Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home 1

Moving into a new home can often lead to a daunting to-do list. From organizing clutter that seems to have magically accumulated over the years (who knew one person could have so many knick-knacks?), to dealing with surprise maintenance issues, it’s an adventure that takes perseverance and patience. All labor-intensive work aside, the fun part comes when you can truly create a space that feels like you. Here are a few simple tips that you can use when it’s finally time to spruce up your new digs! 

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Don’t start the makeover process without an interior design game plan. Finding ideas on websites (hi, Pinterest) and watching videos on YouTube are easy ways to get inspired. Save the images that you adore and create a mood board to keep your ideas cohesive.

Extra Tip: When it is time to add decorative touches to your home, support small business owners by shopping on sites such as Etsy.com. You can find some truly unique pieces there!
Sure it’s easy to buy everything in one place, but try not to! In addition to visiting recognizable home décor stores, I encourage you to explore flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to add one-of-a-kind items to your place.

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Sure it’s easy to buy everything in one place, but try not to! In addition to visiting recognizable home décor stores, I encourage you to explore flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to add one-of-a-kind items to your place.

Extra Tip: If you really like an item from a flea market or yard sale, but it’s bit out of your price range, try bargaining with the salesperson. If no one else is biting, they’ll often agree to your offer!

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To save time and money, try imagining something you own in a new light. Add a couch cover and new throw pillows to brighten up a dull couch. (You can even upholster it if you’re feeling fancy.) There are a million DIY projects online that you can implement into your decor process.

Extra Tip: Ask your friends or family if they’d like to donate any pieces to your space. You’ll help them clean up and you’ll have the perfect opportunity to revamp something old!

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Miracle Oil?

Would smell as sweet,” quoteth Romeo in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. Having recently watched the romantic film Shakespeare in Love and auditioned for the role of Lady Macbeth, I definitely have roses on my mind lately.

More specifically, rosehip oil. These perfect little drops of oily dew are extracted from the fruit of the rose plant that form after our familiar fragrant blooms flesh out and fade. I had been looking up a new recipe for my Roots of Beauty cosmetic line and came across this miracle oil, whose chief benefits include restoring sun-damaged skin and reducing fine lines, scars, and age spots. Long used by the residents of its native home, Chile, it’s one of the many beauty secrets of models and actors worldwide.

Though cold-pressed, rosehip oil is surprisingly light and absorbs easily into the skin. It’s full of antioxidants, good fatty acids, and works wonders on cellulose. It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and is an incredible healer for acne and eczema. Try it on dry scalps too!

News sources are calling this sweet elixir “the next coconut oil,” and before it jumps in price to prove it, order some and see for yourself. While you can pick up a 2oz bottle for under $20 at Whole Foods, the bottle that I purchased from there smelled rancid. Then again, perhaps that’s the way old roses smell. I’d suggest Mountain Rose Herbs; their products are first rate!

Happy Rosy Oiling from one Juliet to Another.

For more information about Roots of Beauty and to purchase responsibly sourced products, visit: www.RootsOfBeauty.com

 

New Year, New You

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Introducing Lisa Eberly, MPH, RD! Formerly of The Skinny on Health and now armed with a masters degree in the very topic she loves, Eberly has pulled all her passions together into a streamlined, targeted place just for you. Here, learn more about Nourish by Lisa.

Every person on this planet thinks about their health on a daily basis. Whether you are a starving mother in a developing nation wondering about how you’re going to feed your children, a body builder in Ohio going for an extra rep on the bench, a software developer in Silicon Valley trying to lose a few pounds, or a teenager struggling with acne, you think about your health in one form or another, daily.

Today, our health is a hot topic, and there’s an enormous amount of information at our fingertips—this blog, that TV show, this doctor/”expert”/coach preaching that diet/workout/product. It is overwhelming and, to be quite honest, mostly unreliable.
The answer to being healthy and balanced is not in a fad diet, crazy workout plan, or overpriced skincare line. It is easy; it’s simple; and it stems from decades of scientific research—and you can learn all about it from me at Nourish by Lisa. I am a public health and nutrition masters and registered dietitian in beautiful Seattle. I love adventures, cooking, yoga, and sunshine.

