Stories for: Books

BooksTableTopics Cubes

Hosting dinner parties with the company of good friends, delicious food, and plentiful amounts of wine is by far one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday or Saturday evening. While our conversation and spontaneous dance parties are surely enough fun to last well into the wee hours of the morning, I thought it would be fun to add another dimension to my friendly gatherings. Enter TableTopics Cubes, which I’d been eying for a while at a fabulous Beacon Hill boutique, Flat of The Hill. TableTopics Cubes are available in a variety of topics, including Family Gathering, Girls Night Out, and even Book Club edition. Each card is printed with a question that’s meant to inspire, make you think, or even make you embarrassed! I opted for the “not your mom’s dinner party” theme, which I thought would be versatile enough to use for all sorts of get-togethers. Even political questions like “should we have a national healthcare system?” are interspersed with less mature, more personal ones like “what alcohol can you never drink again?” (My answer? Raspberry Stoli.)

TableTopics Cubes are the ideal game to play with family and friends; easy to transport, basically no rules, and literally anyone can play! Retailing at $25, they aren’t the cheapest game you can buy, but will provide hours of priceless entertainment for you and your friends.

I look forward to adding another TableTopics Cube to my collection of games. Next? The Gourmet Edition! TableTopics Cubes are available on their website, as well as Amazon and local stores near you.

Accessories, Beauty, Books, Cheap & Chic, Fashion, Fragrance, ShoesCheap & Chic: May 2010

Beauty, Books, SkincareYour Skin, Younger

We all want younger looking skin, but how many of us actually know the science behind aging and skin? Although I claim to care about my skin, I have to admit that I definitely don’t keep up with the latest research on skin. When I was sent a copy of the book Your Skin, Younger for review, I almost read the whole thing in one sitting. Written by Drs. Alan C. Logan, Mark G. Rubin, and Phillip M. Levy, experts in naturopathic medicine and dermatology, it’s an easy and interesting read all about what it takes to keep your skin looking young–naturally.

Sun exposure and genetics certainly play a part in the visible signs of aging skin, but so do stress, diet, intestinal function, and even cooking techniques! The book suggests steaming, boiling, stewing, simmering, and poaching your food as much as possible to avoid oxidative stress and collagen destruction. These things can ultimately cause wrinkles, so the authors include recipes that incorporate healthy cooking techniques, as well as healthy skin foods. Who knew that even the color of foods has been proven to affect the aging of your skin? Your meals should always have deeply colored fruits and vegetables.

The part of Your Skin, Younger that is most relevant to my life is about stress. Studies have shown that stress compromises the barrier function of your skin, causing water loss and creating more inflammatory chemicals. In short, stress affects your skin more than you think. The authors provide tons of tips on how to reduce the stress in your life, starting with getting a good night’s beauty rest, which I am certainly taking to heart.

If you want to learn more about natural ways to get younger looking skin, be sure check out Your Skin, Younger, available for $14.95 at Amazon.com.

Books, Fitness & HealthThe O2 Diet

March is National Nutrition Month and for those of us that are (or want to be) health conscious, now is the best time to start paying attention to your lifestyle.  Recently I got my hands on a copy of The O2 Diet, designed by my go-to nutritionist, Keri Glassman, which focuses on harnessing the powers of antioxidants (fresh and natural foods) to help you feel and look your best.  I’ve been a longtime fan of Glassman and have even gone in for her nutritional counseling services.  I’ve always found her to be incredibly positive and empowering, giving me tips and solutions that actually help me feel like I am in control of my wellness and that have actually helped me change my eating habits and attitude in many ways.

