another minute until everything is evenly coated, add sea salt and serve.

The split between the servings makes all the difference in the amount of calories and carbs your take in while satisfying that craving for all things fattening. The tortellini and broccoli are just slightly coated with the sauce but still have that same great taste.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Magic Carpet

I sit among giant white binders of magazine clippings of "things I like"... yes, yes, I did organize them by industry, so handbags, hats, shoes, recipes, blah.. blah... blah.. the ones that interest me today are the ones labeled INTERIOR DESIGN. I am looking for that something, that umph, that magical pièce de résistance that will transform the living room into an amazing space and become the conversation piece in itself. 

.......................... and budget pending, I think I've got it! Federica Tondato! Her rugs are alive with motion and kinetic energy of the elements, a third dimension on a two dimensional surface. Brilliant! I really want one.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Girly Girl Nutrition

Looking our best is not just up to the contents of our closets, it predominately based on the contents of our refrigerators and pantry closets. Majority of women find themselves deficient of iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, C and B-complex as well as essential fatty acids. Blood work is the key to finding out what your body is missing, but a simple evaluation of your diet can steer you in the right direction. Below is a list of foods that provide the needed nutrients to the femme body.

whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, raisins, wheat germ, dried apricots, egg yolks, oysters, red meat [raised with no antibiotics], vegetables and fortified cereals.

almonds, dark greens, dairy

beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables

Vitamin D*:
cod liver oil, fish oil, salmon, sardines, egg yolks, beef liver
* "it is difficult to ingest sufficient amounts of vitamin D from food sources alone"

Vitamin B*:
dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds
* vitamin B can be depleted by stress

Vitamin C:
broccoli, peppers, citrus, strawberries, tomatoes

Essential Fatty Acids:
fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, dark leafy greens, omega3s and omega6s

source: Women's Health - Whole Body May 2010 Whole Foods Market, IP, L.P

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sun Worship

A friend sent this survey to me, when you have a spare moment, check it out.  As for the self-tanners, there is a rumor that they are just as bad for your skin, so use sparingly till further studies are done.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Glass Menagerie

In my quest to find durable, good quality house-hold items i came across Kitchen Classics, an American company that manufactures high quality, durable baking dishes and storage containers, all in the USA. I bought a bowl, a measuring cup and a two baking dishes, paid $20 for all four items. The bowl was on sale for $4 [original price: $8], interestingly enough there was another bowl on sale by a different company that manufactures in China; it was made of thinner glass, same in size and cost $5 more, [original price $20]!!!

Anyway, here are some more links to fantastic glass products, all made in the USA.
Glass butter dish, glass food storage in a vintage design, glass food storage - round bowl design.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Closet Case

I am still in the process of moving into the new house, but before I can fully enjoy the new closet space I have to overhaul the tragic colors and ill decisions made by the previous owner.  A small closet should not be painted a dark color and certainly not dark brown.  Dark colors visually shrink spaces and don't scatter the light in an efficient way, resulting in a space that is not pleasant and not very well utilized. Ever hang something up and then not be able to find it 15 minutes later? I hate that.

Well it took some time, but my new closets are now white. A very crisp, clean and chick look. Add a super bright light-bulb and it's fully functional.

The one below is not my own, yet!, but I leave you with this designer closet photo to use for inspiration of your own next crisp white closet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grilling Is Good For You

While browsing for a new grill, I visited, home of the famous red UFO-like grill.  Found some swagger: free guides, recipes and booklets to download.  Enjoy!

Steak Bootcamp

A rather almost insulting, but still full of good info: Girls Guide to Grilling

Grilling is Good for You!

Made in the USA

I am adding a new label to my blog; made in USA.  In my recent hunt for household items I have had quite the challenge finding things made in the USA or at least not made in China. The hunt is difficult and time consuming, so if any of you are just as obsessed and devoted to American made [or not China made], you can just reffer back to this blog.

Findings so far:

- Quickie Bowl Brush: White $4.99, available at Home Depot

- Oreck Halo Vacuum Cleaner: built in UV-C light that kills germs. $549.99

- Wicks n' More Candles: Prices vary, available at TJ Maxx, Marshall's or online

- Fox River Socks: available at Campmor, Ramsey Outdoors and online

- Assorted plants: $3.99+ Grown in the USA, available at IKEA

Happy Shopping!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Moving 101

Today I walked through the doors of my new home and my hands were full of bags and boxes.  Thank goodness for my box numbering system, otherwise I would have had a difficult time getting the correct items over to the new house asap.

In the trunk of my car are boxes 17, 21 and 22 containing eating utensils, health and beauty - you know: toothpaste and it's companions; pillows, blankets and Apples to Apples - my favorite game. Everything else can stay behind for now.

