Harvest Time: Straight From My Garden!


There is NOTHING better than vegetables and herbs straight from your own garden (trust me…nothing from the local farmer’s market or Whole Foods can compare to the taste of just-picked vegetables and herbs).  Today I enjoyed the bounty of my own garden for lunch.  Pictured above, you will see my own tomatoes and basil paired with freshly made mozzarella.  The entire caprese salad is simply topped with a high quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper.  Yum!

*My favorite source for Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar is O & Co.

I Took The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS!

Recently, many of us have seen videos on social media showing people taking the “Ice Bucket Challenge”.  This campaign is intended to raise awareness and money for the fight against ALS.  Sadly this campaign hits very close to home for me; my brother-in-law’s father, Dennis, passed away from this truly horrible disease just last month.  As you will see in the video (above) I participated in my own challenge this past weekend…there I am in the black T-shirt!
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Sweet Treats in NYC!


If you happen to find yourself in New York City do not miss out on the gelato which is served up at Eataly.  Located at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, Eataly is in the heart of the Flatiron District.  Over the past few years, I have eaten in several of Eataly’s restaurants.  Personally I remain the most impressed by their Gelateria; they serve up some of the best gelato that you will find stateside!  Their gelato is freshly prepared everyday and is made with local milk.
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How To Get Out Of Debt: Some Practical Advice

Sparkle No SmileDebt is the devil.  Being in debt is one of the most stressful and anxiety-producing situations that you can find yourself in.  I have been there; it is overwhelming.  I used to lie awake at night worrying about it; I felt as if I had a constant weight on my chest.  Of all forms of debt, credit card debt is one of the worst.  I still remember getting my first credit card in college.  The sales representatives from the bank were set up in the student center taking applications.  That very first credit card came with a lovely 24.99% interest rate!  At the time I was too young and naive to fully understand what exactly that meant or what an impact it would have on me later on.  I want to state, for the record, that it is no one’s fault but my own that I ran up my credit card bill; I really do not like people who do not take accountability for their own actions.  With that said, it is not an accident that banks offer cards with this type of interest to the young and inexperienced…life has not yet taught them to say, “24.99%?!  Get the hell out of here!  No thanks.”  Long story short, like so many others, I spent more than I should have…a lot more.  I share this story only because it is an all too common tale and my advice may be helpful to others.
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Beauty Foods: Eat Your Way GORGEOUS!!!


Image Courtesey of YonKa Paris

As I have been writing articles for this blog, a funny thing has happened.  I have noticed that far more of my posts than I had originally intended to be are, in fact, written about food.  This has gotten me to thinking about the fact that beauty and nutrition really are inextricably linked.  For that matter, leading a fabulous life is also largely tied in to nutrition.  You literally are what you eat.  Therefore, if you want to look good, age well and feel great (thus allowing you to lead a more fabulous life) then eating well is a must!
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Back on the Wagon: Diet Edition!

Courtesey of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Okay, so it is time for a confession.  I got a little lax with my diet this summer.  By lax I mean to say that I took off the entire month of July…ooops.  I knew that I had put on some weight, but I was shocked to find that I had actually gained 4 pounds…in a month.  Apparently eating whatever I feel like for an extended period of time isn’t working for me anymore.  The upshot is that it is now a new month and I am going to stop my slide into unhealthy eating habits while I am only 4 or 5 pounds off of the mark.
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Looking for Something Different? Try a Cooking Class!


Looking for something fun and new to try?  I would recommend trying out a cooking class at Sur La Table!  I did it for the first time this past weekend and it was both fun and informative.  With more than 50 locations in 22 states, Sur La Table is more than just an inspirational store for cooks…it is also a place to learn new recipes and skills through the wide array of cooking classes offered (they even offer summer camps)!  Current class offerings are as varied as: Mediterranean Dinner Party, Summer Macarons, Delicious Thai Cooking and Date Night: Summer in Provence; there really is an offering for everyone!  The classes, which are led by a professional chef, typically last for approximately 2 hours and cost less than $100 per person.
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How To Do a Destination Spa on a Day Spa Budget!



Mohonk Mountain House

One lesson which I have learned in my years is that you should not wait around for someone else to take care of you…you need to take care of yourself!  Following this mantra, I recently decided to treat myself in honor of my birthday (I am officially 36 now).  I wanted to treat myself to a day at a fabulous spa…a destination spa seemed to fit the bill; however, I wasn’t prepared to lay down the thousands of dollars normally associated with a trip to a destination spa.  Therefore I decided to explore ways in which I could do a destination spa on a day spa budget.  In the end, I chose to visit the spa at Mohonk Mountain House.  Located just 90 miles north of NYC, this spa is a lovely retreat from the hustle and bustle.  Sorry no photos may be taken inside of the spa itself, but I got some lovely pictures of the grounds!  Here are some tips for visiting a destination spa near you while keeping to a day spa budget:
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