Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inspired home

I'm inspired by this Stockholm apartment I found on digs digs. It is open and airy and completely organized - which is a project I'm tackling in my own home.

Though such minimalist decor is completely unrealistic in my home due to animals, books, a home office, sentimental trinkets and an assortment of accessories to support all my hobbies, I will be sharing my adventures in cutting through the clutter.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Healthy beauty: My secret weapon

I invested months searching high and low for an affordable skin care product powerful enough to produce overnight miracles. It wasn't easy. There were plenty to chose from in the $100 - $175 range, but the last thing I need is a dependence on a pricey necessity. So I decided to consult with the experts. The Sephora shop on Union Street in San Francisco has been an invaluable resource for me. Every time I need some sort of magical cure these beauty gurus easily produce it. When I asked for a miracle facial product they revealed Boscia's Intensifying Moisture Pack.

{available here or here}

For $30, it is a guilt-free habit. You only need a dime size serving a couple times a week, so a tube should last at least six months. This potent little elixer contains marine complex and aloe leaf to energize and rejuvenate dull skin. It is packed with anti-aging amino acids that hydrate and plump the skin, plus, Willowherb which soothes, and jojoba leaf to protect against environmental stresses. All Boscia products have organic ingredients and do not use preservatives. That means Boscia is the farmers' market of skin care products. But, they've been around long enough to have some clout.

If I am anticipating a big day, spent too much time in the sun or am a little tired from a night out on the town, this mask is my ER solution. If I apply it before I go to sleep, I awake with glowy, dewy, smooth and radiant skin in the morning. Which under such precarious conditions, constitutes a miracle.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Nature's air filtration system

My parents installed an air filtration system into their home and I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Then I unknowingly moved to a pollen ridden dust bowl and developed allergies which incapacitated me. Suddenly, my parent's home became a welcome haven. Pollen season returned in full swing, and all hopped up on Benadryl I started shopping for air filters. I am pretty sure I found the coolest air filter ever invented.

Andrea Air Filter blends art and science to clean and oxygenate homes using living plants, soil and water. The leaves of the plant draws polluted air from the environment and absorbs it, naturally metabolizing it through the plant system. This system eliminates harmful gases beyond simply collecting it on a filter surface. Andrea is causing quite a stir in the scientific community for this achievement. I'm sure it will eventually hit the main stream, and once it does, I hope that people truly come to understand how much we depend on plants to purify the air we breathe, and in essence, survive. I know I have found a newfound respect for the lil' green guys.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Enjoying the weekend

This is what I'm up to today...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lifelong Cinderella: Mexican wedding dresss

No need to wait for a beach wedding in Cabo to sport a Mexican wedding dress. A Sunday brunch or early summer BBQ would be the perfect occasion to wear this gauzy sundress. I just discovered the loveliest shop on Etsy. I am enamored with these chic pieces by Aida Coronado and love the way she pulled these ethereal looks together.

The look is relatively simple - just a bold accessory or two.

And a flower in the hair is a romantic finishing touch.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healthy Beauty: Peppermint tea

I read a magazine article about the ageless supermodel Claudia Schiffer who shared some of her beauty secrets. She drinks Peppermint Tea religiously and raves about the benefits.

Peppermint tea is said to aid the digestive track, reduce heartburn and ease both stress and muscle aches. Claudia claims peppermint tea is beneficial for the skin but I was unable to find evidence of that - yet.

I gave peppermint tea a test drive and absolutely loved it. I now have a little ritual of drinking two cups with honey before bedtime. It truly calms me, soothes my stomach and I like to imagine it is making my skin just as luminous as Claudia's.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Plantable paper

I have always had a bit of a guilt complex associated with greeting cards. I hate to waste the lives of trees for such a fleeting function as a wrapped gift or a happy birthday wish. I tried a no-gift-wrap, no-cards policy with friends and family. Yet, when I receive a card from a loved one – I keep it forever (my significant other refers to this habit as hoarding). Even though wasting paper goes against my beliefs, I feel that I’m depriving my beloved gift recipients of a small pleasure.

The solution: Botanical Paperworks, the creator of plantable greeting cards, journals and other printed paper products.

Botanical Paperworks’ produces “tree -free” paper out of cotton or 100% post-consumer waste. The paper is made of wildflower seeds in Winnipeg. Yup, you heard that correctly no trees were harmed in the making of this paper.