I am also a total science nerd. I grew up wanting to be a doctor to pursue my passion of helping and healing people with science. I received a human and evolutionary biology degree from the University of Southern California. There, while researching fasting for cancer and Alzheimer’s therapies, I realized that the best way to help people was through preventative medicine—food, sweat, and mindfulness.

In blogging and learning about health, I was saddened by the overwhelming amount of education on the web and TV that was not based on science or medicine, but was created for profit or fame. There was a serious gap between the dense scientific journals I was reading and the latest fad diet on the blogs people were talking about. I wondered why there wasn’t a place for everyone to find trustworthy and accurate information about their health from a licensed professional they can relate to and understand. I needed to fill that gap and become the professional the public could trust.

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#ThakoonForKohls

Every issue Caroline A. Wong joins you in the chase for the most coveted designer collections. It’s a team effort. It’s you and me.

Photos by Breanna Powell

Designer collaborations can be so trendy…and not in a good way. They’re flash-in-the-pan one-hit-wonders that disappear faster than California’s water (too soon?). To truly appreciate a designer collaboration, you have to either 1) already adore the designer (going against the principle of the designer introducing their goods to a new/mass market) or 2) deeply fall in love with a particular piece (which is often hindered by the quality compromise that can happen with fast fashion wear and the sometimes-occurring sense that you have a poor shadow of a designer’s original).

Luckily, Thakoon for DesigNation by Kohl’s is an exception. Arguably the most “it-girl friendly” designer to partner with Kohl’s (edgy chic brands like Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant usually go the H&M route), Thakoon has released an homage to London totally in line with the Old Smoke. The inspired silhouettes add freshness to the designer collaboration game, which can get so bland with its slant towards mass appeal. For example, Target collaborations seem a bi blasé and mainstream now. Kohl’s has managed to keep its partnerships fresh and relevant with the fun locale themes, which also help anchor the lines. Thakoon’s nod to London is cheeky and playful yet the inspiration is clear and practical. It’s what every designer collaboration should be.

Take the heavy wool vest…the length is modern and the vest style makes the piece something versatile that will last beyond the oft short-lived designer collaboration timeframe. It’s the ultimate layering piece great for a range of climates and seasons. Wear it with a lightweight dress in the fall and spring, or belt it over a long-sleeved piece…even over a coat for extra warmth! The pattern also encourages you to mix prints…if you feel the mix is too bold, simply remove the vest.

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Fit on the Fly

By Rachel McCormick

w-letter-cher-lloyde’ve all been there. You’re headed on that amazing vacation or work trip, and you may indulge, not eating as healthfully as you do during your normal routine at home. But, you tell yourself, you WILL workout, I will let myself eat carbs, but I will darn sure work them off. You are determined that you will not return home five pounds heavier and mad at yourself. So you make it to the hotel, put on your favorite workout gear, lace up your Nikes, and put your ear buds in to rock out to your favorite workout jams. You swing open the door to the hotel gym and all of a sudden, all your motivation goes out the window faster than you downed that cheap wine on the plane ride over. The gym is smaller than your walk-in closet at home, complete with one treadmill, a StairMaster that looks like it’s straight out of the 1950s, and six free weights. All you can hear is the dead silence of this tiny, depressing room and WOMP WOMP playing loudly in your head.

I know the feeling all too well, as my job happens to be to travel, and I have stayed in more hotels than I can count. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying fit and healthy while on the go.

Water Water WATER

When flying, staying hydrated is crucial. You are literally trapped in a metal, dehydrated tube for hours with re-circulated air, and your body is desperate for hydration. Yes, you can’t take over 3.5 ounces of liquid through airport security, and an airport bottle of water costs way more than you would like to pay. My trick: take an empty bottle through security, then fill it up at a water fountain. Voila.

