Wendy Ida, 60 for Essence Magazine; January 2013

So I received my January issue of Essence magazine this week. Being the magazine junkie that I am, I must admit that January issues of any magazine are my least favorite only because they tend to be a little thin. But this time Essence had me doing the happy dance. The Ageless Beauties feature that was once a yearly staple in their January issue has finally returned (oh, how I missed it).

… (Read More)

Birth Of A Scandal, Huck & Olivia Pope; ABC.com

Last week’s episode of ABC’s Scandal was off the charts.  Every frenemy is for himself, and I’m not sure how Olivia Pope is going to fix this one. As you probably already know, the new episodes resume on January 10.  Until then, I’ll be going through Scandal withdrawal on Thursday nights!

While I may not have a clue who shot Fitzgerald Grant, what we all know is that this season hasn’t disappointed in plot or fashion.   … (Read More)

Be Right Back!

Pink Sand Beach, Bermuda

Well it’s that time of year.  It’s time for me to take a step back to relax, relate, release, and recalibrate.  Rainy Day Diva returns December 20.  Until then, live fabulously—no matter what!

Be Festive Without Feasting

Hurricane Sandy was an ordeal to say the least.  I prepared with flashlights, candles, blankets, etc.  What I wasn’t prepared for was those few extra pounds I gained once the ordeal was over.  Who knew you could be without power and still gain weight. Natural disasters have become “events” and 24/7, panic-inducing coverage, can cause us to reach for comfort in all the wrong places—like the cookie aisle.

I’ll admit I gained a few pounds after Sandy, so I’m a little nervous about all the upcoming snackfests!  I asked Kimberlee Caputo, fitness expert and owner of Get In Shape For Women, to give some tips on making it through holidays, cocktail parties, and stormy weather without packing on the pounds.

Caputo says that staying on track during the holidays and family get-togethers requires more of a mental shift than a check list of do’s and dont’s. “The hardest muscle to train is the mind.  It’s a perspective.  I tell my clients to think about the cause for celebration.  You’re really there to make a connection with people.  Focus on that connection, instead of food.”

She also suggest that you redefine your agenda.  Often we want to eat the same way that we did years ago (when our metabolism was higher) simply because it’s tradition or we have memories of eating every course.  Caputo encourages women to reconsider those old eating habits.  Instead of having a bit of everything, enjoy the fruits and vegetables and protein as a light lunch instead of nibbling throughout the day or going back for seconds and thirds.

She believes that one of the keys to success is practicing awareness.  That is, taking a bite, tasting it and enjoying it before prepping the second bite.  Of course, I couldn’t let our conversation end without getting some idea of how a foodie like me can take control of being surrounded by food all day.  Some of these tips might be just what you need.

  • For a holiday feast, Caputo says try having a salad or soup first, then protein, and eat carbs in small amounts almost like a garnish. Drink water before during and after your meal.
  • For those unexpected cravings, she says it’s best not to have junk food in the house.  A trip to the store can discourage that sudden desire to munch.
  • Make healthy alternatives that are good for you.  Caputo suggests substituting Greek yogurt as a base for dip recipes that call for cream.  She also says that Humus and Avocado are excellent alternatives to having a healthy dip.
  • Instead of potato chips try brushing tortillas with olive oil, then baking them.  If it’s really just the crunch that you want, pretzels are a great option as well as lentil chips and edamame.

Kimberlee Caputo is a fitness expert and the owner of Get In Shape For Women in Basking Ridge, NJ.

If you were in a fist fight, would you punch yourself in the face?  Of course, the answer is no.  Sounds like a no-brainer, right?  But that’s what so many of us do on a daily basis.  Our inner dialogue about ourselves is negative.  We constantly criticize, find fault, belittle and pretty much do a better job at defeating ourselves than any external obstacle or opponent.

Who is going to be on your side if you’re not?  And is it really fair to ask that people support us, if we aren’t willing to do the same?  Commit to spending a day without being negative about your goals and efforts.  Then increase that to a week.   Keep going until it becomes your M.O.  The first person to stand up for you, should be you.

Hurricane Sandy has been downright ferocious.  And like many of you, I was affected.  Without power since Monday night, I finally fled the northeast and headed home to Virginia for a few luxury like electricity and heat.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to see any television.  Now that my remote is back in hand, I caught up with one of my guilty little pleasures—Nashville.

Hurricane Sandy has got life so topsy turvy that I must admit seeing the star of the show, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) interviewed by Robin Roberts of Good Morning America (who is out on medical leave) and seeing background shots of New York, knowing that the city is devastated, dark and partially under water was a bit awkward.  But it’s TV and we know this scene was filmed months ago. … (Read More)

Monday Mojo: Own It!

It can be hard to accept certain aspects of our lives.  Some of those less than shining moments in our history and present can have us overwhelmed with feelings of regret and anger! But the only way to truly move on, enjoy, and thrive in life is to own what has happened and who we are.  Whatever mistakes we make are ours.

It’s been said many times that “when you know better, you do better.”  But not if we keep ourselves clothed in grief and regret over the mistakes of our past.  Own all of those mistakes.  Once you own them, recycle them as the practical, timeless, and valuable lessons that they are!  Those lessons and experiences don’t define who you are.  You don’t have to stay married to old habits.

The sooner we make peace with ourselves for the bad choices (the class we dropped, fear, the bad investment, avoidance, the chance we didn’t take, the debt, that extra 40 pounds, him—you know his name, etc.), the sooner we can free ourselves of the shame and disappointment and be the women that we desire to be. … (Read More)

Clutching The Classics

The Importance Of Being Earnest Clutch by Kate Spade

Kate Spade has combined two things that never go out of style—a classic book and a hot handbag! My two loves in one. Well, kinda. Kate Spade has designed these super cute clutches that look like the cover of classic reads like A Tale Of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet, Emma, Pride & Prejudice and The Importance Of Being Earnest.

I love the vivid colors, the way the bottom of the clutch actually looks like a bound book, and the tiny gold clasp that holds it all together. … (Read More)

Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment, MAC Cosmetics, ($20)

The newest edition to my beauty arsenal is MAC cosmetics’ Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment .  I’m still on my journey to clear, glowing (hopefully, flawless) skin!  I’ve been focused on all-over skincare, face and body.  However, I can’t ignore the fact that even when I’m wearing makeup I want my skin to look its best.   … (Read More)

Monday Mojo: War Stories!

Rihanna in Valentino for Vogue 11/12

I’ve talked to so many people who in some way or another are struggling.  Whether they are trying to live their dreams, start new businesses, keep jobs, reinvent themselves, find love or just pay the bills—it’s tough.   … (Read More)