Once you plant the seeded paper, water it well and give it plenty of sun. Botanical Paperworks promises wildflowers in 6-8 weeks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthy Beauty: Standing Ab Exercises

I want a strong core and taut tummy but hate sit-ups and any floor exercises outside of attending Yoga. I have been looking for something simple to add to my regime that I would be motivated to stick with and perform just about anywhere. I found the perfect solution in this quick workout. I haven't been at it long enough to see results yet, but my body feels the workout the next day which is a good sign. These are especially effective as it also incorporates a balance challenge which will strengthen the entire body. This clip calls for 8 reps on each side but I've increased it to 15 reps and the article recommends performing the workout 3-5 times per week for six weeks to see results. Bikini season is fast approaching - the pressure is on!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Ethanol fireplace

Before I found my condo, I created a list of all the must-haves for my ideal home: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, sunny outside patio, walk-in closet, inside laundry room and a fireplace. I eventually found everything my heart desired in one sweet 900 square ft. package except the fireplace. I figured I was choosing location (I live at the beach) over self-indulgent luxuries. But as it turns out, I now can finally complete my list with this hopelessly chic wall mounted ”Cupola” biofuel fireplace byVauni. Bio-fuel only releases small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide which make it clean burning. And since ethanol is a more renewable resource than wood, biofuel provides a remedy to deforestation.


There are also floor models on the Vauni website which are a significantly less expensive, but being a pet owner, I have to keep flames off the floor. The company is based in Sweden so I did find another trusted resource with a similar product that may be easier for those of us living stateside. My beloved Target is offering lovely and quite reasonably priced gel fuel fireplaces - from a free-standing fireplace complete with a mantle to a sleek wall mount. Gel fuel burns clean and evaporates much like ethanol so it is also environmentally sound. I could just imagine myself curling up in a plush armchair with a good book, a cup of tea and the warm glow of one of these little biofuel beauties.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lifelong Cinderella

I have a hunch, that one of the many reasons so many of us girly-girls have been planning our wedding since we were five, is the final realization of our dream of being a fairytale princess. The exchange of lifelong vows to our soul mate completely aside, for one lovely day we get to wear a gorgeous dress and pay glorious tribute to our jewelry, hair and shoes.

We get to adorn ourselves, our friends and a beautiful setting with our favorite flowers and have a photographer follow us around like movie stars.

We get to decorate our chosen fairytale setting to the nines and seat our loved ones at tables with a feast fit for royalty.

But after that one day, most of us don’t really give our inner princess much attention again. And that is a crime. Being Cindarella shouldn’t just be something celebrated once in your lifetime, but a part of ourselves to be revered and honored on a regular basis. I have made it my duty to find little ways to bring enchanting bridal traditions - both new and old - to make daily life a little more special. You shouldn't have to wait until you are a bride to celebrate the feminine mystique or let that homage become only a memory once your wedding day has passed. So now, without much further adieu, I'm going to take my spectacular wedding-worthy scarlet pumps to lunch. Lunch just got a little more special, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Healthy Beauty: Almond Oil

A dear friend of mine is a massage therapist. She has a wealth of knowledge of natural healing remedies. Almond oil is one of the fountain-of-youth secrets that she has revealed to me. Intrigued, I researched the benefits and was astounded by my discoveries. Moisturizes and rejuvenates skin; improves elasticity; smoothes complexion & retains glow; delays aging - okay sign me up! So with much searching, I found this amazing lotion by L'Occitane called Almond Delightful Shape.

Not only do you get all the benefits of almond oil described above, but it also promises to diminish the appearance of cellulite. If that hasn't sold you, it contains immortelle which is a mysterious little flower from the island of Corsica which is said to reduce the signs of aging. Sound promising, but even if it doesn't keep all it's promises, L'Occitane is an amazing French brand and its luxurious products will always make you feel like a princess.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

All I want for Easter is this lil' orange bunny! {photo credit}

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eco-Lifestyle: Bamboo

It would only be appropriate to dedicate my first Eco-lifestyle post to bamboo. Bamboo is nature's overachiever. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet and can be a biodegradable substitute for a multitude of products including building material, paper, linens and clothing. It takes only 3 – 5 years for a bamboo plant to reach maturity to where it can be harvested.

In contrast, it takes the average tree from 20 – 25 years to be ready for harvest. Bamboo can be harvested without disrupting the root system so it doesn't require replanting as trees do. Using bamboo helps to sustain our planet's resources as a responsible alternative to deforestation. Bamboo is considered lucky in Feng Shui and is said to have a peaceful and soothing energy which I'm hoping will infuse into the pages of this blog!

These luxurious bamboo towels and blanket can be found at greenearthbamboo

Writersblok Bamboo Paper Small Notebook available here

Lovely bamboo underthings like this cami and boy short from Spreegirl

An adorable little "cuddlesack" for the wee-ones from Bamboosa whose bamboo is grown and manufactured in the USA

I even spotted a laptop with bamboo outer casing! Asus UGV Bamboo Series is only available in France... for now {photo credit}
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