Grub on the Go

Let’s be honest—besides the prices, airport and airplane food’s nutritional value is less than impressive. Why would I pay $20 for a less-than-satisfying meal that is going to do nothing positive for my body? My number one travel essential food that I have in my bag 24/7? Oatmeal. The Quaker’s individual packets will do, but I prefer make my own. That way, I know exactly what is going into it and I can avoid artificial sweeteners, sugar, and other yucky ingredients. All you need is some plain oats, plastic baggies, an all natural sweetener (mine favorite is Stevia), and whatever else you like in your oatmeal—cinnamon, nuts, etc. Oatmeal is such a winner for on-the-go hunger because it is healthy, satisfying, and easy! Just add some hot water and you’re all set. Some of my other favorite foods to have on hand when traveling are:

• Quest Protein Bars
• Beef Jerky
• Almonds
• Apple Slices
• Baby Carrots
• Rice cakes
• SkinnyPop Popcorn

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Wedding Season Shenanigans

By Erica Mau, Photos by Christie Pham – www.christie-photography.com

Wedding Being recently engaged with a new pup addition to the fam, I was intensely excited to take engagement photos with the whole gang. Especially since the dogs can’t participate in our Hawaii wedding festivities (due to quarantine laws), these photos would commemorate a preciously happy time in our lives – and cement the youthful and adorable canines in the cutest stage of their lives.

Thus, per usual, I researched and planned ahead. I found the best wedding photographer in Hawaii, who also fortunately could take our engagement photos in LA. I informed her that the dogs would be in attendance, so she wouldn’t be surprised and unprepared on the day of the shoot. The Tedster got a haircut and the Jaybster was bathed and blow-dried. I read articles on best practices to photograph pets and gathered all my supplies – treats, matching leashes, and bowties. #necessary

And, per usual, I still felt ill prepared when the time came to take some good ‘ole family photos.

There were several factors that just happened to be in my favor:

We did the shoot at our house, where the dogs were comfortable (rather, our house is photogenic enough at which to do a photo shoot).

The photographer had her hubby in tow, who helped to watch the dogs (rather, the photographer’s husband loved hanging out with dogs and was really good at dealing with two energetic puppies).

It didn’t rain.

Then there were several factors that just happened to suck:

My puppies don’t run out of energy (despite spending half a day playing with other dogs and taking a long, uphill walk in the hot sun).

My puppies don’t like sitting still (despite being bribed with endless treats).

My puppies’ general playful behavior.

So for anyone out there who is planning to ever take pictures with your pups, here’s my advice to you that I did not read in one single article online.

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Don’t Do THIS At The Gym

By Rachel McCormick

In life, we all have our pet peeves. Maybe it’s people who completely ignore the fact that large stores have a designated door for entering and a different one for exiting, but just walk wherever the heck they please (ok, that would be mine). Maybe it really grinds your gears when you’re having a serious conversation with someone and all they can seem to think about is staring at the screen of their smart phone.

Most of my biggest pet peeves originated in a place where I spend a large amount of my time: the gym. If you’re a regular gym-goer like myself, I’m sure you will nod in affirmation and give me a little ‘Amen, sister!’ with most of these. And if you’re new to a gym, let me just warn against a few gym personas and reveal the friendly no-nos that will make your workout experience much more pleasant for yourself and all of your fellow exercisers.

Texting Tiffany

For me, this is a huge one. If you are using a machine for multiple sets and sit on it for maybe a 30 second break between each set, or hop up and do some lunges or some other sort of active rest exercise, great. But the moment you pull out your phone and start texting away WHILE still sitting on that machine…that is when I will walk over and unapologetically give you the stink eye. I’m pretty sure that person you are texting will be just fine hearing from you two minutes later when you are done with your hip abductors and are not hogging the machine.

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Strangers in the Weightroom

Letter Pull-ups and bench press and dead lifts, oh my! But I am a female, if I even think about any of these exercises, won’t my body spontaneously combust into the most muscular, bulky, manly figure you have ever seen?

A year ago, this was my mindset, along with a large percentage of women—actually it’s generally true of most people. I have been a gym-goer for years; in high school I even lost about twenty pounds by doing endless, boring cardio and going on a strict no-carb diet. Did this approach work to lose weight? You bet. But was I bored to death and did I eventually gain all the weight back? Yep.

