Monday, August 31, 2009

HEART HEALING LOVE

HEART- HEALING LOVE
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I forgot where I got this article from (maybe Karen Salmasohn?), but it gives few good advices on how to foster heart-healing love.
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First one, and maybe the most important one, is to learn to love yourself. She gives a tip to write down 10 things you love about yourself every day. Be creative. They can be as simple things as "I love how I try to improve my health by reading health blogs." Self-love may take time and practice, so be patient.
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Do something nice to nurture your relationships. Send a loving good morning text to "him", buy your co-worker morning coffee (if you know what he/she likes), send your parents a card, invite your neighbor for a cup of tea and a cupcake etc. The list is endless.
Let people know how you feel about them. You think they all know you care about them, but hearing it could work wonders. This might be hard at first, but gets easier with time.
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Stop to smell the roses. Sometimes it feels like there's not enough time, you're always in a hurry, just rushing from one thing to another. Especially here in NYC. You even walk fast all the time for no reason.  Make time to enjoy the simple things in life like friendship, flowers, music or a bubble bath. Life's short and you don't want to miss out on that.
Forgive others. Don't hold onto grudges. It only hurts you. You can try to write down your grievances and then destroy the paper. Or try painting or drawing them.

Live good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

ADULT SKIN PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Growing up I never had any kind of skin problems. My skin care routine consisted of water and moisturizer and I used make up very rarely. I was close to college age when I finally included cleansing milk, toner and scrub in to my daily skin care. Now close to 30 years old my skin is worse than it's ever been. I have adult acne that's really frustrating because nothing seems to work on it. 

I tried Proactiv for about 4 years (that's when I first started breaking out mildly, due to excessive sun exposure while living in the Hamptons, I believe). Proactiv took about 3 months before I started seeing my skin clearing. But then about 6 months ago I noticed that it wasn't really doing anything anymore, completely ineffective. My cosmetician Karen told me that lot of her clients have noticed the same thing, Proactiv just stops working on their skin. So now I'm trying new method that might sound a little rough. After washing my face in the night I apply pure rubbing alcohol directly on my pimples. It dries them out pretty fast and the biggest bumps are gone by the morning. There's still red marks all over, but I'll let few microdermabrasion sessions take care of those.

I've become so paranoid with my skin, because every little thing I do seems to affect it and create a new pimple. I'm careful not to touch my face with dirty hands (or let anyone else touch it either), not let the cell phone or phones at work to touch my cheeks, change pillow case at least twice a week and not let me kitties to touch my face with their little paws.

I saw this great article at the latest Lucky Magazine where different beauty editors talked about their skins and one of them was my age with same problem skin. She said Sonya Dakar's Omega3 repair complex is the only moisturizer she uses now and her skin has cleared. Another product that she swore by is Shu Uemura's Moyoco Anno cleansing oil (more oil on an oily skin? Doesn't sound like the right thing to do, but she was convinced it helped clearing her skin) and Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion cream. I got a sample of my spa's own microdermabrasion cream and I just love the feeling of those tiny microbeads gently scrubbing the dead skin cells off my face.

Since we still have few more weeks of summer left, she recommended John Masters Organics SPF30 natural mineral sunscreen to protect your delicate skin from that evil sun. Does not clog pores and is very light due to it's pure minerals.
I believe my skin gets used to stuff that I put on it after a while and that makes most products ineffective, so I also ordered a sample from Burts Bees new acne solutions. I love Burts Bees for their eco- and animal friendliness and glad that they have come up with this new series for us with face issues.

A friend of mine also recommended Hot & Cold facial sauna from Revlon. It has two settings, one for warm steam to open up the pores and another one for cold to close the pores. Essentially, facial steams cause the skin to perspire, allowing pores to open up and breathe. Dirt, oil and grime, which can easily clog the pores and lead to breakouts, blackheads and other imperfections, are deeply cleansed as the steam penetrates the face. Steam also revives tired skin, removes toxins and improves circulation. My girlfriend said this treatment once a day helped clear her skin when she was struggling with the same issue last summer. It costs $50 and totally worth the price.