Things that are definitely use full to have on the first day:
screwdriver & hammer
windex, clorox, pledge
measuring tape

... this is very exciting!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Fats

The human body needs fat to function properly, what the human body doesn't need its the trans fat and the saturated fat.  How can you tell them apart from the monounsaturated and poly saturated fats? Here's a quick list:

Monounsaturated Fats: The Highly Beneficial
Nuts: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, peanuts and pistachios
Olive Oil
Peanut Oil
Sesame Seeds

Polyunsaturated Fats: The Good
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Corn Oil
Cottonseed Oil
Soybean Oil
Canola Oil
Fish: Anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna
Flax seeds

Saturated Fats: The Bad
Bacon Grease
Coconut Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Full-fat Dairy: Cream cheese, half & half, and ice cream
Meat and Poultry

Trans Fat: The Disgusting
Nondairy Creamer
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
Fried Foods: Fries, doughnuts etc...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bodysuits, Latex etc... Part 2

Eyelashes, those awesome fake ones that open up a whole new dimension of makeup. Anyone can get their hands on a great set, they range in price starting at $3 available at your local drug store, to the more elaborate ones from MAC. Just in case, here is a great tutorial on how to apply fake lashes.

With great makeup, comes great responsibility, big, fake lashes at school or office look ridiculous no matter how fabulous... remember that ladies and gents!  Can you imagine the situation at your next office meeting where one of your co-workers is wearing lashes like this:

 Mimi from "the Drew Carey Show" comes to mind. 

So let's keep these lashes where they belong: music videos, at a club, at all the parties, weddings and fashion pages.

And these lovely ones for the daytime.

Christina Aguilera upped the ante in the latest trend game by wearing these crazy lashes in her new music video.  Trends are important to a certain degree, years later they define a generation.  When we think of bell bottoms, the 70's come to mind along with disco, hippies, Vietnam and polyester. It is safe to say that a few years from now we will look back and one of the significant fads of the late 00's and early 10's will be this:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring Time is Here!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafty is launched Beta and my first class is up.  It's an intro into millinery, I am so excited! Check it out!

Bodysuits, Latex etc... Part 1

The etc... being above-the-knee boots, corsets, chains, bondage and hoods.  The leading ladies of pop are exposing their inner vixen, repeatedly.  Christina's, er, Xtina's new video "Not Myself Tonight" is the latest fabrication of the trend.


The corset, in all it's forms, has been around for quite some time and historically had negative connotations for the female: restriction, constraint, control, body molding. Victorian women hated it but it was improper to not wear one. Thank gawd, corsets are no longer being made to squeeze the ribs permanently into a tiny waist and mutilate the body but instead, with the helping hand of couturiers [inspired by fetish costumes] and pop divas who love designer wombats, corsets have evolved into a sexy & fierce must-have item...

Rhianna and Lady Gaga brought the strange and unconventional to main stream in music, it's almost pedestrian now for a celebrity, but it might be some time before we see these worn by women on their way to work.

Various casual styles of corsets can be found on the pages of a magazine, including the newest Elle UK cover with Demi Moore looking fabulous.

We can't forget Victoria Beckhams' awesome corset worn promoting the Spice Girls Tour. I had to throw it in here, it's my personal favorite. I would wear it... but not to work.

Fergies heavy metal corset for the Viva Glam campaign and Madonna's re-Disco Days in lavender, the two extremes. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

1950's Apron - Part I

I found these pictures of 1950's aprons online and I am inspired to sew one up.  I'll be working from these pictures to create my own pattern.  If I like what I came up with, I will post the pattern on Burda.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Belvedere Vodka

For the hostess with the most-ess, drink recipes galore! Na Zdrowie!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver is a breath of fresh air in the food culture, I write this as I chow down on a toaster oven pizza, ewww! What am I thinking? It is a vice I have to battle, but aside from the frozen-pizza-for-one, the remainder of my diet is excellent. I am a vegetarian, like a real one, most of the food I eat is raw veggies, sea weeds, bread so full of grains that it falls apart, cashews, almonds etc... Once in a while I have to have some dark chocolate and dismally, my childhood addiction - the plain, all cheese, Brooklyn style pizza.

It took me a while to get to this point, I had to educate myself on the level of poisons dumped into the food we eat daily. I ate school lunch everyday for 8 or 9 years; when I think about that I still get sick, that food is disgusting, and I had no clue. No one told me and I didn't ask.

Among the small army of my favorite chefs, health gurus and their books is Jamie Oliver.
Besides having superb vegetarian recipes, Jamie has a higher calling and that is to pass on the delicious, nutritious and healthy way of life.

Listen to Jamies TED talk then check out his petition and what it's all about and if you have some time left, pick a recipe for tonight's dinner. Bon Appétit!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Six days to go.