I was really excited to find that Glassman conveys the same positive messaging in her new book.   I’m generally wary of “diets” since I find them so gimmicky, but Glassman doesn’t focus on dieting as much as on finding wholesome, nutritious, and natural foods.  In addition, she encourages readers to consume foods high in antioxidants which protect the body from damage by free radicals.  Antioxidants have been touted to have health benefits from slowing the aging process to preventing cancers.  But even more importantly, eating foods high in antioxidants make you feel good, and feeling good prevents you from going back to consuming unhealthy processed foods. READ MORE

Books, FashionCloset Confidential

After years of moaning and groaning of “having stylish pieces but not knowing how to put them all together”, fellow Boston blogger Susie gifted me with a copy of Closet Confidential, a humorous yet comprehensive look at fashion for “real women with real bodies and real budgets and a desire to care out their own style”, all based on author Winona Dimeo-Ediger’s “cache based on personal experiences/humiliations”. READ MORE

BooksBlue Bloods with Bite

BlueBloodIt seems like every blog has a resident vampire/Twilight obsessee–in the case of the The Daily Obsession, it seems like I am it, given that I breezed through all of the Twilight books in one, highly unproductive holiday week, and routinely lend out my copies to coworkers and friends too ashamed to purchase their own.  For the record in case you are wondering, I am fully on Team Jacob, and not Team Edward, something about Robert Pattinson just doesn’t do it for me.

I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post that since Twilight ended, I’ve been moving on to other vampire oriented books, and my newest find is Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series, a sexier take on teenage vampires, with an injection of NYC Upper East Side money and private schools, and added vampire lore and history tracing back to the Mayflower.  Blair Waldorf already has the sardonic wit and sassy, scathing put downs that make Gossip Girl such a hit: add some fangs and a lust for blood, and you have one of Blue Blood’s main characters, Mimi Force, a beautiful, ancient teenage vampire (or Blue Blood) who rules prestigious prep school, Duchesne. READ MORE

Books, HomeYabu Pushelberg for the Home

As some of you may or may not know, I’m currently in the midst of trying to buy some real estate in Manhattan.  After 24 years of living in some kind of shared housing, I’m ready to take my shoe boxes and makeup bags and find a place to call my own home. The past three years, I’ve lived in an apartment that I’ve decorated only with beauty loot, waiting until I have my own space to bust out the creative design cap.  And that moment, my friends, may be sooner rather than later.

So it is with fortuitous timing that one of my favorite design firms, Yabu Pushelberg, publishes its first book, a portfolio of their gorgeous interior designs, that I will be sure to take much of my inspiration from.  Anyone who has walked into Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, stayed at the St Regis Hotel in San Francisco or dined at Fin in Las Vegas has experienced the duo’s amazing creations brought to life. While I am a shameless viewer of all sorts of ah “design porn,” I was particularly drawn to the images of the private residences featured in the book.  Yabu Pushelberg isn’t available to purchase for a few more weeks but I got my hands on an advance copy and snapped a few pictures below the cut of my favorite spreads to give TDO readers a sneak peek.  (As you can see, I’m a particularly big fan of their “clustering” technique- be it mirrors, artwork, or pillows).

The entire book is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. READ MORE

Books, Food, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Food & Wine Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook

Accessories, Books, Cheap & Chic, Fashion, Food, Jewelry, ShoesCheap & Chic: August 2009

Books, Fitness & Health, InterviewsTDO Interview: David Kirsch

To amp up for summer, I’m now going to the gym about 6 times a week.  But as I started paying more attention to working out, I realized that I didn’t know the answer to some very common exercise questions.  So I turned to David Kirsch, celebrity trainer to the uber hot and uber famous to settle once and for all those nagging concerns.

Kirsch has shaped some of Hollywood’s hottest bodies including Anne Hathaway (did you see how amazing she looked in her post-breakup pictures), Liv Tyler and Ellen Barkin.  He is also famous for getting Hedi Klum from baby weight to runway ready in three weeks for the Victoria Secret fashion show back in 2005, just eight weeks after birthing her child.  (The show was recorded November 9 and Kirsch arrived in LA to train Klum on October 13.)

Kirsch has also developed a series of workout related products.  His newest book, David Kirsch’s Butt Book, is out July 13, but we’re giving you a sneak preview of how to do one of his signature butt exercises. Read below for the tips this master trainer shares with TDO readers to make your own workout more efficient: READ MORE

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