Another important change I've made is Bare Escentual's Pure Minerals Make Up. I just got the starter pack ($60 at Sephora), but I will return to Bare Escentuals' brand new flagship store in Herald Square for the eye make up kit (when they have sale). I watched the tutorial DVD that comes with the package and I'm ready to start using the bare minerals tomorrow. Didn't look too hard to do. I will do separate posting about it one day soon.

I'm sure to try all these products and report back to you guys when (and if) I start seeing improvement on my skin.

Lunch picnic in the park yesterday. Just me and my foot long sub.

UPDATE 4/17/2013: I've simplified my routine and you can take a look at it here.

EASY BREEZY LATE SUMMER EVENING

 
Yesterday I went for a concierge event at B&H Photo. It's like a huge superstore for any electronics and I guess they specialize in photo, video and audio visual equipment. There was free food and open bar as well as raffles, but of course I didn't win anything because I never do. By the way, I love this dark blue silk-blend top I wore. So breezy and light, but the same time very edgy and up for any occasion.
 
Before the event I had few extra hours to hang around so I did 1,5h workout at the gym and stretched really well at the end. I even took 15 minutes to relax in the sauna. I so love it. Really calms me down. This was my light dinner. I sat at the patio at Seppi's and had goat cheese-pear salad with glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I love days like this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HOBOKEN BOUND

 Today me and my parents ventured out to Hoboken, NJ, Frank Sinatra's birthplace by the Hudson River with beautiful boardwalk overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Hoboken is very cute town with lots of old brownstones and townhouses, more bars per square mile than any other town in Jersey, tons of small restaurants, stores and parks. 
The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is a state-mandated master plan to connect the municipalities from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge creating an 18-mile (29 km)-long urban linear park and provide contiguous unhindered access to the water's edge. Just like what they have going around Manhattan. 
Lunch we enjoyed at Johnny Rockets, classic American eatery brought to this century (they serve veggie and soy burgers). I loooove rootbeer floats and every time I visit Johnny Rockets (Jersey Gardens has one as well), I get one. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

OUTLETS AT JERSEY GARDENS

Whenever I have family in town we must take a trip to Jersey Gardens Outlets and go shop til we drop. It's 45 min bus ride from Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan ($10.50 round trip compared to $40-49 going to the Woodbury Commons Outlets).
Nowadays I already know which stores are worth visit and where they're located so I can do this trip in 2 hours. My favorites are Banana Republic, Nine West, Nike, Charlotte Russe, Mandee and Victoria's Secret.
My good ole Steve Madden gladiators gave me the all-day-comfort walking around this huge mall. And I can't believe what I saw at Nine West when I walked in; the Josh Pump that I've been drooling over for the past 6 months. I saw it on Lucky Magazine on some chic lady saying that this was the most comfortable pump she's ever had and I've been waiting for the sales since then. And I don't think the sales can get any better than this: $19.90! I bought two pairs immediately, black and red. I would've gotten the brown one as well, but they didn't have my size. These shoes are perfect for work and for after work fun.
I also got few workout tops from Nike. Those are other things that you can never have too many. Shoes and workout gear.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

YOGA AND ME


After eating few too many cupcakes in the past few days (after discovering Magnolia Bakery 7 blocks from my job), it's time think healthy again. When I was young(er) I took Ashtanga yoga classes at Tanssivintti (The Dance Attic) in Helsinki center. My teacher was the great (and hot) Petri Raisanen  (who dated that lady from the show "House", Lisa Edelstein). I've never got such heavenly feeling from physical exercise other than Ashtanga yoga. I felt like I was walking on clouds, so light my step was. And my mind was so clear. The special breathing played the key role in this ad you can just imagine what deep stretching and deep breathing non-stop for 90 minutes does to you. It does uber good.
I saw an ad on our local yoga studio for Hot Power Yoga (Vinyasa) and really want to go try it. The ad says that Hot Power Yoga detoxes the body and mind leaving you energized and revitalized, cleansed and calm, awake and aware.One power vinyasa class can burn 500 calories. I think that would make great add-on to my workout regime, balance it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SUNDAY STREET FAIR

