Tuesday, March 31, 2009

5 Simple Rules for Welcoming the Sun

It's been many months since our limbs were bared to the sun (with the exception of you Spring Break goers). After hiding my bod under pants, sweaters and hats, I know that I've got some work to do! Here are my top 5 prep moves to get ready for sandals, skirts, and mini dresses.

1. Exfoliate 2-3 times/week. I go with the rule "exfoliate when you shampoo." For this naturally curly mop, that means every other day. Exfoliating before shaving will make your skin silky smooth and better prepared to soak up the sun when you show off those stems.
2. Drink your 8 glasses. While this is a 365 day rule, it becomes even more important as temperatures rise. Your hair will be shinier, your face more clear, and you won't have to ditch the park tanning sesh because you're suffering from dehydration!
3. Start the tinted moisturizer. Some wear this year-round but I wait until it would be realistic for me to have a sun kissed glow. My favorite lotion is Jergens Natural Glow, available at most drug or grocery stores. And make sure to shave before you apply!
4. Prep those toes. No need to hit the nail salon, an at home pedicure is cheap and easy, once you pick your polish. While many are going for the neon tones this season, I am partial to the pastels - buttercup yellow, lavender and pale pink. In just minutes, you'll feel ready to hit the spring shoe sales and pick up a new pair of strappy sandals.
5. Lather on the SPF. The sun has been hiding behind snow and sleet but soon it will be back with a vengeance. No matter how tan you can get or how little you want to smell like sunscreen, it's a small price to pay for another decade of taught, beautiful skin. Your body is your temple, so protect it!

Next step - pulling the spring and summer wardrobes out from under the bed or the back of the closet. After this long winter, seeing those clothes again will make them seem brand new! So summon the recessionista inside you, think before you shop and check out InStyle's spring trends for inspiration.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And We're Springing!

There are a few weeks in New York between breathtaking cold and unbearable hot when the outdoor seating area has opened and chairs are filled with people, faces baking in the afternoon sun. Sweaters are shrugged off and sunglasses perch on newly bronzed noses. This sunshine and warmth seems foreign after months of sleet and snow and gives New Yorkers a nudge of exhilaration, the kick they need to duck out early, take extra long lunches to stroll around. After such a long and heavy winter, it is hard to believe that spring and then summer are almost upon us, but the tables tell it all. A day of sun is just what we need to turn our frowns upside down. It's impossible to be a pessimist with rosy cheeks and freckled shoulders, and the streets all full of smiles.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Strong, Sexy, and Sleeveless

Michelle Obama has raised a few eyebrows and many conversations over the past few months. The public can't stop discussing her bare arms and bright colors. I'm surprised that the First Lady of 2009 is garnering so much attention on her looks, seeing as she has a very big brain as well, not to mention the enormous issues that the country is facing right now. Is dress really an object? As a woman of the 21st century, proud of feminine power and intrigue, I applaud Michelle's fashion forward figure and style choices. Here, we see a mother, a wife, a fashionista, and a politico...or is it politica? But above all, we see a woman, with muscles and curves and the freedom to make her own, personal touches and choices.

Plus, what's not to love about a lady in purple?


Sweet Surrender

Since starting my most recent job, I have been actively engaged in a sugar obsession. Each day, after a nutritious, protein-filled lunch, my coworker and partner-in-crime and I peruse the company vending machine, relishing our options. After much thought and coin counting, we indulge in one or two of the following: Snickers, Reese's PB Cups, Twix, or a rare shot in the dark, like last week's Ding Dongs. We've even gone so far as to befriend Daniel, the machine king, so that our top picks are interspersed throughout the rows to promote maximum availability. I can say with confidence that I have consumed more candy in the last month than in the last five years.
On the more stressful days, our chocolate consumption has been known to increase. For every moment when I feel like I've had my last bite of equal parts chocolate, nougat, caramel, and peanut, there is a tedious project or tiring task in which I am happy to remember that a quick fix is just 85 cents and two button presses away.
What has resulted for the sugar days surprised me immensely. As a girl with a past of body issues, diets attempts and calorie counting, had I been told a few months ago that I would be eating a candy bar a day, I would have been shocked. Instead, I am content. Eating candy and not discussing its dangers and woes, its effects and repercussions has been delightful, giddy inducing. And there is something to be said for the vending machine - a box filled with snacks, no one costing more that $1.25, available all day, everyday. It is with joy that people approach the machine, coins jingling in their palms, selections waiting on baited breathe. It may just been one of life's little pleasures.
My time in candyland has taught me a lot. One, the reality that candy is addicting, and tastes incredible. Two, eating it hasn't made me unhappy or guilty. Any opportunity for me to realize that I am free and able to indulge and satisfy myself without worry is one that I wouldn't trade. While I couldn't keep this diet up for much longer, for the time being it has been welcome. Just about as welcome as the day Daniel put Butterfingers in three different rows...sigh.