With all the packing, final exams, costume work and social events I added an extra deadline into the mix. On May 1st, my spring hair accessories will be available for purchase. Crazy? Yes!!! I am incredibly nervous, but I am more excited. Millinery is my passion and I want it to work for me, failure is not an option. Must... try... harder!

April 25th. Daisy clips are a go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moving Mayhem

Nope, not at all actually. I have been packing for the last three weeks and have two more weeks to finish. I gave myself more than enough time to get organized and packed. This is very different from my college years when random items were thrown haphazardly into a large duffel-like bag and tossed onto the back seat of my friends car.

This time around I picked up boxes in three sizes, all relatively small and easy to carry, since most of my possessions are books and fabrics and clothes - all heavy. As I packed each box, on an excel spreadsheet I wrote down what it's contents were; gave it a number and wrote the corresponding digit on the box.

This is going to make my life so much easier when unpacking. I can pick and choose which box to place in what room, but also which box to unpack when. My winter coats and sketchbooks can hang out in their box for a few, my binders and millinery tools can not.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just in Time for Spring

Whew! Barely made it with the head scarf samples. They are finally here and I love them all. Perfect for keeping hair up and out of the face during the warm spring and hot summer days. The fabrics selected for the collection range from edgy leopard prints, fresh floral prints and a red&white picnic checker - an homage to Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island.

Available for purchase 5/1, $5 and free shipping in the US. Here is a sneak peak:


Some basic facts:

- The caloric yield of carbohydrates is 4 calories per gram.
- Fats found in dairy and meat yield 9 calories per gram.
- Complete proteins: eggs and white or red meat [4 calories per gram]
- Incomplete proteins: beans [4 calories per gram]

- 1lbs of human fat = 3500 calories

source: BCC HWD

Friday, February 19, 2010

Childhood Favorite

One of my lovely bridesmaids sent me a link to Martha Stewart's "Good Cootie Catcher" - the idea is cute but the design of it is very basic. I customized mine and made it my own using an ornate font and changing the rules back. Let me know what you think!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nail Fashion!

Over the last few years I have become more and more obsessed with nail polish, the more unique the color, the better. I dare not say how many bottles of the colorful flammable joy I own. But single color will no longer do. I want more! Japanese Fashion to the rescue. In the last few issues of Vivi, the models and Japanese celebrities have the craziest nails; very colorful with jewels, lace and glitter. You have seen them on Lady Gaga and Fergie. So! How to Make? ;)

Follow these steps for the basic method.

Step One: Clean off whatever nail polish you have on the nail.

Step Two: Use a clear coat of nail polish as base for your color. Later on it will be easier to remove the color, especially dark saturated polishes. I like to use Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry... because it dries, er, instantly.

Step Three: Apply one coat of desired color. Here I will be using Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry "Night Flight" it's black.

Step Four: You will need your gems, jewels and sparkly things here. Make sure they have a flat surface, otherwise they will fall off. Apply the gems while the polish is still wet, use tweezers for better accuracy. If the polish dries up before you place the gems, dab a little of the clear coat as adhesive.

Step Five: Using nail art polishes like SH's Nail Art Pen or Milani's Nail Art Brush draw in detail around your gems.

Step Six: Wait till dry and top off with the clear top coat.

Step Seven: Have FUN! :D

Monday, February 1, 2010


Please check out my new tutorial for a very versatile embellishment; yoyos. Easy to make. Millions of possibilities.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comfy Shoes

Here is an idea that I want to share, because it's that good! Throw a Shoe-Stretching-Party! As soon as all my bridesmaids and I purchase the shoes for the wedding day, we are going to throw ourselves a few. Wearing new, tight shoes for the first time will result in discomfort, pain, and maybe even ... blisters! Hosting a few of these parties will ensure that the shoes are doing their job of accessorizing the perfect dress.

Here's what to do. Grab some of your favorite movies or music, light finger snacks, and some bubbly to celebrate the new purchase. Put the shoes on; the short walks to the kitchen and bathroom and the dancing will help to get the shoes stretched, but just wearing them during a movie can do the trick as well.

Do not wear outside! You want to break the shoes in, not ruin them. Of course, this idea is not reserved for the wedding party, any pair of shoes is a reason to celebrate with your friends. Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am not licking all those envelopes!

Until self-sealing envelopes are the inexpensive standard we have to stick to the good ol' dry glue envelope. Just discovered a great new way to moisten the glue strip without getting water all over the desk. Polar fleece! It works very well, it holds the water, so no dripping and glides smoothly unlike paper towels. Highly reccomend it! and before you go and cut up your old fleece sweatshirts or scarves, message me, I will send you a swatch. :)