Today was so easy day at work. I spent all day reading Lucky and Rachael Ray magazines, surfing on the internet and answered few work related phone calls every now and then. I did not spend more than 5 minutes on the phone all day (my shift was 7 hrs). I hate working on the weekends anyway, so I did not feel guilty. Get me outta here already! I'm a celebrity!
After work I met up with my folks and we went to street fair on Madison Avenue. These street fairs are held at least every weekend in the summer and run over 10 blocks long. These are good places for bargain jewelry, handbags, scarves, tourist t-shirts, sunglasses etc. It's really like Chinatown, except they don't have any of the illegal stuff. Check the schedule for street fairs HERE .
I bought 7 gorgeous Indian silk cushion covers (I love the colors), beautiful yellow cashmere imitation scarf and my mom got few different color scarves, handbag and NYC shirts (3 for $10). My dad got one with John Lennon  wearing NYC-shirt.

Friday, August 14, 2009

TAKE ME TO DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN



After work I met with my parents at South Street Seaport . I love downtown more than any other area in Manhattan. It's quiet, the river is there, pretty little streets and no congestion. We went to have early dinner at Fulton Street at Red  Mexican Restaurant. I've been here once before and didn't remember how bad the food was. For $10 tacos I'd expect something spectacular. The tacos I normally order for lunch from this hole in the wall by my job are just $2 and change and taste so much better. Big disappointment at Red. I have to say though that the frozen margaritas were really good and they have like ten different flavors. They are big and cost you $9, but so worth it. All you need is one, really.
After dinner we started walking towards Battery Park City and Winter Garden. 
The promenade offers gorgeous views of Jersey. Lots of joggers, dog walkers and people walking home from work. Few restaurants on the side. I would love to work and live here. What a wonderful lifestyle. Beautiful gardens, boat slips, promenade, outdoor restaurants etc.
Banana Republic (my favorite store) had sale event going on with refreshments and appetizers served on the side. Everything -25%. I found pretty dress and white blazer, but no right sizes. Oh, well, I shouldn't buy any clothes anyway. Need to utilize the ones I have already.
Winter Garden is used for many different purposes. Besides having few stores and restaurants, they also have movie nights, concerts, dance classes and other fun events.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MINE AND 50 CENT'S GYM


I love spending my time in luxurious surroundings such as gorgeous restaurants. This is also why I switched from the dingy NY Health and Racket Club on 56th St. to Gravity at Le Parker Meridien. The space is just so grand that it makes me feel important and like I'm living large when I walk through this lobby to go to my gym.

Hanging out at the gym lounge. Free fruits and refreshments are served. You can watch other people sweat their butts off, or you can watch TV. TV is usually my pick. If I have extra time I sometimes take the elevator up to the lobby of the hotel. They have really comfortable big chairs in there as well and you can do people watching and spot a celebrity or two every now and then. This is THAT kind of hotel. Oh, and 50 Cent works out at my gym. Saw him once with his trainer. What a terrible workout he has. And by terrible I mean a killer workout, because I would die if I had to go through it.

My sporty business look: black suit with black sneakers. Looks horrible together, but oh so comfy. I can run to the gym fast and back to work. So it is very practical outfit as well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MAGNOLIA BAKERY DISCOVERY


This morning when I was walking for work with him (he works 6 blocks away from me) I noticed a beautiful sight of Magnolia Bakery on the corner of Rockefeller Center. What?! Why didn't I know they have one right here!?? I've been going all the way to the Village to get mine. This is what happens when you don't do the research and visit their website.
Anyway, after the shock I went in and ordered 2 chocolate on chocolate cupcakes (calm down, it wasn't all for my breakfast, one was for my friend Keli). I'm so glad (it's so close) and mad (I will be going here way too often) that I discovered this location just a short walk from my job. Fresh baked cupcakes are just sooo dang good. Sorry, forgot to take a picture, because they went so fast...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