The truth is, for the majority of my adolescence, I was terrified of that testosterone-ridden, male-dominated territory that is the weight room. I thought if I went in there they would all look at me funny, and I would be so embarrassed because I wouldn’t know how to use any of the equipment. Fast forward to March of this past year. A relationship I was betting everything on ended unexpectedly, and I was left heartbroken and looking for a new outlet to occupy my time. I also realized I needed to shed some of those relationship pounds we start to gain when we get too comfortable. I knew I didn’t want to go back to being a cardio bunny, spending mindless hours on the treadmill and elliptical, counting the seconds until it was over. I started seeing a trend in girlfriends of mine with smoking hot, feminine, curvy bodies that I envied: they were lifting weights. And I’m not talking five pounders. They were lifting next to the boys, sharing that squat rack with the men, and they looked hotter than ever because of it.

I was intrigued. So I took to the wonderful World Wide Web and found a beginners twelve-week weightlifting program for women. I followed the program religiously for the entire twelve weeks, and after about just five weeks, I noticed my body changing more dramatically and rapidly than it ever had before with any other workout I had ever tried. I was hooked. Let me tell you—the feeling you get from lifting heavier weight than the grown man next to you, rocking those pink lifting gloves, is way more fulfilling than any runners’ high you will ever experience.

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Winter Workout Wear with TSOH

You guys—I did a serious workout clothes style haul at Target. I am big on really comfy workout clothes that can also double as stylish and flattering, especially since I usually have to wear them after my workout too!

I am totally crazy about these tops and yoga pants. As in, living in them from now on. I really needed some new winter yoga gear so I got this pink top, sweater, and yoga pants. The pink top is soooo comfy considering how cute it is. It doesn’t pull or constrict in any weird places, so it’s perfect for hot yoga. I love the tri blend too! When you’re looking for a cute yoga top, be sure to stretch and do poses in the dressing room so you can test your mobility in it. Remember, the top has to be functional as much as it has to be cute!

The sweater is best for outdoor runs but is also great for not-so-hot yoga. The sweater isn’t super heavy and is breathable enough to really get your sweat on while still keeping warm. Look for natural, breathable fabrics like cotton and bamboo.

I also wanted to try out some new yoga pants since mine haven’t been holding up well recently. I got my first pair of C9 by Champion pants and am in love. The little detail on the side makes them great for both workouts and for wearing under a sweater and boots! Sahhhhh cute. They’re the perfect stretchy-flattering combo and will help you totally rock the casual chic look.

Anywho—I’m officially obsessed. New workout gear—and cute workout gear—will totally motivate you to keep up your fitness routine through the chillier months (read as: through the holiday eating months). I love these new additions to my workout wardrobe. Share yours with me via Twitter @xoxoTSOH and be sure to check out more of my fitness finds at www.TheSkinnyOnHealth.com!

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Belcho USA

It has to be said. There are countless up-and-coming jewelry designers out there. While great designs are certainly important, in this day and age of social media, you need to have something extra special about your company to stand out above the rest. For Belcho USA designer Marie K., that something special is her love of animals and children.

In fact, it was her rescued cat Belcho who provided inspiration for her company’s namesake and logo. “Since I love animals and have rescued several, I wanted to dedicate this jewelry line to a cause that I care so deeply about,” says Marie. “I wanted my name and logo to stand out and be more than just a word or just a simple design.

“I think it’s very important to help. I have many friends that have needed help so I’m always aware of these things. It’s also great to be able to involve other people indirectly. When [customers] purchase from us, they are helping others.”

That’s because a portions of the profits from every piece sold goes to these causes that Marie is passionate about. But it’s not just her passion for animals and other charitable causes that inspires her. “There’s a lot of unique and inspirational places in California from deserts to mountains. The beauty of the sun and leaves give me many ideas. My style is based on nature, life forms, textures, [and] the earth. Inspiration comes to me from everywhere and at any time.”

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