BURBERRY IMITATION RAINBOOTS

It was gloomy day in New York and before I walked out the door this morning I made sure I had my umbrella and rain boots. By the way, I still haven't found cool rainboots, so I'm wearing these Burberry imitations that are way too big. Husband bought them for me while back and obviously did not bother to check my shoe size... I might go check if   Laila Rowe has any cute new boots on sale since it's right around the corner from me. but it feels good to wear more clothes today, skinny jeans and boots. I feel so fall. The temperatures are getting up to 80F this afternoon, so it's not cold, but the forecast says rain and isolated T-storms.
Simple breakfast today: dark rye bread with Oltermanni cheese and lettuce, Greek yogurt with honey and orange juice to wash it down with. For lunch I'm planning on running down the street and go to Starbucks for chai. Brunch with friends and bottomless mimosas would be nice today. And pool day at the Parker Meridien rooftop pool. It's covered so little rain would not bother. That place would also be awesome for some photos.The view of the Central Park is to die for. If you are not a member the fee to use the pool is about $70, which I personally think is ridiculously high price. But I guess that brings exclusivity or something.
I follow this lady Sarma Melnaiglis on Twitter who is the owner of vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine in the city. She is one of these succesful young healthy hipsters and her tweets always make me so hungry. I think some people would not find these foods appetizing, but this mornings tweet about her drinking cilantro, parsley, sunflower sprout, pineapple and lime green shake with vanilla and stevia just makes me want to take the train down to her place and order it right now. If you're on Twitter be sure to follow me as well at twitter.com/KatzSax 

Friday, August 7, 2009

GROOVING IT AT GROOVE NYC

Ok, this is going to be one of those easy and short "my day in pictures" postings. So here we go. During lunch I managed to go to the gym for a quick 5 machine workout and after I was sitting outside enjoying the day.
I brought lunch from home today for once and had something I've missed for long time; dark rye bread  from Finland. I made a sandwich with baby muenster cheese (Oltermanni from Finland), lettuce, bell peppers and cucumbers. And for dessert I had my favorite Greek yogurt with honey.
It was not so sunny out, so this plaza where I sometimes sit and eat was nice and empty. Usually it's packed. But not today. I had time to help some tourists to find ice cream shop, nail salon as well as a shoe repair place. Wow, I guess my whole presence just screams hospitality. Or maybe it's just my friendly aura.
I also had time to take the F train uptown (Ok, I was suppose to go downtown, but took the wrong train...) and see what's in the area around 63rd and Lexington. Saw a puppy shop and felt sorry for these pups; 50% off all dogs. I don't like the sound of that. The cheaper they are the easier it is for some asshole to buy a dog without thinking about it too much and then get rid of it or not take care of it. Plus, there are already too many dogs in shelters that are looking for homes. Just go get one from the shelter.
After work it was time to go to Steve Madden. I got invited to a cocktail party at Steven by Steve Madden store in Lower East Side where Jessie James performed and free cocktails were flowing. Check her out on MySpace Music (click on her name above).
We got there around 8pm and it was packed. Jessie was just about to start performing when we walked in and bar was packed as well. I think they invited too many people, because the store isn't that big. I was really hoping for quiet shopping event (I love Madden's shoes) where you can sip cocktails at the same time and listen to Jessie sing quietly in the background.
We did not stay for long. We headed back to the Village and walked around trying to find restaurant to have dinner at. We ventured to Groove NYC  where I've been few times before. They got awesome live bands (funk, R&B, jazz, soul) and their happy hour is amazing. We had 2 glasses of White Zinfandel for $4 and listened to some jazz band that was pretty good. We were feeling it. But it was impossible to have a conversation because the music was so loud. 
So we left and kept looking for dinner places. So many choices, but we ended up choosing little cozy Italian with outdoor seating and $5 margaritas